Alexander Crossan (born 5 April 1996), also known by the stage name Mura Masa, is a Guernsey-born electronic music producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Crossan is perhaps best known for his song "Lovesick", which reached number one on the Spotify Viral charts in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Crossan's self-titled debut album was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Recording Package at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, making him the first artist to be nominated as both a musician and creative director for the same album. His remix of Haim's "Walking Away" won Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.
Crossan was born and raised in Guernsey. After playing guitar, bass, drums and singing in local punk, hardcore, deathcore and gospel bands, Crossan started self-producing at the age of 15, "searching for samples on YouTube and other corners of the internet". He entered the electronic music scene after learning about Hudson Mohawke and streamed music via YouTube, where he discovered James Blake, Cashmere Cat and SBTRKT. Crossan's influences, including Gorillaz and The Smiths, inspired him to write music and learn to play different instruments. At 16, Crossan started to make electronic songs using Ableton Live, and uploaded them to SoundCloud the following year under the alias Mura Masa, taken from Japanese swordsmith Muramasa Sengo.
At 17, Crossan uploaded his first tracks, remixes and bootlegs to SoundCloud. The track "Lotus Eater" was picked up by BBC Radio 1 with Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart all playing the song on their shows. After leaving Guernsey to study English literature at University of Sussex in Brighton, Crossan began playing his music live, with sold-out shows at the Green Door Store in Brighton and Electrowerkz in London. Crossan started his career by posting a mixtape called Soundtrack to a Death to SoundCloud in 2014. The mixtape was subsequently distributed globally by German label Jakarta Records.
Someday Somewhere: 2015–2016
Crossan signed to his own label Anchor Point Records in 2015, in partnership with Polydor Records and Interscope Records who distribute in the UK and in North America respectively. As well as Mura Masa records, the label has released music by Dublin artist Bonzai and post-music duo Jadu Heart.
In April 2015, he released his debut EP Someday Somewhere, with lead track "Firefly" being chosen for the In New Music We Trust playlist at BBC Radio 1. Released via Anchor Point, the EP featured UK vocalists Nao, Denai Moore and Jay Prince. The track "Lovesick" from the EP reached number 1 on the Spotify viral charts in the UK and USA. On 27 April 2015 he broadcast a 60-minute mix on the BBC Radio 1 show Diplo and Friends Alex was long-listed for the 'BBC Sound of… 2016' in December 2015, and placed 5th overall in the shortlist in January 2016.
On 15 March 2016, he unveiled the second single "What If I Go?" from his upcoming album. On 30 September 2016, he released his collaborative single titled "Love$ick" featuring American rapper ASAP Rocky via Anchor Point and Downtown/Interscope Records. The song is a newer version of Masa's 2015 single "Lovesick Fuck". Crossan said he arranged a meeting to discuss the collaboration with Rocky when he happened to be in London for several days. An official music video for the song was published on 3 November 2016 by Mura Masa's VEVO channel on YouTube.
Mura Masa: 2017–present
Crossan co-wrote the track "First Things First" on Stormzy's Gang Signs & Prayer, which entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1 on 3 March 2017. The track also entered the singles chart at number 25. On 17 March 2017, he released "1 Night", a collaboration with Charli XCX. Speaking about the collaboration, he said "I think I just had that beat lying around for a while and we sent it to a couple of people. Then Charli just did her thing".
Crossan released his self-titled debut studio album, Mura Masa on 14 July 2017. It was released on 14 July 2017 by Polydor, Interscope, Downtown and Anchor Point Records. The album was produced and recorded from 2014 to 2016, and has guest features by A. K. Paul, ASAP Rocky, Bonzai, Charli XCX, Christine and the Queens, Damon Albarn, Desiigner, Jamie Lidell, NAO and Tom Tripp. Upon release, it received positive reviews by critics, and debuted at number 19 on the UK Albums Chart and at 192 on the US Billboard 200. The album received nominations for Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Recording Package at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
In June, Crossan worked with Nile Rodgers-organised collective Chic on the band's comeback album, It's About Time. He featured alongside Cosha and Vic Mensa on the comeback single "Till the World Falls", which was released on 22 June 2018. Before that, 12 June 2018, the band also premiered another song from the album "Boogie All Night", which features Crossan, alongside working affiliate Nao. Crossan's remix of Haim's "Walking Away" won Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on 10 February 2019.