Jimmy (3:27)

Cover of The Bang Gang Deejays 'D Is For Disco, E Is For Dancing'

From The Bang Gang Deejays 'D Is For Disco, E Is For Dancing' and 3 other releases

Jimmy is the second single from experimental electronica rap artist M.I.A.’s second album Kala (2007), and her first single from the album in Japan. The song was written and produced by Maya Arulpragasam and Switch and released in late July, 2007.

“Jimmy” is a cover of the song “Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja” sung by Parvati Khan in Hindi from the 1982 Bollywood movie Disco Dancer, written by Bappi Lahiri. “Jimmy” features different orchestration and beats from the previous version, and original English lyrics written by Arulpragasam. M.I.A. performed the track on BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2007.

The single was released in the UK on October 1 in CD single, 7” and 12” formats. In February 2008 the single began to gain traction on the US dance charts, peaking at #28 after five weeks on the chart.

M.I.A. explained that “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja” was a track she used to dance to when she was a child. “My mum used to hire me out when I was a kid as a party buffer. It was my track that I used to do my routine to. I had a little tape recorder, and a cloak and a cardboard cut out guitar, and that was my joint.” Describing the recording and writing processes, she revealed that she had already recorded the strings and other parts of the song in India, but initially didn’t attempt to do “Jimmy” when she was with co-producer Switch, explaining “I had to be drunk enough to be that disco. It all came together that week.” Arulpragasam wrote the song about an invitation she received from the journalist Ben Anderson while working in Liberia, to meet him whilst covering a genocide tour. The 70’s disco-pop style of the song stands in marked contrast with other songs on Kala.

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