Friday 20 November 2015

Ones to Watch 2016 - #2 Mura Masa

If you follow us on Twitter (here) you might have noticed that we’ve been dropping subtle hints about a number of the acts that will feature on the Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch 2016 list over the last few months. A case in point is Mura Masa who we excitingly described as the sound of the future in October. Welcome to that future.

Mura Masa is an electronic producer (real name Alex Crossnan) who originally hails from Guernsey but more recently has been based in Brighton. He’s hit all the right ‘tastemaker’ blogs, had a feature in the Guardian’s New Band of the Week column, had the support of BBC Radio 1 and has collaborated with the likes of yesterday’s One to Watch Nao as well as Breaking More Waves favourite and BBC Sound of 2015 nominated artist Shura. But all of that means nothing if in the real world people don’t like his music – but they clearly do – and we do to. His set in the Invaders of the Future new acts tent at this year’s Bestival was the busiest we saw the place, and just a few weeks ago his gig in a dark sweaty basement club in Brighton already felt way too small for him. We could easily see Mura Masa ‘doing a Disclosure’ and taking his laptop generated music to much bigger spaces.

What makes Mura Masa so good? Take one listen to Firefly (one of the underground pop songs of 2015 - featuring yesterday's pick Nao) and you’ll understand. He makes crisp, glitchy, electronic dance music that has one eye on the dancefloor, one eye on the headphones and one eye on the pop arena. Oh, that’s three eyes, but that’s the point. Mura Masa does things just that little bit differently. He takes sounds that shouldn’t work together and bundles them together in one exciting flow of interest. It’s not often you’ll hear slow mournful strings on a dance track, but Alex throws them in alongside a command to ‘let me see your lighters’, and Shura’s beautiful vocal to create something that works on a whole variety of levels. If he can keep up this standard in 2016 he’s got to be one watch. That’s why he’s on this list.

Mura Masa - Firefly (featuring Nao)

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