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Masego

Source: John Marquez / Provided By Capitol Records

For Masego, legacy is the name of the game. Ask the self-taught singer, songwriter, rapper, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist about what he wants out of his career, and the answer is simple: to create experiences that people will remember, and music that makes him feel good.

As part of his self-described “TrapHouseJazz” genre, Masego brings playfulness, humor, and svelte sensitivities to his music while adding instruments, like his trusty saxophone, into places where they don’t belong. From 2016’s energetic Pink Polo EP to his silky 2018 debut album Lady Lady, the Jamaica-born, Virginia-raised artist has garnered international acclaim for creating soundscapes that veer away from the expected. Lady Lady, featuring him and FKJ’s Platinum-certified hit “Tadow,” landed on several Billboard charts, including No. 4 on Top New Artist Albums Consumption, No. 13 on R&B Album Sales, No. 22 on Heatseekers Albums, and No. 40 on R&B/Hip Hop Album Sales charts.

And outside of his own music, he’s collaborated with peers like Kehlani, Alex Isley, Ari Lennox, Joyce Wrice, Sinead Harnett, ELHAE, KAMAUU, SiR and, most recently, alongside J.I.D. and Rapsody for the official Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack. “I know I’m great at collecting the energy in the room and making a great song,” he says. “The art of making a song—that’s the legacy.”

His most recent project Studying Abroad, is another example. The 2020 EP, inspired by old travel memories and the life moments they were tied to, brought a slice of wanderlust to fans during a time when touring was off the table with standouts like the D’Mile-produced “Bye Felicia,” “Silver Tongue Devil” with Shenseea and “Mystery Lady” with Don Toliver, the latter of which racked up over 37 million streams on Spotify.

The project signals a moment of personal growth and widening of horizons, both within and outside of music. As Masego continues to work on music for himself and others, he’s laying the foundation to be more than just an entertainer. Beyond musicianship, he’s also grown into a mentor, a connector, a businessman, and soon, a visual storyteller. Inspired by the work of Japanese animator, director, and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki, Masego is working on an animation project that fuses his love for art, music, and storytelling with his desire to mentor illustrators, musicians, and writers looking to elevate their craft.

“I’m just trying to level myself up where if somebody said ‘You’re the GOAT’ or ‘You’re a legend,’ I want to believe it,” he says. “I want to keep creating and affecting culture in such a way that when we look back at it, it’s like, okay, yeah, this was phenomenal.”

About Masego (blurb)

Jamaica-born, Virginia-raised, and with a globally-attuned ear, Masego is an artist whose creativity has no bounds. The multihyphenate is a self-taught singer, songwriter, rapper, DJ, and saxophonist. As part of his self-described “TrapHouseJazz” genre, he uses playfulness, humor, and suave sensitivities to carve out a sound all his own. Masego—whose stage name means “blessings and prosperity” in the South African language Tswana—has received glowing praise from NPR Music, Pitchfork, VIBE, Vogue, The Fader, Highsnobriety, VICE, and more.

Lady, Lady, his 2018 debut album boasting the Platinum-certified lead single “Tadow,” cemented his rising starpower. The album landed on several Billboard charts, including No. 4 on Top New Artist Albums Consumption, No. 13 on R&B Album Sales, No. 22 on Heatseekers Albums, and No. 40 on R&B/Hip Hop Album Sales charts. Since the album’s release, Masego has toured the world, headlining sold-out tours, gracing festival stages across every continent but Antarctica, and performing alongside Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, J. Cole, Ari Lennox, and more. His 2020 Studying Abroad EP found him upping the ante with standout tracks like the D’Mile-produced “Bye Felicia,” “Silver Tongue Devil” with Shenseea, and “Mystery Lady” with Don Toliver, the latter of which has surpassed 80 million combined global streams. A coveted collaborator amongst his peers, Masego has lent his musical handiwork to projects for Kehlani, Ari Lennox, Alex Isley, ELHAE, SiR, and more. He recently contributed a new song, “Somethin’ Ain’t Right,” alongside JID and Rapsody, to Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album. Outside of his own musicianship, Masego is a mentor to fellow artists, a businessman, and a visual storyteller with many more tales to tell.

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