Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, you’ve probably heard “XXXO“, the official first single from M.I.A.‘s forthcoming album, /\/\/\Y/\. The single was produced by Rusko and frequent M.I.A collaborator and signee Blaqstarr.
M.I.A.’s trusty NEET Records blog has posted Blaqstarr’s original demo of “XXXO”. Now we know what “XXXO” sounded like before Rusko came in and smoothed it out and added overpowering electro-pop elements. Blaqstarr’s version does not stray too far from the aesthetic M.I.A. has built with her first two albums. Some might call it safe, but I think that the fact that M.I.A. is mostly singing is change enough. The album version, featuring additional production work from Rusko, sounds like a Robyn track. There’s nothing wrong with sounding like Robyn, but why would you imitate another lady’s style when your own style is imitable enough? Listen to Blaqstarr’s version below:
Bonus: download Blaqstarr’s first single “Oh My Darling” from his debut album, which is set to be released later this year on M.I.A. NEET imprint.