The title track of M.I.A.'s fourth album is named after the Hindu goddess of music and learning. It's also a riff on her birth name, Mathangi. After releasing the challenging, abrasive /\/\ /\ Y /\, M.I.A. felt that she needed to change her creative process before recording again. "It was becoming really saturated and predictable," she told Billboard magazine. "I wanted to break out of it."
During a Google search for parrots, M.I.A. came across the parrot green-colored Matangi. She learned that her birth name is derived from the Hindu goddess who represents the expression of inner knowledge, including art and music. "Suddenly it was like, 'OK, I'm going to make this album for Matangi,'" she said. "I found a whole new way of looking at [music] -- somebody saying it's so important they made a goddess for it who protected the meaning of music, the frequencies, the sonics. To learn about that and take it out of the context I'm in, it was pretty dope. It's making music without treating it as a business or as a game or as a competition."