Rising up in the UK underground R n B scene, Mista with his recent release ‘Rescue’ represents the way traditional R n B should sound like. Writing the lyrics himself, we chat to him about what its like to be an unsigned artist, the importance of blogs promoting musicians and how his music covers a whole spectrum of moods and emotions, love, sex and life. Margaret Tra writes.
Your music is all over blogs, how does it feel to know people are spreading the love this way?
It's great to have people generally supporting my project because they love the music, the bloggers have been a huge part of my campaign, a lot of people tell me they came across the single through blogs. The most amazing thing though is that these bloggers have a passion for music journalism like I do for music, and together we kind of aid each others works, music bloggers need good music worth writing about and unsigned artists like myself need bloggers as a form of promotion. The Internet has changed the way of music promotion so much, and blogs among the many is just as much a powerful platform.
How did you start getting into the music industry? What inspired you?
I was always surrounded by music growing up; both my parents are singers and both featured in recognised lovers’ rock bands in the 80's, so I guess my 1st influence comes from them. I studied at The Brit School of Performing Arts, and The British Academy of New Music as a teenager and went on to gain a degree in commercial music with The University of Westminster. I've always known I wanted to do music and forwardly have been since my early teens. Many artists achievements has encouraged me but it was Craig David's early success that really inspired me to take a real shot at it.
Who influences your music?
It's hard to say solely who influences my music but I feel alot of my influence comes from 90's and early nauties R n B. Now artists like The Dream, Neyo and T Pain are top in my ipod, but Ive always listened to pop music, which is full of many genres. I’m of Caribbean decent so of course I've grown up listening to reggae and soca. The indie/rock and jazz genres are all types of music that I feel have also influenced me.
Tell us about the R n B scene in UK.
It's growing, there's always been amazing singers in the UK doing this genre but now the scene is stronger than ever. I prefer to call it R&B, being British because I feel theres a cultural difference in the delivery, and feel this is why it's taken this long for the scene to successfully grow. It has definitly been about building a scene over time but with the UK grime scene flourishing (with it's total UK style) I feel UK R n B artists have positivily integrated with grime artists and are now delivering R n B that is culturally significant, and that represents a generation. It’s this new wave of R n B artists that are finally being recognised. The UK R n B scene is just getting started. The talent in the UK is just as that of the states. Its exciting to watch the scene grow. More UK Urban artists are successfully going stateside every year.
How would you describe your music?
My music is true. And represents me to the fullest. I’m an unsigned artist and I don't conform to anything, although this is a business and it's about selling records. I don’t try to formulate my material. I work with producers who I feel have a sound that represents me and my art, and I write what I feel is right. Generically it definitely falls under R n B right now, but you will here more contrasting material from me in the future. My music covers a whole spectrum of moods and emotions, love, sex and life, not only and always feel good music though. Yes my goal is to become a mainstream artist, but it's important for the music to remain relevant and where not always in love, having sex or living a perfect life are we? The best and most iconic artists music is true.
What projects are you working on?
Currently im working on my EP and some collaborations with some up and coming artists. I've written and recorded a tonne of songs so it's just about putting the music out right now. I've decided to concentrate on working with few producers, because I’m at a stage in my career where creating a sound is important. My debut EP will be predominantly, if not totally, produced by The Writers Block. I want to create something definitive so even though I have well over enough tracks, I’m still recording.
You are creating a buzz with your recent release Rescue, tell us about it.
Rescue is my debut single and was released digitally in July. The single was written by myself and produced by The Writers Block. It's a mid tempo song about a man’s promise to a women in need, a rescue. The song represents where I am right now as an artist. The instrumentation is synth based but has elements of live drums and futuristic electronic melodies. Stripped down it’s a love song/ballad but with the production it’s edgier and harder. It has been well received on the underground UK urban scene and has already opened up new doors for me. I’m still in promotion at this time but I’m steaming ahead towards a second single.
Where do you see Mista in a few years’ time?
I can only hope to be making continuous progression and making a positive impact in this industry. I see myself signing with a label that see’s my vision and understands the direction I wish to take my career. I would love to be on my way to sharing my music on both sides of the Atlantic. I want to make great music and deliver unforgettable performances, also to be collaborating with great artists and producers.