ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

Defying isolation

Artist overcomes lack of diversity

Sometimes, the biggest sounds come from the smallest places. This is certainly true for Mura Masa, an indie electronic music artist born on the island of Guernsey, a small island located in the English Channel with fewer than 70,000 residents. Despite this, Alex Crossan (as he was known before his Mura Masa project) didn’t let this small island isolate him from the world of music. After picking up guitar, bass, and the drums at a young age, he started producing at 16. Just two years later, he released his first full length project known as Soundtrack To A Death.

Not much usually comes from an artist’s very first LP, but Crossan released what is one of the most unique albums this reviewer has ever heard. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Shortly after releasing Soundtrack To A Death, a single from the album, “Lotus Eater,” was picked up by BBC Radio 1. Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Huw Stephens, and Phil Taggart all played the song on their shows.

The song “Lotus Eater” is perhaps one of the most unique and beautiful songs I’ve heard. It delightfully combines modern elements of trap music, like 4×4 claps and heavy hitting bass, with classic instruments and oriental influences. But perhaps my favorite song off the LP is “I’ve Never Felt So Good”, which serves as the concluding track on the record. Gorgeous drum patterns and piano layer over a grieving and remorseful vocal sample. The tone is a somber one, not soon forgotten.

As a follow-up to a stellar LP, Crossan released Someday Somewhere EP in April 2015. As a general rule, the best music is made with emotion. The emotion helps the listener truly feel what the producer was going through. Crossan’s recent breakup can be felt with just one listen. “I recently went through my first really terrifying breakup, and I can’t express how powerful that is for me,” he stated in an interview with The Guardian. “It’s not something to be shy of or try and avoid; catharsis is so healthy. I feel like a lot of really seminal records come from being deeply upset.” The awareness has led to a phenomenal EP, highlighted by songs such as “Are U There?” and “Lovesick Fuck”. “Are U There” starts off slow and builds into a gorgeous combination of vocals and synths. “Lovesick Fuck”, on the other hand, starts off strong and never lets up. Just one listen to this track and it will be hard to stop hearing the infectious melody and catchy vocals.

Luckily, Crossan isn’t near the end of his musical journey as Mura Masa. Just last October, Crossan released what appears to be the first single from his sophomore LP. The single, “Love For That (feat. Shura)”, features a beautiful violin lead that transitions into a plucky, emotional R&B/electronic track. Accompanied with a meaningful and extremely well produced music video, “Love For That (feat. Shura)” is a strong opener for his next record.

It’s hard to tell exactly what direction this wunderkind will go next, but this reviewer is extremely excited for what is to come.

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