In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the rapper revealed that she recruited the singer for "Freedun," a track off her upcoming album A.I.M. And true to the times, the duo created the song via a mobile app.
Speaking from India, M.I.A. said, "That's the song we mastered yesterday. We just basically did it while I was here, because I've been here for a week-and-a-half. We've just been going back and forth on, you know, WhatsApp."
On how they formed their initial bond, M.I.A. said, "We have the same publishers and they wanted me to demo some songs for Zayn. Before I started writing properly my own stuff [for A.I.M.], I was thinking maybe I’ll write for other people instead. I really wanted to write a song for Zayn….We had a couple people in common. And that’s how it came about. I didn’t really approach him for my own record until later on. First, I thought I wanted to try writing a song for him.”