First Look Friday: Enrich Your Earholes With The 'King Of Trap House Jazz,' Maségo
Maségo photographed by Ural Garrett for Okayplayer.
Witnessing how dope Maségo is versus just singing his praises is easier than shooting fish in a barrel. The Jamaican-flavored, Virginia saxophonist and producer is affectionately known as an “ultimate creativist” in select circles. A very imaginative, multi-talented, impressive all-around quadruple-threat (see: “I Do Everything” from Loose Thoughts) — Maségo has earned accolades and praises from the likes of Solange Knowles, GoldLink and DJ Jazzy Jeff. What drew us to his style — besides the Pink Polo EP and TrapHouseJazz — was his crazy ability to innovate songs on the fly via his Looper pedal and his deep-rooted curiosity.
Maségo, whose star is clearly on the rise (see: Maségo collaborating with Brasstracks in the song below), is a jack-of-all-trades entertainer and entrepreneur. In addition to his studio rat habits, his sunny disposition and his laser-like focus — Maségo also has ambitions to become a tech guru within the industry. His own iPhone application, Keep In Touch, was designed specifically to help those looking to be in the game get better footing. How it works is that Network would cut out the pesky middleman and enable them to leverage their skills and connections directly to those who can make moves.
As you’ll come to learn in this First Look Friday chat, this self-diagnosed “demo-itis” genius has gift wrapped an abundance of work (see: The Pink Polo vinyl) for the masses to enjoy and digest. If he isn’t in the studio building on his already healthy catalog of music, he is grooving audiences with his live stage performances (see: “The Ségo Step”) or wowing them with his #TrapScatting. The living embodiment of a game-changer, Maségo is bringing his soul to the forefront and as the inventor of the #TrapHouseJazz sound, we speak to him about his buzz worthy talent, his love of Cab Calloway and his work with Dallas’ own producer du jour, Medasin.
Get a taste of this modern-day James Brown by listening to “Melanin Man” featuring The Brasstacks, below, and check out how Kanye West‘s birthday twin can confidently do everything. Learn this guy’s name and commit it to memory, he’ll be around for years to come. Enjoy!
Okayplayer: To music snobs the world over, you are making an impact on both sides of the U.S. What is it that those in Los Angeles are seeing and hearing that the rest of the world has yet to discover?
Maségo: [Laughs] Cool question, man. I think, in general, we appreciate people that aren’t close to us. There is a fascination that is bubbling between the masses. Everyone is curious now. They wonder, “Who is he? How do they do things over there?” and on a basic level, I know that it is all peace to me. I smile a lot, I wear Hawaiian shirts because they’re comfortable and it brings me to a state of serenity that fits Los Angeles. So, [with all that] they have embraced me as one of their own.
OKP: For those who have a passion for music, they honed their skills and practiced their craft. Who are your most cherished influences in music and why?
M: Hmmm, most cherished? I have to start with the one, the only Cab Calloway. Me and that man have the same energy. He’s definitely my second pops. There is so much to say about him, so please, if you haven’t done so, do a lot of research on the originator of “Hi-De-Ho”. Jamie Foxx is another influence. I love him for his “I Do Everything” ability. In his career, music and comedy came together perfectly. I also super-cherish, Ebrahim, ever since back in the early YouTube days. I would watch his videos and glean the techniques he used on a loop machine to bring it all together. Nowadays, he reminds me how important family is via his own social media. I really feel [that] he understands love. John P. Kee is that country side of me. I absolutely love his energy, his James Brown-esque approach to singing. Last, but certainly not least, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. His swagger, his passion, his performance level and execution — man, he’s it! I channel all of these people at different times
OKP: Your song, “Disconnected (Shorty From VA)” is really dope and has heightened anticipation for some more new work from you by music snobs who have a heavy presence in the industry. Can you talk about how life was for you while developing as an artist in the DMV (Norfolk, VA)? How did you react to your first bits of press ever received?