Mura Masa is a 20-year old producer from the U.K. The electronic artist is best known for his unique productions and catchy melodies. Mura Masa has recently gained a lot of attention in the U.S. with some of his hit singles, “What If I Go?”, as well as, “Firefly”.
Prior to seeing Mura Masa's show at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, I had seen Mura Masa the weekend before at Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco. Mura Masa was the first act I saw at the festival and I was able to get to the front of a surprisingly small crowd. I watched him hit his MIDI drum pads to his beats while his talented friend Bonzai sang. I truly enjoyed this set at Treasure Island and it stood out to me as one of the best acts of the weekend. Bonzai had great energy to accompany Mura’s deep bass and colorful melodies. I was excited to get the opportunity to see him again in a few days.
I arrived at the Fonda and had just missed the opener, only to wait about 10 minutes for Mura to come on stage. The curtains raised as if a Hamlet play was about to start on stage and in nearly complete silence Mura walked out and stood behind his computer and various MIDI instruments. I personally love when artists have big entrances and lead off with a huge song, I think the entrance sets the tone for the rest of the show. There was an incredible lack of decoration on the stage, just a dimly lit “Mura Masa” sign behind him that was difficult to see. I was quite close to the stage, but even despite the bright lights I could hardly see his face. Mura Masa came out and truly didn’t seem excited to be playing, he just said “What’s up” to the crowd and went right into the music. Perhaps this had to do with the fact that this was the second night in a row he was playing the same venue. Mura led off with one of his most popular songs, "What If I Go," accompanied again by Bonzai’s great stage presence. He then went into two of his arguably heaviest hitting drops, one being “Lotus Eater,” which has been mixed into hundreds of DJ sets all across the world. I was upset because I was expecting a deep and thumping bass and to be wow’d by these drops, but I found the sound was the same level as every other part of the song. Mura Masa went through most of his other popular originals, nearly all of which featured Bonzai, even if she hadn’t recorded the original verse. Specifically, one song that stood out to me was “Low” which features a fast paced and dark verse from rapper Jay Prince. Although Bonzai has a great voice and stage presence, I thought this was an example of a song where Mura could have just played Jay’s verse and let the audience enjoy the song as is. Overall, the two times I saw Mura Masa were very different, but I'm definitely still into his music and excited for his future projects.
CHRIS LASKE, INTERN