British-via-Sri Lanka hip-hop star and queen bee of all hipsters, M.I.A. has cancelled her entire European tour and her Bonnaroo gig, which had been set for this Friday, citing exhaustion. Though she reportedly told the audience at her McCarren Park Pool show in Brooklyn last Friday that she’d be canceling the tour, she gave official confirmation just yesterday.
M.I.A. revealed to New York Magazine, “I cancelled the U.K. tour. Nobody knows. This is it. You’re hearing it first. My manager was supposed to cancel it yesterday, but he was watching football—don’t tell anyone—and he forgot. So nobody knows. I guess now they will.”
Questioned about the reason for scrapping her shows, M.I.A. said, “I’m canceling because I feel like physically I just have to stop for a second. It’s too insane. I was losing a sense of just, like, reality, you know what I mean? I think for an artist like me, it’s so important for me to be in the streets and go to the same shop every day and see the same people and, like, communicate. And it’s really difficult to do that when you’re in the city every day for 24 hours. Like, I love connecting with my band, but I want to actually help them and be a part of peoples’ lives. Which is really hard when you’re on tour.
“It takes a lot out of you, physically. I make club music, which means I’m clubbing every night for, like, six months. Know what I mean? So now and again you finally just want to be gardening and get your nails done or something like that.”
Though it wasn’t mentioned in the New York Magazine article, M.I.A.’s recent engagement to Exit guitarist Benjamin Brewer may have played into her revised summer plans as well.
Since releasing her sophomore album, Kala?which featured runaway hit “Paper Planes” and was dubbed the best album of the year by Rolling Stone and Blender?last August, the singer has been touring relentlessly, but admits she’s not particularly fond of the spotlight. “I’m an artist and it’s really difficult when you become the art, and you’re like, ‘Look at me!’ every day. Music is about people. It is a party. But I never became a musician because I wanted to be famous, or I’m an extrovert and stuff like that. The touring part came last. Like, I already signed a record deal, put my record out, and did everything. My first-ever time standing onstage singing was already six months into my, like, contract and stuff, which is unheard of. No one does that. But I was just really petrified. It scared the s*** out of me.”
M.I.A. assures fans that there’s more to come: “I’ve been writing on tour. I’m really into writing new songs. I’m going to put out a new record instead [of doing the summer tour]. At the end of the day, I’m here, you know.”