M.I.A. Reveals She Worked With Zayn Malik on New Song 'Freedun'

Jan Lehner

After tapping DJ Blaqstarr, Skrillex and her former flame, producer Diplo, for her fifth studio effort AIM, Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. is calling on Zayn Malik for a new collaboration titled "Freedun." 

While in India, M.I.A. says that she and the former One Direction-er created the song via messaging app WhatsApp. "We just basically did it while I was here, because I’ve been here for a week-and-a-half," she told Entertainment Weekly. "We’ve just been going back and forth on, you know, WhatsApp.”

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The two formed a bond when M.I.A. considered penning tracks for his solo debut, Mind of Mine, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in April. "We have the same publishers and they wanted me to demo some songs for Zayn,” she explained. “Before I started writing properly my own stuff [for AIM], I was thinking maybe I’ll write for other people instead. I really wanted to write a song for Zayn … We had a couple people in common. And that’s how it came about. I didn’t really approach him for my own record until later on. First, I thought I wanted to try writing a song for him." 

Despite the missed opportunity, M.I.A. and Malik will make up for it on her upcoming album -- and possibly her last -- due Sept. 9. "It's the cleanest album I have," she said during a recent interview with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 last month. "It's my last record so I just want it to be happy. There's no complaints on it."