IN CONVERSATION WITH: MURA MASAApril 8, 2016
Mura Masa aka Alex Crossan, at twenty-years-old has already been named One to Watch for the year by the likes of BBC Sound Poll, Spotify and Apple. His electro pop is instantaneously lovable and his debut EP has been on repeat since we got our paws on it. Having collaboarted with the likes of Shura, NAO and Jay Prince, his latest release ‘What If I Go’ (ft. Bonzai) is another lick of electronic deliciousness. We caught up with him about musical influences, his upcoming debut album and about playing one of our favourite summer festivals, Field Day.
UO: Do you come from a musical background, or is music something you discovered on your own?
My parents were super into their music whilst bringing me up. My dad was a mean slap bassist, so he taught me that side of it. There was always a lot of music playing in the house and the car while I was growing up.
UO: How do you think growing up in Guernsey had an effect on the music you make?
I think it made me lean on the internet a lot more for influence, meaning I’ve ended up with quite an odd signature. There’s a little burgeoning music scene in Guernsey but I think I get most of my inspiration from digging around online.
UO: What/who inspires your music?
Lately it’s been photography for some reason. Just looking at the grain and texture of film photos and translating that into the music I guess. In a wider way, Wes Anderson/Tarantino films inspire my music and of course, there’s a lot of good music that’s out there right now which is inspiring me.
UO: Can you walk us through your creative process, from initial idea to finished track?
Sadly I don’t think there is one with me, things just kind of happen how they happen. I’ll normally start with a little idea and then not be able to stop; before I know it I’m up all night and the song will be practically finished.
UO: Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your forthcoming debut album, To Fall Out of Love To?
In a sentence, it’s various points on the timeline of a love story, told from the perspectives of different people in various relationships, expressed through the medium of difficult, challenging music. At first it was about things that have happened to me, but I figured that’s selfish so I’m trying to tell a few other stories now!
UO: You’ve worked with a range of really amazing artists including Shura, Nao and Jay Prince. How does it compare, working on a collab in comparison to something entirely your own?
With almost all the collaborations I’ve done I’ll just do something on my own, work with the person a little bit, and then go off and finish it on my own. So it’s quite a solipsistic process most of the time. I think I just like producing alone where I can’t frustrate anybody by playing the song 1000 times over to check one tiny detail.
UO: What other sets are you looking forward to catching at Field Day?
I’m looking forward to seeing James Blake, DJ Koze, Four Tet, Kelela, Nao, Yeasayer.
UO: What does the rest of 2016 have in store for you?
There’s a lot of crazy stuff with the record label I started, Anchor Point, lots of secret junk I can’t talk about and just a lot more music and vibey vibes.
Check out Mura Masa’s new single ‘What If I Go’ below and catch him play Field Day on 11th June.