Mura Masa is a Guernsey-born DJ, electronic music producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a stunning new major label debut LP. Mura Masa joins the likes of Kaytranada as the only other producer with an LP selected as a Vinylmnky Breakthrough Record. We caught up with Mura Masa, talked new music, Japanese culture and who "the next Rihanna" is.
[ Vinylmnky ]: We understand that your stage name, Mura Masa comes from your liking to the Japanese swordsmith, Muramasa-Sengo. How does this influence your work and how does this translates in to your music?
[ Mura Masa ]: I grew up watching a lot of Pokemon, playing a lot of Nintendo and Japanese games, things like that. So I had a real interest for Japanese culture and the kinds of attitudes towards art and music over there. Japan is an amazing, crazy country. I love it.
You come from a small island of the coast of Normandy, yet your music incorporates styles from all over the world. What inspired the diversity of sounds in your work?
[ Mura Masa ]: I think growing up in the internet age there aren't really any boundaries any more in terms of genre and influence. I have a broad music taste anyway but being able to research and look into any type of music on earth through the internet really gave me a lens to look through at the rest of the world from that small island.
What drew you to making music at a young age?
[ Mura Masa ]: My parents were always musical, and I grew up playing in a lot of punk and hardcore bands locally. But from there I started getting into UK electronic music and that inspired me to produce.
What has the experience been like being on tour and getting to share your music with the world?
[ Mura Masa ]: It's been a trip. I come from such a sheltered place so I was kind of scared having to travel so much at first, but I'm getting used to it. What makes it worth it is seeing how happy kids are to hear the music live and see the shows.
Tell us about the creative process that went into making your debut album, Mura Masa.
[ Mura Masa ]: It took a long time to make. Ultimately I wanted to wait until I had a really strong collection of music made with artists I love and that's what I think I ended up with. I see the album as kind of a collage of everything that's been influencing me these past two years, kind of like a mission statement. All the music was made on my laptop with headphones, which I love.
What has it been like transitioning from being a producer in Guernsey, to working with some of the biggest names in the music industry?
[ Mura Masa ]: It's been a lot of fun, and very humbling. I just think the most important thing is to only work with people who you have mutual respect with; I'm a fan of theirs and they're a fan of mine. That way the creative relationship is super productive and you can bring out the best in each other.
As a producer, what led to your decision to step out of your comfort zone and sing on a few tracks, or even 'duet' with Damon Albarn?
[ Mura Masa ]: I think I just wanted to say a bit more, literally. It's more of an exploration, I still wouldn't say I've found my voice. It's really fun though.
We’re all about new music discovery– who is a new artist that you think everybody should be listening to right now?
[ Mura Masa ]: Bonzai. She's on a couple of songs on my album and I've produced a lot of her stuff. She's the next Rihanna so watch out for her. Jadu Heart are an amazing band as well, they're signed to my label AP Sound.
Your album Mura Masa was chosen as the Breakthrough Record of the Month and delivered to our entire membership base via vinyl. Any comments on being recognized with the likes of Kaytranada, Gallant, and more?
[ Mura Masa ]: Thanks so much for having me, a total pleasure.