I grew up pretty isolated in Guernsey, which isn’t exactly the throbbing heart of club music, so a lot of the music I heard was online, and I was open to more influences than I guess if I’d grown up in inner-London or whatever.
mura masa i don't think i can do this again lyrics – Mura Masa Makes Complicated Music Sound Easy
Mura Masa tells me about growing up in Guernsey and making club music without clubs. Mura Masa’s electronic music style is complemented by beautiful production his music videos, such as the stereoscopic cinematography in What If I Go.” The videos feature streetwear-clad young people across scenes of urban storefronts and subway interiors. His album cover art, such as that of his latest album Mura Masa,” additionally accents a distinctive font and modernistic graphics. A horizontal display across the back of the stage flashed snippets of each track’s corresponding music video, sometimes artfully cropped and sliding across the display. Flashes of the song title in black on a white background, then inverted, accompanied What If I Go” and Love$ick” in Mura Masa’s signature print.
Mura Masa rarely looked out at the audience, instead gazing intently at his drums or mixer. He remarked upon the show-biz expression The show must go on,” explaining that everything was going wrong with the set on the green stage. Few would have noticed had he said nothing, making the interjection strange given that he said little else. Nonetheless, while the massive displays flanking each side of the stage zeroed in on him, he played percussion impressionably, immersed in his music.
At gigs, I don’t have a band onstage with me, but I try and hop around from instrument to instrument myself. I do a little bit of drumming live, and sing, and play keyboard, there’s even a bit of guitar in there Crossan is a self-taught guitarist and violinist. I’ve got this girl Bonzai who sings with me as well. Or if we’re in London, and NAO or Denai Moore Mura Masa’s female vocal collaborators are around, they’ll come along and do their bits.
It’s a term bandied about a lot these days, but Mura Masa is the only British artist other than James Blake to have really raised the bar when it comes to bedroom producers” becoming pop stars. Born on the island of Guernsey, the 23-year-old (real name Alex Crossan), started producing electronic music at 15 and by 21 was a global name thanks to his mega-hit Lovesick” featuring A$AP Rocky. His success, quite simply, is by virtue of being astonishingly talented, with the features on his eponymous debut album – think Damon Albarn, Christine And The Queens and Charli XCX as well as Rocky – proving a case in point. Beyond his own projects, Crossan has also been tapped by other artists, producing for the likes of Stormzy and Slowthai, as well as remixing tracks for everyone from Octavian to Haim, the latter for which he won a Grammy.
I was in a punk band at the time that was the only scene that was really around in Guernsey, hard core and punk. At the same time, I was spending a lot of time on the internet during the birth of like YouTube and Soundcloud. That’s how I got into electronic music. It’s because there was none of that around me, so I had to see it through the Internet. That, and I guess the idea of the curatorial role in music, you can create something using a lot of resources, that’s what kind of got my interest.
Musically, Crossan is just as fierce as his stage name might suggest, albeit more approachable. He paints bright, buoyant pictures onto the bigger canvas of left-of-center R&B, fusing muscular electronic arrangements and deep house grooves with the accessibility of pop.
I think so. If you grew up in London’s East End you’d probably be inclined to be into something like grime music. But if you’re removed from it, like in Guernsey, you can have a wider set of influences, and you’re not tied down to any genre or any scene. I think that affects my sound, for sure.
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.
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.
The story of Mura Masa is one to remind people that there’s still room for optimism about the “internet generation.” Only just out of his teens, Alex Crossan has shown how someone with an appetite for knowledge, even if their upbringing has been isolated, can make full use of having the world at their fingertips without getting overwhelmed by “too much information.” Not only that, but again and again he’s proving that it’s possible parlay the myriad of potential influences that are available to anyone with a broadband connection into something unique, future-facing and accidentally popular. Like, over 200 million streams popular.
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.
This clear sonic identity, however, does not result in repetitiveness or predictability. Every track on his self-titled debut draws from a broad palette of styles without ever being derivative; whether that’s the obvious Prince influence on ‘Nothing Else’ or the more subtle Eski click sounds and jungle snare-rolls on ‘Second 2 None’.
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.
With headliners like that you need variety elsewhere. Enter multifarious bassist Joy Orbison, micro-garage flag-bearer Jacques Greene and the pirate radio inspired riddims of Special Request. Manchester’s Space Afrika combine spatial ambience with imposing, atmospheric leftfield-techno, positioning them as one of the city’s most exciting new prospects. Similarly interested in sparse but unarguably beautiful soundscapes, Vegyn has grown into an alternative electronic bellwether via his own PLZ Make It Ruins label. Then there’s TSHA; one to watch for fans of Four Tet and Jon Hopkins. Put simply, intelligent homegrown boundary pushers in abundance.
Alex Crossan (born 5 April 1996), also known by the stage name Mura Masa, is a Guernsey-born electronic music producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Crossan is perhaps best known for his song “Lovesick”, which reached number one on the Spotify Viral charts in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The attention is warranted. In the words of MixMag, this kid is terrifyingly talented” – his deft combination of heartfelt lyrics, glitchy-tropical electronic beats and his broad spectrum of instrument usage (Asian flutes, even, the parts for which Crossan writes himself, because he’s one of those plays-every-instrument geniuses) definitely made his work stand out amongst the more homogenous electronic productions out there right now. The producer self-describes his style as: taking everything I love about hip hop and electronic music and mashing it together in the setting of lo-fi, oriental-influenced beat music”.
It gets harder every second for an artist to nail their own signature sound. With every bedroom bleepist tinkering away on Ableton, and with every track that goes up on SoundCloud – there are around 120m on there, as the platform wobbled financially earlier this week – the fewer niches there are to exploit.
Bonzai, featured on his tracks What If I Go?” and Nuggets,” exhibited vocal prowess in her range and ability hold notes endlessly, but was too heavily autotuned on tracks such as 1 Night,” whose original version features Charli XCX. Bonzai, a natural performer, affirmed her enjoyment of the power of the stage, her expression strained by heartfelt singing but always coming back to a smile. She danced incessantly in a style inspired by hip-hop and perhaps other genres like dancehall while whipping her braids and making use of the entire stage, bringing an energy unparalleled by other festival acts. As she sang Are U There?,” she asked the right side of the stage, Are you here with me?” and then the left, involving the audience seamlessly via the lyrics of the song without the irksome How are you, Boston?” calls heard at too many festival sets.
Mura Masa’s electronic music style is complemented by beautiful production his music videos, such as the stereoscopic cinematography in What If I Go.” The videos feature streetwear-clad young people across scenes of urban storefronts and subway interiors. His album cover art, such as that of his latest album Mura Masa,” additionally accents a distinctive font and modernistic graphics. A horizontal display across the back of the stage flashed snippets of each track’s corresponding music video, sometimes artfully cropped and sliding across the display. Flashes of the song title in black on a white background, then inverted, accompanied What If I Go” and Love$ick” in Mura Masa’s signature print.
I put out a mix tape at the end of last year called Soundtrack To A Death and it was just a beat tape – but Jo Whiley played it on Radio 2, and then Huw Stephens made it album of the week on Radio 1. It was all very strange.