How to Learn Singing “Paper Planes” from M.I.A.

How to Learn Singing “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.

Learning how to sing a particular song can be an exciting and rewarding experience. In this article, we will guide you through the process of learning to sing “Paper Planes” by M.I.A. This iconic song combines catchy melodies, unique vocal technique, and thought-provoking lyrics. We will explore the vocal technique used in the song and provide practical advice on how to master it. Additionally, we will mention other popular songs that employ a similar vocal technique.

The Unique Vocal Technique in “Paper Planes”

One of the distinctive aspects of “Paper Planes” is the use of a technique known as “vocal distortion.” This technique adds a gritty and raw quality to the vocals, creating a distinctive sound. It is commonly associated with genres like hip-hop and alternative music. M.I.A. skillfully intertwines this vocal distortion with her unique style, resulting in a captivating performance.

To learn this vocal technique, it is essential to understand the mechanics behind it. We recommend reading our article on vocal distortion for a more in-depth explanation. It provides valuable insights into the different types of vocal distortion and tips on how to achieve them effectively.

Practical Advice for Learning “Paper Planes”

Now that we have explored the vocal technique used in “Paper Planes,” let’s dive into the practical steps to learn the song effectively:

  1. Analyze Your Voice: Before starting, it is crucial to analyze your own voice. Take our vocal range test to understand your vocal capabilities and determine if the song suits your range.
  2. Warm-up Your Voice: Begin each practice session with a proper warm-up to prepare your vocal cords. Consider using the Pitch Training – Educational Singing Game on Singing Carrots as a comprehensive warm-up tool.
  3. Listen and Memorize: Listen to the original song multiple times to familiarize yourself with the melody, rhythm, and phrasing. Memorize the lyrics to sing along more easily.
  4. Breath Control: Pay attention to your breathing technique. Check out our article on breath support for helpful tips on how to improve your breath control while singing.
  5. Experiment with Vocal Distortion: Practice adding the vocal distortion technique to your performance gradually. Start by imitating M.I.A.’s style and gradually make it your own.
  6. Record Yourself: Record your practice sessions to listen back and assess your progress. Use our Vocal Pitch Monitor to visualize and analyze your sung notes.

Related Songs Using Similar Vocal Technique

“Paper Planes” is not the only song that features vocal distortion. Explore these popular songs to expand your repertoire and further develop your skills:

  • “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes
  • “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day
  • “Royals” by Lorde

These songs provide great examples of how vocal distortion can be used creatively to enhance a performance.


Learning to sing “Paper Planes” requires dedication, practice, and a firm grasp of vocal technique. By following the practical advice and utilizing the resources available on Singing Carrots, you can master this unique song and expand your vocal capabilities. Enjoy the process, embrace your individuality, and let your voice take flight with “Paper Planes”!