Until December last year music was simply a hobby for Alex Crossan, aka Mura Masa. He may have had 7 million plays and 30,000 followers on Soundcloud but the 18 year old Channel Islander had never played his music live, DJ’d or even been to a gig himself. He had just started an English degree at Sussex University and was happy playing guitar and bass in function bands.
It was an email from Jakarta Records that changed everything. The Cologne-based label (previously home to Kaytranada, Iamnobodi and Sango) felt Mura Masa’s mixtape ‘Soundtrack To A Death’ was too good to sit on Soundcloud and persuaded him to release it with them.
The following 3 months were a whirlwind, with 30 spins on Radio 1, a sold out debut show & a top 5 position on the itunes electronic chart in the UK and US. At one point Mura Masa had 4 tracks in the HypeMachine top 50 and remix requests from Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, RL Grime and iLoveMakonnen in his inbox, whilst still juggling his degree.
So as Mura Masa prepares for his first official EP release the stakes are very different and he has upped his game accordingly. As well as the sampling for which he known, Mura Masa plays live piano, guitar, drums and even sings on Someday Somewhere. He is keen to show that he is a musician and songwriter as well as a beat-maker and has called on new friends Nao, Denai Moore and Jay Prince to feature on tracks.
Paul Epworth (Producer for Bloc Party, Adele, Santogold): “That 18 year old is taking over the world right now and he’s just delivering the most deeply textured music around, we have got such a talent on our hands in the form of Mura Masa and i think the UK has finally got our very own Kaytranada and it’s not beyond him to overtake that, so good, ridiculous….”