M.I.A. talked about how the film explored the many facets of her identity and how it was eye-opening for her to watch her own origin story unfold. She explained how her name changed from her childhood in Sri Lanka to when she immigrated to the U.K. Of the name Matangi she said, “The first 10 years I spent in Sri Lanka that’s what I was called. The next 10 years my name was Maya, but it was made up — it’s a fake name — but it’s nice because it means ‘illusion,’ so it kind of worked out.”
Noah brought up the “take your money” line from “Paper Planes” and mentioned that when the song initially came out 2007 he had no idea it was about xenophobia. He then asked her what it was like to have to flee a civil war only to face anti-immigration bigotry in the U.K.
“Conflict is, like, the subject matter there,” M.I.A said. “People say it’s chaos but it’s not. It’s conflict and conflations.”
Matangi/Maya/M.I.A opens in theaters on September 28. Watch The Daily Show clip below.