It’s almost 11 p.m. and Maségo is fresh off of the stage. He is wearing a navy shirt with flowers, Oxford shoes, and grey slim-cut trousers. Maségo just performed for Crown Royal’s Generosity Hour program in support of In the Heights. The intimate show was Maségo’s first since the pandemic.
For the short set (which ran for roughly 30 minutes) Maségo sang a few of his biggest singles — like his viral hit “Tadow” — and displayed his affinity for instruments and production, whipping out his saxophone and playing it effortlessly.
The singer, rapper and instrumentalist is most known for his take on love ballads. One genre isn’t enough to describe the type of music he creates. His music lies within R&B, rap and jazz, he’s also an instrumentalist. Studying Abroad, his latest album, is the follow-up to his debut album Lady Lady, is an experimental project, featuring heavy drums, lush guitar strings and his silky smooth vocals.
It’s easy to get lost in Studying Abroad mainly because it displays multiple sides of Maségo. The release is a probing compilation featuring his ideals on monogamous relationships, traveling, and searching for love. The album constantly grapples with whether or not he’s ready for love, or if he wants to continue being single. It’s clear that this is something he’s currently reckoning with.
“I feel like, being a male hopeless romantic, you met some frustrations with how the good guy isn’t really praised,” he said. “I feel like, a lot of being a hopeless romantic is taking some East Coast, Southern feels and [putting] it into a corporate world, a secular world and feeling that push back.”
We recently caught up with Maségo and had a brief but intriguing conversation about love and dating.
I feel like you’re, kind of, a hopeless romantic, I am too. How do you live your life like that? Because, it’s hard.
I feel the same way that Jazmine Sullivan’s album [Heaux Tales] was commenting on how the good girls are losing and she’s frustrated with that. I feel like, being a male hopeless romantic, you met some frustrations with how the good guy isn’t really praised. I would like to think the good guy gets songs written about him. I feel the majority of the energy I’ve seen from this generation is [that] they want a little sprinkle of toxicity. that’s the spice in the relationship. I feel like a lot of being a hopeless romantic is taking some East Coast, Southern feels [and putting] it into a corporate world, a secular world and feeling that push back.
So, I read you realized when you were working on Lady Lady you enjoyed the idea of the “boyfriend experience.” Do you still feel like that now?
I said that? Oh, no, no. [I meant I like] relationship energy. Basically, being single, to me, in this modern world, looks like an episode of Insecure. Very back shots and get out. That’s not my energy. I feel like romance and all of what comes with those Love Jones movies and all that is more of my energy. That isn’t welcomed in the dating community. I don’t think.
Really? You feel that way?
I do feel that way. That’s why I was saying, with Lady Lady, there was some frustrations of, basically, I could go this path or this path if the situation doesn’t change. Naturally, my parents are pastors, I’m a nice guy, I’m Southern. I’m in this world where women are throwing themselves at me every day and I have money and whatever. You have this other life that is calling you, as well.
In terms of the type of music that you make, I feel like it really expresses that you want more than just a random one night stand.
You can’t free your soul like that.
How do you work through that as an artist and then as someone who has to be out and constantly around attractive women?
Honestly, work keeps me out of trouble. Nine times out of 10, I’m in the studio. I feel like time is my greatest asset so I’m very careful with who gets my chance and who gets the chance to be around my energy. I think my energy is up there. I feel like, recognizing that, real recognize real. If you see somebody with a nurturing spirit, having their own obsession that they love, as well, gravitate towards that. I think that’s what’s giving me great connections.
In a previous interview you shared that a while back you found yourself constantly listening to music produced by D’Mile and that led you to want to work with him. Can you talk a bit about working with him?
I think he’s just a pure musician, pure producer. He just sees the big picture with music. He wants to mold artists and see the wind. I feel I just admire him because of his demeanor. I meet a lot of producers that have done a lot that have an energy to them that’s like, they don’t talk to me. D’Mile is so cool.
What’s next for you?
I’m a workaholic. I think I’m going to record a lot of music because I think I’m a little too backed up on that. I’ve got to definitely finish a lot of songs. I think all of 2022 is just touring.
Banner Photo Credit: Benjamin Askinas
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