There are five known artists under this name: (1) Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, a British alternative dance musician and graphic artist of Tamil descent. (2) An 80’s American punk/hardcore band (3) An Argentinian progressive folk collective (4) An alias of Raphael Merriweathers Jr. (5) An alias of Michaela Grobelny (1) Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, (born 17 July 1977 in Hounslow, London, U.K.) is a British artist of Sri Lankan descent. As a baby she moved with her family to their native Sri Lanka, where her father became increasingly politically active in militant activities. As the Civil War escalated the rest of the family was forced to flee as refugees, first to India and then the UK. “M.I.A.” [“Missing In Action”] references both her London neighborhood (Acton) and her politically tumultuous youth. Her style contains elements of hip-hop, reggae, alternative, dance hall, electro and baile funk and is strongly inspired by her Sri Lankan background. (2) American Punk/Hardcore band formed in Orange County, CA in 1981 by Chris Moon, drums; Mike Conley, bass; Nick Adams, guitar (all previously of Las Vegas, NV punk band The Swell); and Art Carasco, vocals. Their sound was generally hardcore and thrasher, though they produced more melodic and progressive sounds in their later albums. Allmusic called the band "one of the 50 best So-Cal punk bands of the great early-'80s second wave explosion. In 1984 they signed a deal with the cult Alternative Tentacles label, after the label's founder, Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, saw them play at a secret illegal punk nightclub in Las Vegas. Biafra was impressed by Mike Conley's distinctive voice, saying "The minute you hear a song with him singing you know it's him." They released the album Murder in a Foreign Place on Alternative Tentacles in 1984, followed in 1985 by Notes From the Underground on National Trust Records, and in 1987 by After the Fact on Flipside Records. The band split up in 1988. In 2001, Alternative Tentacles released Lost Boys, a 37-song retrospective of the band's work, including Last Rites, Murder in a Foreign Place, and several additional tracks. On February 28, 2008 vocalist Mike Conley was found dead in a Chicago hotel parking lot. Conley was taken to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, where he was pronounced dead at 6:25 a.m. On April 27, 2008, there was a secret warm-up show at Detroit Bar featuring Todd Sampson of Self Abuse and Samson's Army on vocals, Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys on guest vocals, Chris Moon and Larry Pearson on drums, Nick Adams on guitar, and Bob Thomson on bass. The next day, the "Beautiful Noise" benefit show took place at the Anaheim House of Blues with Jigsaw, Naked Soul, Cadillac Tramps, Social Distortion and MIA with the same lineup as the previous night, but adding Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds on guest vocals. The proceeds of "Beautiful Noise" went to Mike Conley's family. (3) Formed in the mid 70s, Independent Musicians Associated (MIA) was a group of musicians, technicians and drawers gathered together by Lito and Liliana Vitale’s parents. They produced their own records and concerts in an independent way. Their music is a complex symphonic rock with definite Argentinean/latin folk influence with multiple chorals and vocals beautifully contrasting with the keyboards and a great guitar sound upon a strong rhythmic section. They were highly influenced by symphonic music, more noteworthy by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Gentle Giant and Focus. (4) Merriweathers is a member of Underground Resistance under the alias of The Unknown Soldier. (5) mia's page (Michaela Grobelny). User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.
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