At 21 years old, Alex Crossman, better known as Mura Masa, has already mastered the art of producing electronic music. Although he is now known for his music production, songwriting skills, and his ability to professionally play several instruments, Mura Masa was not always interested in this vain of music.
While living in Guernsey, a small island between England and France where the DJ was born and raised, Mura Masa joined several punk, hardcore, and even gospel bands, where he would sing, and/or play an instrument. He only found his passion for electronic music a little later, at age 16, when he discovered what Ableton Live was (hardware & software which allows for virtual music production).
It was at that point that everything changed for Mura Masa. Since his discovery, he started producing tracks and uploading them to Soundcloud. It is then that his song, “Lotus Eater” was discovered and picked up to be played on radio shows including BBC Radio 1 with Zane Low, Phil Taggart and Annie Mac. AMAZING!
In 2014, he released his mixtape, Soundtrack to a Death, on Soundcloud, before moving to England in 2015, to pursue his studies in English Literature at the University of Sussex. There, he also began playing live shows, which most of the time were sold out. 🎉 So proud.
Now, where does his influence and inspiration come from, you may ask? Mura Masa says his interest in music began when he first heard of Hudson Mohawke and was inspired by Gorillaz and The Smiths. He started learning how to play instruments and writing music soon after. His family was also a major influence. His father played in a rock band throughout the early 1980s and, as Mura Masa says in an interview with Rolling Stone, he showed him “how to be a mindful musician”. Mura Masa continues with:
“He told me that music is so much more about what you aren’t playing than what you are; silence and space are so important.”
In 2015, one year after his mixtape release, Mura Masa put out an EP, titled Someday Somewhere, which features vocals from Nao, Denai Moore and Jay Prince. In 2016, he released a stand-alone track titled “Love$ick”, which features A$AP Rocky. This track has garnered over 29 MILLION plays on YouTube, and ultimately claimed the #1 spot on both the UK and USA Spotify “Viral Charts”. Woohoo!!
Fast forward to 2017, where Mura Masa now has an array of collaborations under his belt. Not only did he co-write “First Things First”, which appeared on Stormzy’s album and ultimately entered the UK Albums Chart at #1, but he also released his own track, “1 Night”, on which he collaborates with Charlie XCX. On that, he says:
“I think I just had that beat lying around for a while and we sent it to a couple of people. Then Charlie just did her thing.”
INCREDIBLE how things just work out sometimes, eh?
Mura Masa ft. Charlie XCX – “1 Night”
On his sound, Mura Masa says:
“I intentionally didn’t change the process so that it remained authentic, sounding like I made it in my bedroom,” he said. “That’s what’s been my bedrock, my style, that lonely bedroom sound. I decided to keep that exactly the same.”
Sticking to his roots – we loveeee! ❤️️
On his self-titled album which was recently released, you’ll see collaborations with artists such as Nao, Charlie XCX, Desiigner and more. Mura Masa says:
“I chose not to restrict myself in any way when making the record, to take influence from wherever I saw fit, to try and include people from all over. What I try to do as Mura Masa involves any kind of voice. I wouldn’t limit myself to any one genre or person. It could be anyone.”
You can listen to the entire album below:
Mura Masa – Mura Masa
Plus, catch him on tour this Fall at one of his stops at a city near you:
What do you think of this electronic music producer? Let us know your thoughts by commenting/reacting below or, tweeting us @umusic! 🙂