Mura Masa

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Mura Masa
Mura Masa Field Day 2017.jpg
Mura Masa performing at Field Day in 2017
Background information
Birth nameAlexander Crossan
Also known asMura Masa
Born (1996-04-05) 5 April 1996 (age 22)
Castel, Guernsey
Years active2014–present

Alex Crossan (born 5 April 1996), also known by the stage name Mura Masa, is a Guernsey-born electronic music Grammy award winning producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.[1][2] His stage name is taken from Japanese sword-smith Muramasa Sengo.[3]

He is best known for his song "Lovesick", which reached number 1 on the Spotify Viral charts in the United Kingdom and the United States.[4] His self-titled debut album was released on 14 July 2017, peaking at number 19 in the United Kingdom.[5] The album was nominated in two categories (Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Recording Package) at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, making him the first artist to be nominated as both a musician and creative director for the same album.[6] His remix of Haim's "Walking Away" won Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.[7]

Early life[edit]

Alex Crossan was born and raised in Guernsey.[8] After playing guitar, bass, drums and singing in local punk, hardcore, deathcore and gospel bands, Alex Crossan started self-producing at the age of 15, "searching for samples on YouTube and other corners of the internet".[9] He entered the electronic music scene after learning about Hudson Mohawke.[10] He streamed music via YouTube and discovered James Blake, Cashmere Cat and SBTRKT. His influences, including Gorillaz and The Smiths, inspired him to write music and learn to play different instruments.[11] At 16, he started to make electronic songs using Ableton Live, and uploaded them to Soundcloud the following year, under the alias Mura Masa.[12]

At 17, he uploaded his first tracks, remixes and bootlegs to Soundcloud. The track "Lotus Eater" was picked up by BBC Radio 1 with Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart all playing the song on their shows. After leaving Guernsey to study English Literature at University of Sussex in Brighton, Crossan began playing his music live, with sold out shows at the Green Door Store in Brighton[13] and Electrowerkz[14] in London. Mura Masa started his career by posting a mixtape called Soundtrack to a Death to SoundCloud in 2014. The mixtape was subsequently distributed globally by German label Jakarta Records.[15]

Music career[edit]

Someday Somewhere: 2015–2016[edit]

Crossan signed to his own label Anchor Point Records in 2015, in partnership with Polydor Records and Interscope Records who distribute in the UK and in North America respectively. As well as Mura Masa records, the label has released music by Dublin artist Bonzai.[16] and post-music duo Jadu Heart.[17]

In April 2015, he released his debut EP Someday Somewhere, with lead track "Firefly" being chosen for the In New Music We Trust playlist at BBC Radio 1.[18][19] Released via Anchor Point, the EP featured UK vocalists Nao, Denai Moore and Jay Prince.[20] The track "Lovesick" from the EP reached number 1 on the Spotify viral charts in the UK and USA.[4] On 27 April 2015 he broadcast a 60-minute mix on the BBC Radio 1 show Diplo and Friends[21] Alex was long-listed for the 'BBC Sound of... 2016' in December 2015, and placed 5th overall in the shortlist in January 2016.[22][23]

On 15 March 2016, he unveiled the second single "What If I Go?" from his upcoming album.[24][25][26] On 30 September 2016, he released his collaborative single titled "Love$ick" featuring American rapper ASAP Rocky via Anchor Point and Downtown/Interscope Records.[27][28] The song is a newer version of Masa's 2015 single "Lovesick Fuck".[29] Crossan said he arranged a meeting to discuss the collaboration with Rocky when he happened to be in London for several days.[27] An official music video for the song was published on 3 November 2016 by Mura Masa's VEVO channel on YouTube.[30][31]

Mura Masa: 2017–present[edit]

Crossan co-wrote the track "First Things First" on Stormzy's Gang Signs & Prayer, which entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1 on 3 March 2017. The track also entered the singles chart at number 25. On 17 March 2017, he released "1 Night", a collaboration with Charli XCX.[32] Speaking about the collaboration, he said “I think I just had that beat lying around for a while and we sent it to a couple of people. Then Charli just did her thing”.[33][34]

Crossan released his debut album self-titled debut studio album, Mura Masa on 14 July 2017.[33][19] It was released on 14 July 2017 by Polydor, Interscope, Downtown and Anchor Point Records. The album was produced and recorded from 2014 to 2016, and has guest features by A. K. Paul, ASAP Rocky, Bonzai, Charli XCX, Christine and the Queens, Damon Albarn, Desiigner, Jamie Lidell, NAO and Tom Tripp. Upon release, it received positive reviews by critics, and debuted at number 19 on the UK Albums Chart and at 192 on the US Billboard 200. The album received nominations for Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Recording Package [35] at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.[36]

In June, Crossan worked with Nile Rodgers-organised collective Chic on the band's comeback double-album, entitled It's About Time. He featured alongside Cosha and Vic Mensa on the comeback single "Till the World Falls", which was released on 22 June 2018. Before that, 12 June 2018, the band also premiered another song from the album "Boogie All Night", which features Crossan, alongside working affiliate Nao. Crossan's remix of Haim's "Walking Away" won Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on 10th February 2019.[37][38]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2016 UK Music Video Awards Best Dance Video – Newcomer "What If I Go" Nominated
2017 Ivor Novello Awards Best Contemporary Song "Love$ick" Nominated
UK Music Video Awards Best Urban Video – UK Nominated
Best Live Session "Blu"
(Mura Masa featuring Damon Albarn)
Electronic Music Awards[39] New Artist of the Year Himself Nominated
Urban Music Awards Best Producer Nominated
2018 Grammy Awards Best Recording Package Mura Masa Nominated
Best Dance/Electronic Album Nominated
2019 Grammy Awards Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical "Walking Away (Mura Masa Remix)" Won


  1. ^ "Mura Masa previews new music in an album documentary". DIY. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  2. ^ Kielman, Daniel (17 May 2016). "Photos: Mura Masa loves the Independent". The Bay Bridged. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  3. ^ Savage, Mark (4 January 2016). "BBC Sound Of 2016: Mura Masa interview". BBC News. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b @SpotifyUK (30 April 2015). "Viral 50 Song Of The Week: 'Love Sick Fuck' from @mura_masa_ a fresh burst of sampled beauty" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Mura Masa | full Official Charts history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Grammys 2018 Winners: The Complete List". Billboard. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Grammys 2019: The Complete Winners List". Rolling Stone. 10 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  8. ^ Muir, Jamie (3 January 2017). "Mura Masa and his pop sensibilities will take over in 2017 | Dork". Dork. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  9. ^ Stone, Avery (10 July 2017). "Mura Masa Will Teleport Your Brain into the Future of Pop". Noisey. Vice Media. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  10. ^ Deeley, Chelsea (3 May 2016). "Mura Masa Talks Growing Up In Isolated Guernsey & Running His Own Label - Music Feeds". Music Feeds. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  11. ^ Dudek, Mandi (2 August 2016). "Mura Masa Brings Mystery to The Music Hall of Williamsburg". Baeble Music. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  12. ^ Dukoff, Spencer (13 July 2017). "Meet Mura Masa, the streaming era wunderkind marching to the beat of his own drum machine". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Green Door Store Gig Listing". Songkick.
  14. ^ "Electrowerkz Gig Listing". Songkick.
  15. ^ "Mura Masa - MusicBrainz". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Bonzai KBG Review". Blushing Panda.
  17. ^ "Jadu Heart".
  18. ^ "Huw Stephens In New Music We Trust". BBC.
  19. ^ a b Chung, Max (11 January 2017). "Mura Masa Announces Upcoming Album in Recent Interview". Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  20. ^ "Someday Somewhere Review". Pigeons and Planes.
  21. ^ "Diplo and Friends". BBC.
  22. ^ "Live Lounge month: Five questions for Mura Masa". BBC. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  23. ^ Insolia, Julia (14 April 2016). "Mura Masa spreads the love for the 'What If I Go?' video | Purple Sneakers". Purple Sneakers. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  24. ^ Kim, Michelle (March 18, 2016). "Listen to New Mura Masa Single, "What If I Go?"". The FADER. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  25. ^ Hunt, El (18 March 2016). "Mura Masa - What If I Go?". DIY. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  26. ^ Hunt, El (11 April 2016). "Mura Masa's certified banger 'What If I Go?' now has a video". DIY. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  27. ^ a b Pearce, Sheldon (September 29, 2016). "Listen to A$AP Rocky and Mura Masa's New Song "Love$ick" | Pitchfork". Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  28. ^ Williams, Alex (19 October 2016). "Single Review: Mura Masa ft ASAP Rocky - Love$ick | Redbrick". Redbrick. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  29. ^ Darville, Jordan (September 29, 2016). "Mura Masa Taps A$AP Rocky For "Love$ick"". The FADER. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  30. ^ Darville, Jordan (November 3, 2016). "Watch The Music Video For Mura Masa And A$AP Rocky's "Love$ick"". The FADER. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  31. ^ Muir, Jamie (3 November 2016). "Mura Masa has a video for the A$AP Rocky-featuring 'Love$ick' | Dork". Dork. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  32. ^ Bein, Kat (17 March 2017). "Mura Masa and Charli XCX Get Intimate for '1 Night:' Listen". Billboard. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  33. ^ a b Braboy, Mark (17 March 2017). "Mura Masa and Charlie XCX Join Forces For "1 Night"". Vibe. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  34. ^ Thompson, Hunter (15 March 2017). "A Mura Masa and Charlie XCX Collab Titled '1 Night' is Dropping Soon". Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  35. ^ "Grammys 2018: See the Complete List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  36. ^ "See The Full List Of 60th GRAMMY Nominees". 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  37. ^ "Grammys 2019: The Complete Winners List". Rolling Stone. 10 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  38. ^ Middleton, Ryan. "2019 GRAMMY AWARDS: JUSTICE, SILK CITY, MURA MASA TAKE HOME DANCE / ELECTRONIC AWARDS ON NOT TERRIBLE NIGHT". Magnetic Magazine. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  39. ^ Rishty, David (August 8, 2017). "The Chainsmokers, Justice, Eric Prydz & More Nominated for 2017 Electronic Music Awards". Billboard. Retrieved September 1, 2017.

External links[edit]