The daughter of a high-ranking member of the Tamil Tigers, M.l./-\. is a mass of contradictions. But it is the complexity and diversity other experience which inspires her music, finds Kirstin Innes

.l..\. \l;i_\a \lllil‘l;ljj;t\;tlll tm lici li'ientlx l\ a hard \\Hlll;lll tm pin \iH\\ll. .\ltei' a neck spent scheduling; and rescheduling: an intei\ie\\. | lina||_\ caught up

\xith hei iii \lilittcapmh\. a hi'iel pause helmi'e she went mn tm \miintlcheck lmi' hei' that night. .\l.|.,\. is in the middle ml the [8 leg; ml a huge \xmrltl tmui' tm lii‘minmtc hei' ;illiim\l iini\ei\al|_\ latitletl \ecmiitl alhuiii. Ail/ti. .\ cmuple mt nights eai'liei' \he'tl pla_\etl I’mi'tlaiitl. \thei‘c mne stain e_\etl hlmggei' just hack li‘mni the calletl hei ‘tlie cmmlext chick nm. [‘L‘lMtll in the lllll\L‘l\L" and said \he ‘cmultl easil) recruit an ai‘in_\ ml .\niei‘ican _\muth i'eath tm iniiip mll aii_\ i‘l'ltkL‘k‘ she [\iillllt'ti :Ili.

‘.\aaaah. inanY 'I‘hat'x aina/iiieT' \he \a_\\. when I tlumle it hack tm hei'. Sm. I take it the alhuin'x gmne \IU\\H prett} \\e|| iii the State\'.’ 'Yeah? I \\;t\ kintl ml surprised. actuall). We keep timing; these \lim\\\ antl [temple keep screaming: and eming: mad. I \iUlhl get it. I reall} tlmn‘t get it. I thmught this alhuin \\a\ much inmi'e ran than the lll'\l mnc. hill the audiences are piling era/)1 dancing: tm it.'

ll \he \llH \mllllti\ ti Itilh‘ I‘ll tIa/L‘ti. ll.\ lk‘c‘atlxc it \\a\n't iiecexsai'il} ineant tm happen this \\;i}. .-\IIHH\[ exei‘_\thing_' thstinctne alimut Ali/ti the nminatlic. hmi‘tlei'lexx inelange ml \xmi‘ltl lltll\lc \t)le\ i'epi‘exentetl mn ahnmxt e\ei'_\ ti'ack. thc \llc‘c'L‘\\lHll ill Lll\k‘|li'l'illlk‘hi\k'\i \ttlt'c‘\ tillc‘l‘lllg guest raps. the \\t\l'iLi-\\C;ll'_\ \tll'c';t\lll perxatling niuch ml the l}i'ical cmntent ere“ mut mt a series Ukilk‘k‘ltlk‘llh.

'I‘\\m _\eai'\ agm. riding hiin mn the success ml .lrii/ui‘. her \tmniping. grime}. tlaiicehall lmatletl and utter|_\ uncminpi‘minixing tlehut. _\l.|_.\. ai‘i‘i\etl in .‘\lllc‘l‘l\';t. She \\a\ latlen \\ith in\itatimn\ tm parties including mne at (in en Stelani's hmuxe‘. she had an apartment in the hippest part ml Bi'mmklm: she \\a\ kiUC tm cut her \ecmntl alhuin \\ ith star-maker pi'mtlucer 'l'iinhalantl. the man single—handed!) i'expmnxihle lmi' the rehahilitatimn ml \ell} I’urtatlm. mexe\ei‘. \he \\a\ reluxetl enti'_\ tm the cmunti‘}.

.\l.l..‘\.\ lather. lainmuxl). is .\i‘ul l’i‘agaxain. the ‘.-\i‘ular' ml hei' lii‘xt alhuin'x title. and a high- i'anking inenilwr ml the ’l‘ainil 'l‘igei'x. the i‘e\mlutimnai'_\ Sri lankan sect. ‘l‘he_\ ‘i'e estranged; alter a chilclhmmtl spent tlmtlging the chi] \\at‘ in Sri lanka and in i‘elugee camps in India. .\1.l..\.\ inmthei'. Kala. inmxetl the lainil_\ hack tm l.UllLlUll. \xhei'e .\la_\ a had been hmrn. \\'hether it “as this cmnnectimn. mi' \xhethei‘ .\l.|..v\.\ m\\n Dries.