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The Meaning Behind The Song: Time Traveller by M.I.A.

The Meaning Behind The Song: Time Traveller by M.I.A.

As a music teacher, I am always on the lookout for unique and captivating songs to introduce to my students. One day, while browsing through a playlist, I stumbled upon a track titled “Time Traveller” by M.I.A. Little did I know that this song would not only captivate my students but also leave a lasting impact on me.

I remember playing “Time Traveller” for the first time in my classroom. The catchy beats and intriguing lyrics instantly caught the attention of my students. They were curious to know the meaning behind the song, and we started discussing its deeper layers.

The song opens with the lines, “No matter what you hit on, make sure you don’t slip on. Anything that made you get a bad trip on.” These lyrics emphasize the importance of being mindful and cautious in life, avoiding anything that may lead to negative experiences or outcomes. It serves as a reminder to always stay grounded and make wise decisions.

The chorus of the song, “Gonna go nirvana, driving in my vimaana,” holds a deeper meaning. “Nirvana” refers to a transcendent state of bliss and liberation in Buddhist philosophy. In this context, it represents the pursuit of personal enlightenment and reaching a state of true happiness. The mention of “vimaana,” a mythical flying vehicle in ancient Indian texts, symbolizes the journey towards self-discovery and growth.

Throughout the song, M.I.A. incorporates references to various cultures and historical figures. She mentions Ali Baba, a character from Arabian folklore, and Sita and Rama, central figures in the Hindu epic Ramayana. These references highlight the song’s universal theme of exploration and the search for identity, regardless of cultural or historical background.

The lyrics also hint at the concept of time travel. M.I.A. describes herself as a “time traveller” and talks about being at the “centre of a nebula,” referencing the vastness of the universe. This imagery suggests a desire to break free from the constraints of time and space, exploring different dimensions and possibilities.

As I delved deeper into the song’s meaning, I couldn’t help but connect it to my own experiences. Just like M.I.A., I consider myself a traveller on a musical journey. Exploring different genres, styles, and cultures has allowed me to expand my horizons and connect with my students on a deeper level. “Time Traveller” reminded me of the power of music to transport us to different places and time periods.

The production of this track by Pharrell Williams and Bobby Raps is noteworthy. The fusion of various elements, including synthwave, synth-pop, and experimental hip-hop, creates a unique sonic experience that complements the song’s theme of exploration and discovery. The catchy melodies and infectious beats make it an instant earworm.

In conclusion, “Time Traveller” by M.I.A. is a thought-provoking song that encourages us to embrace our adventurous spirit and seek personal enlightenment. It serves as a reminder to be mindful of our choices and always strive for growth. As a music teacher, this song has not only provided me with a valuable teaching tool but also reminded me of the profound impact that music can have on our lives. So let’s embark on this journey together, and remember, we are all time travellers in our own unique way.

Stay tuned for more music-related insights and discoveries!

Song Credits:

  • Produced By Pharrell Williams & Bobby Raps
  • Written By M.I.A., Pharrell Williams & Bobby Raps
  • A&R Hill Coulson
  • Mastering Engineer Mike Bozzi
  • Assistant Mixing Engineer Trey Station, Zach Pereyra & Anthony Vilchis
  • Programming Engineer Mike Larson
  • Mixing Engineer Manny Marroquin
  • Assistant Recording Engineer Daryl Johnson, Maher Woo-Shear & Nicola Pulvirenti
  • Recording Engineer Mike Larson
  • Release Date: October 14, 2022


Pop, Rap, Synthwave, Synth-Pop, Electro-Hop, House, Hard House, Garage House, Tropical House, Electro House, Bounce, Electronic, Trap, Experimental, Experimental Hip-Hop, Experimental Pop, World Music, Electronic, Electro-Pop, UK Dance, Alternative Pop, Alternative Dance, Alternative, Dance-Pop, Moombahton, Hip-Hop, Pop Rap, Dancehall

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