Shut Up & Groove: Maségo's #TrapHouseJazz Is The New Wave

Shut Up & Groove: Maségo's #TrapHouseJazz Is The New Wave

First Look Friday: Maségo Interview

Photo Credit: Ural Garrett for Okayplayer

The creator behind #TrapHouseJazz has received props from legends such as Quincy Jones, DJ Jazzy Jeff and now, he’s poised to take over the entire game.

Is the world ready for the sounds, talents and all around #BlackBoyJoy awesomeness of Norfolk, Virginia’s own, Maségo? If checking out his stream / plays and followers count then the answer would be yes. But if you’re a bit more keen and can see the moves he’s been making then you’d know that the real answer is hell funkin’ yes. The creator behind his own genre, #TrapHouseJazz, Maségo has emerged as an inventive, free-spirited and engaging young star on the rise.

Need any more reasons to get down with the Count Basie of the 21st Century? Well, in addition to being the main attraction at the Levitt Amp Series in Chattanooga, Tennessee—he will be bringing his unique blend of hip-hop, funk, go-go, soul and jazz to the ear drums of the masses for his first headlining world tour. Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Norfolk, Va., the man known by his friends and family as Micah Davis excelled in production, singing and being imaginative. I guess you can say being raised in the church helped, but for those with an understanding of how truly God blessed Maségo is, you know that he was destined for this life with or without a pastor’s calling.

Cut from an original cloth, Maségo connects his music to the audience in a way that defies categorizing. Unlike others in the business who need all the bells and whistles (and audio playbacks) to get a show off—Maségo is an exclusive event waiting to happen every night. Take for instance when we saw him perform at Blue Note in New York City. The venue is notoriously stuffy (#noshots) and you’d be hard pressed to see anyone get up out of their seat to shake a tailfeather—unless your name is Maségo and the #TrapHouseJazz band. I covered that performance and was impressed at how the then-23-year-old was confident without being overly cocky, smooth without being lascivious and got the place jumping like a house party on a rollercoaster.

His good natured spirit, albeit contagious, doesn’t make Maségo come off as a one-note artist. From developing his own app that connects musicians who want to collaborate (“Network”) to inventing his own dance (“The Ségo Step”) to creating a character who shares his sense of humor (Uncle Ségo) — this now-24-year-old is an innovator unlike anyone else in the game. Another way he stands out is by putting together original cuts right on the spot. With no edits or pre-preparation, Maségo can take an Earth, Wind & Fire classic, add some New Orleans bounce to it and have everyone racing into a twerk session. It is thanks to his ability to chart his songs using symbols (since he’s never learned to read music traditionally) which has enabled him to stand out from the ever-so-crowded field of solo artists / performers.

If you’re still on the fence about the kid then press play on songs such as “Girls That Dance” or his latest, “Navajo,” which will force you to get off your ass and jam. It is hard to resist when you have someone who can “do everything” from playing the cello, drums, piano, harmonica, guitar, bass, trumpet, trombone, and saxophone. With numerous projects out on Soundcloud—Loose Thoughts is a personal fave—you can get familiar with the military brat, church-raised musical savant before it’s too late.

Because if you ain’t know, the boy’s stock is clearly on the rise.

He joined GoldLink and Hare Squead in July for BBC 1 Radio’s Piano Sessions series where he made OutKast proud with a cover of “Roses”. That same month, Maségo built with one of the greatest producers/musicians/record men in the game — Quincy Jones — as the two discussed living legends for the former’s JBL headphone premiere. He then lent his #TrapHouseJazz sounds for VanJess’ certified banger, “Touch the Floor,” and proved that he was not only a star but a pretty damn good producer. As a musician who takes action in everything he does, Maségo is one you should definitely add to your playlist, favorites—whatever—before the Johnny-Come-Latelys claim him like they do all of our great acts (see: Kendrick Lamar). Armed to the teeth with an explosive mix of humor, relatability, musical dexterity and star power, Maségo is every bit of a blessing as his Tswana-inspired stage name would suggest.

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