THE chaps of Masa Diora…
have been telling me about their upcoming single, You Don’t Love Me. I ask what we can expect from the song and what comes next for them. I wondered how the band got together and whether there are some upcoming artists we should follow.
The guys reveal the albums most important to them and what sort of artists they grew up around; if tour dates are a possibility; what advice they would give to musicians coming onto the scene – they each pick a song to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! We’re all really good and immensely excited to finally share our music as a band – the countdown has officially begun! It’s been a productive week for us - but no different from any other as we‘re constantly writing and recording new tracks.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
I’m Jonty. I play the lead guitar and produce alongside Callum.
I’m Callum. I play the keys; I sing, write and co-produce the songs.
I’m George. I sing, I play the rhythm guitar and I’m also a songwriter for the band.
How did Masa Diora get together? Is there a story behind that name?!
Callum: Me and Jonty met whilst studying Music Tech at college and bonded over our love for experimental music and art.
Jonty: The band then came together after I contacted George asking if he fancied making some music. Once he was down, I asked Cal the same question. We’d previously made music together in the past but never thought of forming a band until later on.
As for the name; we wanted something that simply sounded cool! The name is an anagram of 'dioramas' which are those 3-D model things you had to make in high-school for art/history classes – where you had to create a little scene - a moment in time - to tell a story which is exactly what we are doing through our art. After we had ‘dioramas’, we then made ‘Masa’ – a wordplay of N.A.S.A. (we love space) – and ‘Diora’ simply followed to create ‘Masa Diora’ (pronounced: may-sa dee-aura).
You Don’t Love Me is coming soon. What can you reveal about the inspiration behind the track?
We spent some time creating a story of our own – a tragic fiction about an unrequited love and how one's mind can become so disillusioned by the obsession of a 'perfect world'. Y.D.L.M. is where this psychedelic journey begins. You gain the first glimpse of our character and how he deals with the emotion of loving someone who does not love him back, which inevitably takes a turn for the worse.
What might we expect in terms of forthcoming material and future plans?
Expect something (very) unique. We’ll be dipping our toes into the streams of Jazz, R&B and Rock as we experiment with our predominantly psychedelic sound. The story in which we’ve crafted continues throughout each track and each release.
Do you think there is a U.S.P. the band has that singles them out from others?
Certainly. We’re a band with a story and an emphasis on art. We take time and effort to focus on every aspect of our presence - that being our music, visuals and look. Our music is hard to compare to anyone currently out there which stands us out from the crowd.
In terms of artists and music; what did you all grow up listening to?
Jonty: I grew up listening to a range of music, from Sam Cooke to the Wu-Tang Clan. The biggest inspiration for me to learn the guitar and get into music was listening to artists such as Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix; Pink Floyd, Guns N’ Roses and the ELO.
Callum: I can remember the first ever song I played on guitar was Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan, followed by Cat Stevens’ classic Father and Son. It was tracks like these that also got me into songwriting and, also, realise my passion for creating music of my own.
George: I grew up listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac...and I absolutely loved Bobby Caldwell; picking some taste in music up from my dad who loves Jazz, and my mum, who just loves music in general. Names like Jimi Hendrix and Metallica really set me on the right path to begin learning guitar; artists such as Frank Ocean and Frank Sinatra got me into singing (my two favourite Franks).
Do you think there will be touring dates? Can we catch you play?
We would love to tour! After we have a few releases under our belt, the live music scene won’t seem so far away at all.
What could we expect in terms of your stage show? Is the stage somewhere you all love to be?
We have so much energy when writing and we soon want to take that energy to the stage. Our shows are something that we want to make really memorable, as much an audio experience as a visual one to match our psychedelic sound and retro sci-fi vibe. We also have a keen eye for detail and a love for tech – so expect something a little ‘different’.
If you each had to select an album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Jonty: I’m stuck between The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd and Rodeo by Travis Scott as I remember just loving the production on both albums – they both really inspired me to develop my music and production and skills.
Callum: Although it’s not exactly an iconic album, nor is it necessarily my favourite, + by Ed Sheeran stands out as one of the most influential for me in terms of realising my passion for music. It just reminds me of how I started out and brings back a lot of good memories.
George: I love the Another One by Mac DeMarco. It really inspired me to start learning guitar and made me realise that music was the thing for me. And, still to this day, it helps me to focus on that passion and mute all the stressful things in my life.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Sounds corny but our favourite memories have always been sitting down with each other and creating a completely new piece of music as you just don’t know what you’re going to make or where it’s going to take you. It’s a thrill which is very addictive.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
George: I’d actually love to support someone like Mac DeMarco as he’s another big inspiration for both me and Jonty.
Callum: In terms of who has inspired me to create something different and experiment with music, I’d probably say Bon Iver. Wait…am I allowed Fleetwood Mac?
Jonty: For our rider, we’d request a bottle of wine (quite likely to be more than one) for each gig so that, hopefully, by the end of our career we’ll all be professional wine connoisseurs. And, if we had butlers, then we’d have them dressed in some retro-looking space uniform and address us all as ‘captain’. Oh…and we’d have to have a few beanbags – like, big ones.
What advice would you give to artists coming through?
Just keep working on what you love; experiment and continue to craft your own sound. There will be someone out there who appreciates your music as much as you do...don’t give up on it!
IN THIS PHOTO: Delights
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Music is how we unwind. Haha! But, music aside, we’re all huge T.V./film buffs so if we’re not out chilling with our mates, then we’re either at home binge-watching a T.V. series on Netflix or at the cinema watching the latest sci-fi.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Thank you for having us; it’s been a pleasure!
Jonty: Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix
Callum: Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac
George: Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry
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