Photo © Cole Younger (@cole_younger_)
Trap House Jazz pioneer and multi-instrumentalist Masego is a breath of fresh air on the beats scene, with his effervescent spirit and rich vocals melding the sophistication and freedom of jazz with the sexy (sl)ease of trap. On a world-tour we managed to chat with him for 5 minutes to find out about the role church played in his musical upbringing, his links to South Africa and his live show.
Your parents are both pastors, did the church play a big role in your musical education?
Yeah. Church is a cool outlet. They just allowed you to express yourself and hone in on my talent. Anything that I learned would be being around talented musicians at church.
You play a variety of instruments and are constantly learning new ones. What drives you to keep learning new instruments?
Your name has a South African connection. Can you explain the connection?
Some of my family is from South Africa so that’s a part of that. But in high school I did a final senior project just to look more into culture. I’m Jamaican, my mother is from Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve got some distant family from South Africa. Some family from London. So I wanted to connect all the dots. One of those steps was figuring out the South African side and my first step was looking at a name chart. The name jumped out to me because my nickname in church was ‘Little Blessing’ because I could learn all these instruments without lessons. So I was like ‘oh cool!’ and I was like, that should be my stage name. Just because it felt right. I started to perform under that name and knew the correct pronunciation but being in America everyone is going to mess up the pronunciation so I was at least thankful that they were open to understanding what the meaning of it was. After a show I tell them what the meaning is and why I chose the name. When South Africans find my music they know how they pronounce it and they definitely know how common of a name it is over there which is cool. It was a nice way to unite people among nations and bridge that gap between language and culture.
Photo © @4thnumeral
Your music combines elements of trap, house and jazz. What made you decide to combine those disparate genres?
It kind of just happened. I’m into a lot of different things. I do love a lot about jazz music but I love a lot about hip hop, I love a lot about trap. I enjoy guitar, lately I’m into harps. So it’s just like making this gumbo of music, just a little eclectic.
What can one expect from your live show?
I mean just an experience. These days it’s kind of turned into a comedy show with music in between. There’s always an instrument on stage and everything else is just randomised. But just definitely expect entertainment.