M.I.A. has gathered a handful of hitmakers -- including Chris Brown, the Cataracs, Polow da Don and Swizz Beatz -- to assist in recording her latest material after her last album failed to deliver a "Paper Planes"-sized hit single.
Niles "Cyrano" Hollowell-Dhar, one-half of California duo the Cataracs (Far*East Movement's "Like a G6," Dev's "Bass Down Low"), tells Billboard.com that he and production partner David "Campa" Benjamin Singer-Vine have recently spent time in a Los Angeles studio with the singer. While Hollowell-Dhar was not sure if the material would be included on M.I.A.'s fourth proper album, the producer thinks that the singer is "working on a mixtape, and she wants it to be like an album."
"I think she's really going f**king H.A.M. on this. She's not pulling any punches," says Hollowell-Dhar, who has heard rough mixes of other material on the forthcoming release.
The producer also confirms that Swizz Beatz and Polow da Don have worked M.I.A. in the past week. Polow da Don (Usher's "Love in This Club," Rich Boy's "Throw Some D's") also revealed that Chris Brown had joined M.I.A. and himself in the studio in a Twitter post last Friday (Apr. 15). "IN THE LAB WIT THE GREAT @chrisbrown AND THE INCREDIBLE @_M_I_A_ THANK YOU DEAR LORD!" the producer wrote.
"/\/\ /\ Y /\," M.I.A.'s third album released last July, was considered a critical and commercial misstep, having sold just 85,000 copies upon release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Since then, the singer played last year's Virgin Mobile Freefest and HARD Fest, as well as released a new mixtape, "Vicki Leekx," on New Year's Eve.