Maségo photographed by Ural Garrett for Okayplayer.
M: You said it right there… just speak the truth. We do live in a time where “Young Dab,” “Neh Neh Ba Ba Black Sheep” and them can have a million-and-one fans and a hit record, but so what! Ride your wave, young man, ride your wave. I just know that my wave is like a .gif or a Vine. It represents a collective change in how music is created and interpreted. A shift is happening. People are realizing producers and beats drive the music that we love. The masses definitely have basic taste, but there are plenty of [crate + sample] diggers out there who are finding and sharing gems with others.
OKP: For those on the outside who don’t know what #TrapScatting and #TrapHouseJazz is — can you elaborate and let us know how you originated the style?
M: I’m trying to lace these shoes on the game, young one. I was introduced to scatting from the great Ella Fitzgerald who made it coo to say [that] I have spent a great deal of time in Newport News, Virginia. Trap is an energy to me. My scatting has just a different energy to it than what you’ll hear elsewhere. You can call me “Low-key Young Thug TrapScats,” y’know?! It is when you’re not saying anything but you really are. You have to feel the soul of the sound for yourself. #TrapHouseJazz is my genre, my band and my movement within this industry. It is where ignorance meets elegance, also known as a “musical gumbo”. It really allows me to make my own rules, my own lane. Any musician out there that embraces the energy of trap while keeping their own musicianship, we reach out to, highlight their skills and collaborate with them. We have a secret app that we use to facilitate these relationships called K.I.T. (Keep In Touch). It allows us all to chime in on each others lives, trade resources and make us all rise. I made up #TrapHouseJazz back in high school, so whoever you think influenced me… nah, cuz, it was all me and my homie, David Conley.
OKP: Collaboration is uniquely a key to the success of certain creative individuals who wish to change the game. Who would you want to work with this year and why?
M: I love collaboration. I would love to work with Jill Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Hiatus Kaiyote, Anderson .Paak, Uprising Creative and that one guy Eric Lodol showed me with the symphony band mixed with electronic instruments. Pure genius! Why, you ask? It is because they are all incredible in their own way. I was telling FlyLo (Flying Lotus) the other day on Twitter that collaboration is great when two dope people come together to create something even doper. It is advantageous. I respect these people, their crafts, their ideas so much and with it combined with mine, I believe that it would be great music for the culture.
OKP: What is the overall message that Maségo is trying to present in his music?
M: Be creative and appreciate the little things.
OKP: Can you two break down the inspiration behind “Girls That Dance”…? Could you speak on the creation and production of that song for the masses?
M: Man, oh, man, what a record. So, backstory, I create loops with my RC-505 from Boss. I freestyle to the beats I make up with my friends. Any rhythm groove or anything like that is in that looper. At the time, I think Medasin remixed my song “Love Be Like,” and I quickly became a big fan of his and his approach to music. It was as simple as him sending over a creation, and it would trigger this flow that I did over one of my old loops. I think originally I might have passed on it at first, which I’m glad that I didn’t. I ended up re-arranging the track’s ending.
Medasin changed the beginning timing of that infamous sounding sample, and the beat became how you hear it today. Fast forward, and I’m in this hotel room for a show in South Carolina. It was myself and Anthony Alston, who co-wrote “Girls That Dance” with me, and the two of us were freestyling over the beat, just trading words back and forth. In-between that, we were talking about the best traits in women. I had my recording equipment, so I sung a little something-something. Anthony told me to take out the phrase, “With my A-1’s, [laughs] I am so glad he said that. We then finished it all up, sent it back to Medasin, he mixed that joint greatly and the rest, as they say, is history!
OKP: How do you see yourself changing the music industry for the better versus all of the bad stuff that goes on within it?
M: I am going to do very cool, creative things in this game. I have great ideas and I execute them excellently. As I continue to grow as an artists, get more money and fame, those ideas that I cultivated will become more grandiose and will happen faster in the public eye. On a deeper level, my songs will continue to become a part of people’s lives. Songs about travel, songs about love, songs about pure fun and songs about the world’s tragedies will all resonate and change the culture as we know it.
OKP: If the reader’s learned one thing from this First Look Friday chat with Maségo — what would it be and in what would Uncle Sego think about his nephew’s future?
M: [Laughs] I think you’ve learned already that I talk a lot. Whoever chooses to read these paragraphs of insight is a real one [laughs]. If Uncle Sego was here, he would say that his nephew, Cadalac Johnson, is going to watch Hey Arnold!, learn some jazz tracks and utilize every resource one could ever want to become one of the greatest artists living on the planet.
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