A release date has been confirmed for M.I.A.’s debut album “Arular,” which will be released March 22 in the U.S. Additionally, details have emerged on M.I.A.’s relationship with the Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records, which was first reported here earlier this week.
“Arular” will be released March 22 on New York-based XL Recordings, but will be distributed via Fontana, the independent distribution arm of Universal Music Video & Distribution. Sources say that Interscope will still be involved in the record, but on a licensing basis. M.I.A. will remain signed to XL.
“Arular” was first slated to be released Feb. 22 on XL Recordings, but the label pulled the album less than a week before street date. XL, which is part of Beggars Group, said at the time the release was delayed due to a failure to clear unspecified samples.
“Arular” was originally slated to be distributed in the U.S. by the Warner Music Group’s Alternative Distribution Alliance, which typically handles Beggars’ releases. Future M.I.A. releases will be more directly associated with Interscope.
The album’s U.K. release remains April 25. That version will contain an extra track, “URAQT,” which employs a Quincy Jones sample that was not cleared in time for inclusion on the U.S. edition.