Mura Masa Enlists A$AP Rocky, Desiigner and Charli XCX for His Standout Debut Album
While the twenty-one-year-old DJ known as Mura Masa follows in the footsteps of fellow British DJ acts like Disclosure and Jamie XX, this Guernsey-island native manages to stay fresh on his debut self-titled album. “Mura Masa” features a plethora of name-brand pop and hip-hop acts that fit perfectly within the framework of a mash-up electronic album. Even more fortunately for the man behind the album, Alex Crossan, the album’s singles have been out in the ether doing work for some time.
The first single from Crossan came with “Firefly” circa 2015, which is technically the first single from “Mura Masa.” This tune began spreading tropical vibes via low-key dance beats and marimbas, setting the tone for what’s to come. The ‘trop-house’ sound has become a popular one these days – Drake helped bring this sub-genre to the mainstream – but give Crossan credit for solidifying his sound long ago. Now with the help of huge names like A$AP Rocky, Charli XCX and Desiigner, he’s ready to unleash tropical-pop magic in full Mura Masa form.
“Love$ick” took hold as the biggest hit from the young up-and-comer, reaching nearly thirty-million views on YouTube. Superbly blasé verses by A$AP Rocky helped launch this single into infamy. Marimbas once again take a front seat on this island-ready dance tune featuring a video of young Londoners doing what young Londoners do: dancing, drinking, flirting and shooting the occasional firework in the street. The Charli XCX-led “1 Night” features much of the same: marimbas, seriously attractive young Londoners and the adorable Charli XCX dancing casually in a gymnasium. Everyone looks happy, healthy and primed for a picturesque life soundtracked by trop-house. “All Around the World” shows the Kanye-protégé Desiigner at his best, dancing in an unidentified beachside parking lot with homies and an Oldsmobile on 24’s. He’s quite a ways from the cloudy London streets, but perhaps more suitable nonetheless.
Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz fame, takes the helm on “Blu,” a rare low-key tune with finger snaps, glistening synth twinkles and random voice modulation. This is a stunning piece of production from Crossan; if it’s good enough for mix-master Albarn, it’s good enough for us. “Mura Masa” sees plenty more noteworthy collaborations, like the downtempo drum n’ bass “Second 2 None” with Christine and the Queens ( a.k.a. Héloïse Letissier), the similar, albeit far more upbeat “helpline” with fellow Brit Tom Tripp (one to look out for in the future), the red-dreaded U.K. singer Bonzai appears on both “Nuggets” and the gorgeously shot video for “What If I Go?”, and neo-soul singer Jamie Lidell shows up as well on the funk-fueled “NOTHING ELSE!”.
While the singles can be easily categorized, Crossan takes cues from a myriad of genres on his debut album to create a feeling of fullness and palate satisfaction. Overall, the album will find it’s home at parties across the globe, and soon, perhaps, Crossan will find his way to the head of the international DJ’s table.
“Mura Masa” is available on Apple Music July 14.