Despite his relative youth, and the fact that this is his full-length debut, Mura Masa has already developed an instantly recognisable sound, which presents itself a matter of seconds into the opening track ‘Messy Love’.
mura masa lovesick chords – Mura Masa Concert Tickets
It’s no secret why SoundCloud is going under. Only for Mura Masa fans, that record probably made them cast their minds back to his 2014 track Lotus Eater”. Crossan knows where I’m going with this and gives a sort of exasperated smile. Scrobbling is when tracks the music you listen to and automatically adds it to your music profile.
I remember the last time I won something. A Grammy. It was crazy! I didn’t expect it at all. I was nominated last year and it was big categories like best electronic album. I was nominated as a creative director as well, which I really liked, for the album packaging. I really gave a shit about those and I lost both. Then this year I was up for best remix, which is still a really cool category. I loved the remix that was nominated, the one I did for Haim. So the first year I’d gone with this massive expectation of, This is so cool, I might win a Grammy.” And then the next year I thought, I know how this goes, you show up in a suit and you lose and then you go and drink some alcohol. But the time that I didn’t give any shits was the time I won.
The musician, whose real name is Alex Crossan, talked to the BBC from the flatshare in Brighton where he records all of his music. Mura Masa twists and turns over 13 tracks and boasts an impressive range of featured artists, from A$AP Rocky to Charli XCX, Damon Albarn to Christine and the Queens.
How amazing are the dancers in Love For That? We auditioned a bunch of dancers, then we had a whole day where we ran through the choreography. It was my idea that one, I wrote the treatment for it. Not really sure where the idea came from actually, it seemed to just kind of fit with the song. It made sense to play around with ideas of how you dance to electronic music, and young love.
Mura Masa rarely looked out at the audience, instead gazing intently at his drums or mixer. He remarked upon the show-biz expression The show must go on,” explaining that everything was going wrong with the set on the green stage. Few would have noticed had he said nothing, making the interjection strange given that he said little else. Nonetheless, while the massive displays flanking each side of the stage zeroed in on him, he played percussion impressionably, immersed in his music.
Cherry-picking elements from hip hop and electronic music, Crossan blends them with lo-fi, oriental-influenced beats to create thoroughly modern downcast, glitchy bedroom pop. Exotic elements such as thumb piano, flutes, and bells float through his seductive haze, with songs intricately constructed from the ground up. The cold, metallic sheen often associated with laptop artists who play with loops and samples is conspicuous by its absence; in its place there’s a warm, organic feel to his experimental soundscapes, and the sense they’ve been laboriously knitted together, piece by piece.
In both music and lyrics, Mura Masa” is an album full of approach and evasion, of connections that are tantalizingly tentative. What if I Go,” with vocals from Bonzai, starts with what promises to be a hip-hop beat, but by midway through the first verse, it has fallen away, leaving her to sing over a simple ticking beat and pointillistic chords; she insists, Wherever you go, I’m going with you, babe,” but it’s unclear whether she’ll get the chance. Second 2 None,” sung by Christine and the Queens (a.k.a. Héloïse Letissier), is even sparser, a heartbreak song that may be an elegy, with countermelodies in flutes and steel drums appearing and vanishing around Ms. Letissier’s voice.
He’s just released a song with Clairo, which he reveals is the first song off his second album. The two met when she was in Rostam’s studio recording her debut album ‘Immunity’ , and discovered they were both big fans of each other’s music. This led to them teaming up for ‘I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again’ a driving cut of the producer’s trademark electronic, only this time it’s amped up with roaring guitar riffs and overdriven synths.
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Mura Masa is set to headline the BBC Radio 1 stage at Reading & Leeds Festival this weekend, and he’ll appear at Pitchfork Paris later this year. He’ll also perform at Manchester Warehouse Project with a lineup that he curated, featuring Black Midi, Nao, Joy Orbison, Jadu Heart and more.
Perhaps part of Mura Masa’s success comes from how he seems to approach each song individually – each has its own stamp which is partly down to having a different voice, but also because he finds inspiration outside of the Top 40.
The best way I could describe Brighton, where I’m currently living, is that it’s like a London, but on the sea. Very relaxed, trendy, cultural. It’s a cool place. Brighton tends to have a lot of indie-rock and punk music, that kind of thing. There’s a big reggae scene here as well. However, I don’t really spend that much time here as I’m always touring around, and in London a lot, doing meetings, and in studios. Actually, I’d say I feel more a part of the London music scene than the Brighton one.
The unknown quantities just edge out the famous, however. Recently unveiled, a bassy bouncer of a track called Helpline features the emerging 21-year-old Tom Tripp Bemoaning his sobriety, the loss of his phone and the lack of funds in his NatWest account, Tripp is a keeper – and proof that Mura Masa isn’t just a mercurial talent, but a talent scout too.
I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again” opens as a subtle acoustic number with warped synths and Clairo’s velvety vocals, but slowly evolves into a glitchy dance track with electric guitar flourishes. Mura Masa’s production know-how and genre-hopping abilities always keep listeners on their toes, and this new single opens an exciting gateway into indie-dance music.
Most of the time I was really lucky with the shows I’ve had so far. To not have an album out is very contentious but I’m pretty pleased with what I managed to achieve. Coachella this year was probably the best show I’ve ever played. When Rocky came out it was like Michael Jackson had appeared – people were climbing over each other just to get near him.
Quite the opposite for the SoundCloud producer. While the site is itself a proving ground, what is being proven and by whom remains rather nebulous; a label deal (i.e., the path toward release of an album proper) brings with it a formalized set of strategies and structural cues (from sequencing to lead single selection) that are plainly antithetical to the way in which so many found an audience on SoundCloud. It’s a world in which the listener’s default stance is assumed to be suspicion, rather than curiosity. Consequently, the artist’s goal of pure enticement is marred by an element of trickery.
Fast forward to present day, Ashleigh is focused on her path as DJ, and says she merely wants to share the music she loves with the world. 2017 saw her turn in show-stopping work for DISCWOMAN, the now infamous Black Girls Like Techno Too” session for Honey Soundsystem, a guest spot on Josey Rebelle’s taste-making Rinse FM show, and most recently, a monthly slot on NTS Radio. In addition to headlining her popular event series “Expressions” alongside Stefan Ringer, she also just made her festival debut at AfroPunk Atlanta, playing alongside the likes of Tricky and Willow Smith. A journalism lover since youth, Ash runs a blog called Underground and Black”, where she discusses various topics, including her experiences being a black woman in dance music. The Detroit native is a fresh and energetic voice; a passionate ambassador of one of America’s few homegrown music traditions, and her Underground and Black” vision is shaping the fabric of contemporary club culture.
Living in London, basically because I come from a super small place called Guernsey, and it’s just like all white people and there is no electronic music or clubs. There’s nothing. So moving to London from that was just like finally there are all types of people all cultures. In that sense, the albums very expansive genre wise. Mainly living in London, really.
Growing up on video games like Pokémon and martial arts movies he began bringing woodwind sounds into his music. So while the use of the flute or panpipe in modern music is nothing new, it hadn’t made many notable appearances since the 00’s until Mura Masa began releasing his music.
EDM songwriter and producer Mura Masa’s eclectic techno beats and melodies are often enhanced by other artists’ vocals, as is the case with his most popular track: Love$ick,” featuring A$AP Rocky. At his Boston Calling performance on Friday afternoon, touring singer Bonzai, now known as Cosha, stole the show with her vivid stage presence. Mura Masa offered an applaudable performance with a series of coveted tracks, but in part due to his main role as an instrumentalist and DJ and in part due to a perhaps more stage-shy personality, he receded into the background while Bonzai made the show worthwhile.
While Mura Masa’s performance was not particularly groundbreaking or unconventional, often settling into the role of accompanist for Bonzai’s vivacious performance, he offered a likeable show featuring his most notable discography.
PAPER sat down with Crossan to chat about his new music — while continuing to defy pop boundaries, he’s exploring more punk roots these days, in line with the world’s fraught political climate and ongoing digital obsessions — being in the driver’s seat, meeting your idols, and the difficulty of writing “easy” pop. Read on and stream his new single with R&B auteur Nao, “Complicated,” below.
How do you spend your time as a teenager growing up on the tiny island of Guernsey located off the coast of France ( here! )? Easy, you drop some beats on Soundcloud and watch the magic unfold! Four years later you’ve notched up two Grammy nominations, and you’re in the studio with the likes of A$AP Rocky, NAO, Charli XCX and Damon Albarn.
For definite. I didn’t start writing my debut album until I’d sorted the cover art. It’s an intrinsic part of the whole process. The first music I really loved was Gorillaz and I think the way the visuals played into the music and told a story was very important to me.
Bonzai performs with DJ Mura Masa at the 2019 Boston Calling Music Festival. People don’t always realize how hard it is to write a pop song. Mura Masa’s estimated net worth in 2019 is $100,000 – $1M. It’s been a long time since Mura Masa did what he refers to as a proper release”.
I had a little of an online following, like just from my bedroom. And I remember going to my hairdresser at the time and my hairdresser was like a DJ, and I told him I made music, and had a Soundcloud with 10,000 followers or something and he was like “cool, where did you buy the followers” and I told him I didn’t, which is true. And as soon as I started thinking about music-making as an opportunity to make a living, it seemed obvious to me that getting a manager and moving away from my home, and getting closer to the culture I wanted to be part of were the only logical next steps. That, and ejecting myself from being on the Internet, because so many people get trapped into that. Like, you’re viral and have 100 million views but when you put a show on, you can’t sell 20 tickets.
It’s not just an album that flows seamlessly between styles, but also one with impeccable balance. There’s room for one of the best pop songs of the year – the Charli XCX collab ‘1 Night’ absolutely nailing the dancehall-infused-pop-banger brief that so many have failed to hit – but also ample space for tenderness, delicacy and soul (especially on the two closing tracks).