ALEX Crossan has achieved a lot in two years. He moved from Guernsey to London, and his self-titled album has just dropped after much anticipation. Before he jets off on his world tour, I caught up with Mura Masa at his two day pop up shop/album release party at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham.
Mura Masa doesn’t fit into a box and his vast list of collaborations attest to this. Most tracks on his album feature a smattering of percussive detail often layered with piano and drums, a flexibility and singular quality that has attracted some big names in the industry; Christine and the Queens, Charli XCX, Damon Albarn, A$AP Rocky, NAO, to name but a few. Crossan is certainly “intimidatingly talented”, and if Annie Mac says you’re not going anywhere, it’s probably best not to move.
His teen years coincided with the rise of Youtube and Soundcloud, and electronic percussive mixes gained a loyal fan base. The mellifluous beats that are unique to his sound were something that the charts were clearly craving; Love$ick with A$AP Rocky spent eight weeks in the charts, and he even roped in some big voices to join him on stage at Coachella 2017.
His feathers stay seemingly unruffled during countless interviews, he eschews attention in a way that is rare. It seems he is aware that at the tender age of 21 of his fortuitous position and is keen to use it to produce culturally relevant music.
His videos are quirky and immersive, “What if I go” is edgy without the pretence. Love$ick ft A$AP Rocky (at 29 million views) has a similar vibe, raw but with a narrative, capturing the carelessness of youth shot amidst London’s tower block skyline. The video for All Around the World ft Desiigner (of ‘Panda’ fame), was impressively shot in just one take. His new album is a coming of age, but star studded journey of electronic/Asian/funk, it’s got a futuristic sound which distinguishes him from a lot of the producers out there at the moment.
90 seconds with Mura Masa
Congratulations on the new album drop, you’ve mentioned what a huge fan of Damon Albarn you are. What was it like collaborating with him, Christine and the Queens, A$AP…
It’s pretty crazy, a lot of the collaborations happened in different ways. People are busy, but a lot of them happened in the studio. The A$AP track happened at Abbey road studios, and with Damon we recorded at his studio.
You’re a Guernsey boy, what’s the music scene like there? The Youtube channel Majestic picked up your music two years ago, how do you attribute your rise to that?
The local music scene is really based around punk and hardcore music, but there’s also a lot of folk/country music too. There’s an emerging scene now, but when I was growing up it was mainly live bands and gigs that I went to.
You were on the BBC sound of 2016, would you say that was your beginning? Or would you owe it to collaborating with A$AP?
It’s hard to say there was a specific shift. Definitely, when Rocky and I got together, he was the first A-list celebrity to have faith in me. When he hopped on Love$ick that was definitely a turning point for me.
So you’ve been in London for about two years now, what’s it like moving from Guernsey to London?
I live down the road in Camberwell, it’s super amazing being able to do this for a living and be able to afford to live in London!
The pop-up shop ran from Friday the 14th to Saturday the 15th. There were some great DJs, a sublime and soulful acoustic set from Mura Masa and an exclusive merch shop complete with Mura Masa Rizzla papers, hoodies, tracksuits.
Genuinely, Alex Crossan is the kind of guy you would see in the corner of the rave, maxin’ and relaxin’ and not really caring who sees. He’s grounded and along for the ride, and, off on his world tour later this month it seems he’s happy to keep going.