Masego is a modern day one man band. He fuses the styles of Trap, Electronic and Jazz to create a unique sound. He utilizes looping to create on the fly grooves which tend to create lasting impressions on whoever’s in the crowd. He combines Djing with his live instrumentation in a way you’ve never experienced. He is the leader of the Trap House Jazz Band full of the world’s best musicians and creatives. Read through our interview, he’s an incredibly passionate and well spoken dude.
Q: What does Masego mean? What does Masego mean to you?
A: Masego means blessing in Tswana. It’s a blessing I can create what I’m inspired to and you all deam it dope.
Q: Where did you grow up? Do you currently live there? How do you feel your city has influenced your music?
A: Airforce is the my answer. Waterhouse, Jamaica, Manhattan, Newyork, Utah, Sumpter, South Carolina, Newport News VA. Take your pick. I’ve moved way too much to know the answer to that. The sound of VA is neo soul, Baptist, gospel and the not so dope trap.[laughs] Shade Shade. I got my influence from Youtube. I found a lot of artists on there but when performing at churches and spots out in VA I had to cater to that “VA sound”.
Q: What music did you grow up listening to and feeling majorly influenced by?
A: I listened to a lot of gospel. (Jmoss, William Murphy, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin) That’s all I was allowed to play in the house. A lot of the soul in my voice comes from that. Gospel means singing with that passion. That sincerity. I love Cab Calloway. His energy, Style, influences inspires me to this day. I love jazz swing and the dances that go with it. I wanna learn more about hiphop now that I’m on my own and can listen to whatever.
Q: How do you weave you cultural heritage into the fabric of your music? How do you find that balance? Is there such thing as a balance?
A: I mean….I’m Jamaican. I can’t help that with my accent when I start singing. Peace, love and respect to God is just embedded in me. Story telling is apart of my culture so I’m all about that as well. It’s really easy. I’m just myself. All the time.
Q: Did you grow up surrounded by music? Did you grow up singing in church as many young musicians do?
A: Yup. Age 8, I was prayed over and boom. Playing the keys drums and singing. Maw dukes sings and she’s dope. Pops has all the tunes as well. Soon as I bought a pair of headphones, that was it. Youtube music all the time.
Q: When did you pick up the sax? Were you hooked on it right away?
A: Picked up the sax in middle school. My reason was a mixture between trying impress this girl and getting inspired by the movie, “We’re back, Dinosaurs” The sax player in the intro was killin” I said “Yerp. Gimmie dat. No Breezy. Bout to murk this joint.”
Q: How would you describe your sound? What exactly is traphouse jazz?
A: I like DRUMS!!! I want them to make you run away and hide and kick trees. Trap music is dumb to me lyrically but I love the energy and that’s where Trap in TrapHouseJazz came from. House music is dope. I love how it sounds and I’m not gay. I say this because you’re joked for liking house music back in the day and called gay. I dig synths and I love women. Jazz I mean, I play sax over these beats with that trap energy. I’m still striving to get that perfect mix of TrapHouseJazz.
Q: I feel like you always have your sax haha. Do you carry it around everywhere?
A: You’re right. Always in my trunk or by my side. It’s next to me as I’m typing this. That’s my love.
Q: What other instruments do you play?
A: I play keys, drums, Bass, guitar, Accordion, Marimba, Trumpet, Harmonica, MPC and the Kazoo. I will eff up the Kazoo.
Q: Why is music so important to you?
A: Music is who I am. I’ve tried to leave it out when first meeting someone but it’s written all over me that I’m a musician. It’s like breathing. Like Ive been creating since like 2007. Some of those same beats I released now and they pop. Whole time I loved them. I don’t care about views, notoriety or whatever more than the music itself.
Q: What do you love most about being a musician?
A: Best part about being a musician is not having to explain yourself. You’re just like “*does piano riff” That’s my answer. And I mean when pretty females say they wanna marry you, that’s always lovely.
Q: What professional or personal obstacles have you faced that you’d be willing to share? How did you overcome them?
A: Being curved. We’re all so cliquish. I used to lose sleep over trying to figure out the best way to filter through the noise. You gotta either act like you suck or you’re all “Peep my mixtape” Another problem is when others can’t see the vision. I used to feel the need to prove myself, and that ish wasn’t healthy. I know I’m dope. I know I’m gonna do greater and greater things. If someone can’t realize that, Welp.
Q: Do you feel music has the ability to change the world?
A: Sure do. Listen to Kendrick’s album
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from? Who are your songs about?
A: Girls, Girls, Girls. I have bad luck with them [laughs]. But it always makes a good story. I observe then vent in my music.
Q: If you could work with any singer or producer who would it be and why?
A: I wanna work with Sam G, Lido, Cory Henry, Bernhoft, Kimbra, a choir (Idk who) (a 60 piece string section) I just wanna make power moves with awesome people.
Q: If we took away your saxophone, what would you do? Who would we have?
A: [Laughs] Nah son, don’t do that. You can ask any close friend. I’m a real friendly guy but don’t mess with my gear. I am a 6’4 Ex athlete so there’s stubborn jock hidden in me that comes out any time someone messes with my baby’s. Like I would basically live out an Eminem verse. I would get it back. I don’t care if I can afford another one. Jamaican way is you don’t let someone disrespect you like that. I’d get a whole crew of folk to just cause riots [laughs]
Q: Do you have pretty steady gigs? Where?
A: I gig all the time, like I’m never not in the road. I’m late for a gig [laughs]. But nah giggin is easy, I play by ear so I can make money playing covers. I do shows as “Masego” when people paid to see me and those are pretty frequent as well. People show love. It’s great. South Carolina, Miami, Jamaica, South Carolina, LA, Newyork, Virginia Beach. The beauty is, even when I’m playin covers I’m introducing a new crowd to my sound at the same time. CHING CHING!
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring musicians, what would you tell them?
A: Try new things with your music. Do what feels right. Learn to play an instrument. Get actual equipment. Youtube university. Stop spamming. Shed,jam. Love what you do.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: [Laughs]On the hush hush. I gotta show ya’ll my take on what’s up with these females now adays. “The Modern Relationship” wil tell all. Oh yeah the Pink Polo is a thing too and “ChildHood” is a project’ Me and SZA doing a joint. Um…I got this joint with Drizzy Drake. Mannn Yall have no clue [laughs].