M.I.A. follows curators such as David Bowie, Yoko Ono and Massive Attack.
M.I.A. is the latest in a long list of respected artists to curate the line-up for the London festival since it launched 25 years ago, including David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker, Massive Attack, Morrissey, David Byrne, Yoko Ono and Patti Smith.
No line-up details have been announced, but in a press release the artist hinted that the musical program will delve into the themes of borders and refugees central to her recent album AIM.
“For me this Meltdown will be about putting on a musical week that shows different types of music which have inspired each other to exist,” she said. “Genres that support other genres, redefining the concept of a melting pot. Respect the history, don’t live in it. I plan to bring together music’s best forward thinkers who have contributed to all our lives. When music acts as inspiration, it’s boundary-less.”
Jude Kelly, the Southbank Centre’s artistic director, said: “It’s not often that we encounter such an unbridled creative force, excelling in whichever field they try their hand.
“M.I.A. has not just broken barriers as a musician, creating music that is embraced the world over, but she has made art her rallying cry – and has stayed true to her conviction, as an artist, woman and citizen of the world.”
M.I.A.’s choice as curator of Meltdown 2017 could raise some eyebrows. Last year, she was selected to headline London’s first Afropunk Festival, but was dropped after she made controversial statements about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Meltdown Festival 2017’s full line-up will be revealed in the coming months. For more information on how to secure tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website.