Sri Lankan rapper, producer, director and visual artist Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam - better known as M.I.A. - has been announced as the curator for The Southbank Centre's 24th Meltdown, which will take place at London's Southbank Centre from Friday 9th until Sunday 18th June 2017.
The Meltdown curator creates a line-up over the duration of the festival of not just music, but also debate and installations.
M.I.A. said "For me this Meltdown will be about putting on a musical week that shows different types of music which have inspired each other to exist. Genres that support other genres, redefining the concept of a melting pot. Respect the history, don’t live in it. I plan to bring together music’s best forward thinkers who have contributed to all our lives. When music acts as inspiration, it’s boundary-less."
She follows in the footsteps of past Meltdown directors David Byrne, Guy Garvey, James Lavelle, Yoko Ono, Antony Hegarty, Ray Davies, Richard Thompson, Ornette Coleman, Massive Attack, John Peel, Robert Wyatt, Scott Walker, David Bowie, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Morrissey, Patti Smith and Jarvis Cocker, curating a festival that will take place across the Southbank Centre site.
The programme will be announced over the coming weeks and months, and tickets won't be on sale for a while yet.
Jude Kelly, Artistic Director at Southbank Centre, said: "It’s not often that we encounter such an unbridled creative force, excelling in whichever field they try their hand. M.I.A. has not just broken barriers as a musician, creating music that is embraced the world over, but she has made art her rallying cry – and has stayed true to her conviction, as an artist, woman and citizen of the world."
Bengi Unsal, Senior Contemporary Music Programmer at Southbank Centre, said: "In a progressively polarised world, we are now appreciating those that don't fear standing out and those that defy moulds. M.I.A. is fearless in the way she pushes boundaries and makes music that is so refreshingly original that it effectively doesn't age. Her ever-evolving, yet readily identifiable musical style inspires people to dance, whilst giving a voice to the voiceless, from refugee camps in Africa through to London's streets. M.I.A. is a trend setter and social critic, but most importantly, an internationally loved and acclaimed musical star."
Meltdown takes place over all 21 acres of the Southbank Centre, including the riverside, Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall.
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