M.I.A childhood

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Having spent her early years growing up in war-torn Sri Lanka, M.I.A.’s childhood wasn’t an easy road. She’s been open about living in extreme poverty and having to go into hiding from the Sri Lankan army, but the singer recently revealed to Evening Standard Magazine just how intense those early years were.

“I feel like I should have died a long time ago,” she said, explaining how nothing scares her now after what she went through at such a young age.

“I’m surprised I’m still alive, to be honest. I came from war,” she continued. “When I was growing up I didn’t really think I’d live beyond about 25. I never thought I would be old enough to drive or have a house or raise a child.”

She also took a moment to comment on the backlash she’s received for her recent partnership with H&M for World Recycle Week, saying she appreciated the company for being “brave” as a brand and using their position to address an important environmental issue. She did understand the criticism however, saying, “I’m brown. So the first thing people will say is that brown people make the clothes in the factory — what are you doing repping the other side and not addressing this?”

Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About M.I.A.