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The Devilish Joy of Mura Masa’s demon time

The producer discusses his third album, which features PinkPantheress, Lil Uzi Vert and more

Mura Masa Interview
Mura Masa, photo by Lillie Eiger/Illustration by Steven Fiche

    One of the primary visual inspirations for Mura Masa‘s album demon time was none other than Sonic the Hedgehog. “There was an image of Sonic the Hedgehog that I had remembered seeing years ago and I was like, ‘That seems like a cool pose,'” says the songwriter and producer born Alex Crossan. “He’s got this circular look, his shoes are kind of bending around… it became a muse of mine.”

    The image was so influential for Crossan that he recreated it for demon time‘s album cover — but beyond the contorted, warped aesthetic, Crossan was drawn to the “joyfulness” he’s projecting, the frenetic ecstasy that Sonic embodies.

    With demon time (out Friday, September 16th), Crossan had a simple objective: create something fun. But “fun” is still a bit of a vague descriptor — for an electronic producer who came up during EDM’s Top 40 dominance in 2015, Mura Masa’s early dancefloor jams were entirely fun in their essence. Even when he shifted styles dramatically for the introspective, alt rock-inspired R.Y.C., fun was still apart of the equation, especially on the raucous “Deal Wiv It,” featuring Slowthai.

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    But there’s a more devilish energy to demon time (Crossan’s third album as Mura Masa), a sound that reverberates from the back rooms of clubs, rather than the dancefloor. His guests and collaborators — always stellar on Mura Masa albums — are as diverse as ever, with each providing an attitude that can switch from suave to brash in a matter of seconds. In addition to regular collaborators like PinkPantheress and Slowthai, demon time features some rousing verses and vocal work from Lil Uzi Vert, Shygirl, Channel Tres, and Isabella Lovestory, as well as some burgeoning artists like LEILAH and BAYLI.

    And though Crossan didn’t get the full opportunity to tour in support of R.Y.C. — which he had assembled a full live band forhe’s happy to have been back on the road this summer bringing demon time‘s bangers to festivals and dancehalls alike. His show at this year’s Mad Cool Festival in Madrid was a career-spanning tent set, and proved how versatile and diverse his catalog is.

    Crossan also shares that he’s interested in assembling his own festival: “When I make an album, it is a festival,” he tells Consequence, “I’m booking all these different artists and giving them platforms to sort of do their thing on. So it would make sense to do a demon time festival or something… but that’s a whole sinkhole. I really want to do it, I just don’t want to be bankrupt — maybe I’ll work out a way to do it in the spirit of fun.”

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    Ahead of the release of demon timeConsequence spoke with Mura Masa about the themes behind the album, his various outstanding collaborators, crafting the album during the pandemic, and the fifth anniversary of his self-titled debut album. Read below for the full Q&A with Mura Masa.


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