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Interview with Mura Masa - acid stag

Interview with Mura Masa

words by Bernie Bolger

We jumped on the line with London producer Mura Masa last week to chat about his upcoming album, his creative influences and his stage-diving techniques – here’s what went down;

Where are you and what are you wearing?
Haha, I’m just in my boxers and I’m lying in bed in Brixton.

Your mixtape, ‘Soundtrack to a Death’, got some decent traction online, then ‘Someday Somewhere’ similarly did that with radio and a much bigger audience. How has this exposure changed the way you make music, if at all?
I’d like to think that it hasn’t changed the way I make music but obviously once you’re aware that people are listening its quite hard not to change anything you do. I’ve tried my best to sort of stay the same, I haven’t bought any new equipment or anything I still just sort of sit in my bedroom and work away on my laptop, so I’d like to think not at all but obviously there’s going to be some differences.

You grew up in Guernsey and moved to Brighton for university. Where are you based now and do you feel an influence of the ‘scene’ at all?
I’m based in London now so I guess I do think that living somewhere like London influences the way you create, whether you’re a musician or an artist or whatever, just because it’s a much bigger community and there’s a much bigger scene here so I think that it’s definitely changed the way I look at things at least.

You’re running your own label as well – Anchor Point Records. What’s that like and how do you balance this with your own music production?
I think running my own label just sort of came from one thing, kind of a little platform – a little space that me and some friends could create our own kind of aesthetic. I don’t think it’s like a burden or something that needs to be balanced. I think if anything we kind of treat it as a nice little opportunity and a platform where we can do our own thing and release music through. So yeah, it’s not so much of a balance thing it’s more like one comes from the other if that makes sense.

Now, is there a progress update on your forthcoming album ‘To Fall Out Of Love To’?
The progress update is… I still haven’t finished it, haha. It’s close, it’s really getting there. I think I’m going to be finished within the next three or four weeks. So after that we’ll be there… its definitely coming along.

Sweet. Your Label buddy Bonzai is part of your live show. Does she feature heavily on the record?
Yeah Bonzai’s on a couple of songs, we are very good friends so a lot of the time it turns out we’ll just be in the studio together anyway… so she features on a few of the songs or if not her then samples of her vocals or whatever. I think it’s good to involve label mates and stuff.

You’ve previously mentioned artwork being a large part of your music. Who creates the album artwork and why is it so important to you?
Well at first it was a drawing done by my friend Nikita and I kind of had that and started making music. But then I started to really stagnate and got stuck on the album… so I changed the artwork to a photograph that my friend took and it totally changed the vibe of the album. I think that says it all really, depending on the aesthetic and the actual visual look of the album, the music changes for me. I think the two are very closely linked.

Will the album have some sort of visual story or concept?
I think only so far as the videos are going to kind of tell the visual story. And we’re doing a little documentary as well to go alongside it… in a similar sort of style. So I think that will be the visual storytelling for the album, along with the press shots and the artwork around it yeah.

When you come to tour Australia – not a matter of ‘if’ – how many stage dives do you see yourself doing? Do you have a certain technique?
I wish I was the kind of guy who does stage dives, I’m more the ‘I say two words throughout the whole set and I’m shy and I cant wait till I’m not on stage’ kind of dude. But Bonzai is out front and she’s really interactive so hopefully she’ll be doing a few stage dives.

What song has been stuck in your head all day?
I haven’t been able to get that new James Blake song out of my head recently. That ‘Timeless’ one… It’s so good, yeah that’s been stuck in my head. And also the intro to Beyoncé’s album called ‘pray you catch me’, it’s amazing. James Blake co-wrote it, it’s really good.

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