Interview: MAS1A on bringing The Irie Guide… flavour to Australia for Singapore: Inside Out

Australians are soon to get a taste of Singapore’s eclectic and thriving arts scene, when Singapore: Inside Out takes place in Sydney from November 3rd to 5th. Bringing artists from across the realms of visual arts and music, as well as some culinary boundary pushers, SG:IO is a way for Singapore to bring their cream of the crop out to Australia in bridging the gap and forming new connections between two very different artistic cultures.

For hip hop and reggae inspired artist MAS1A, coming to Sydney has been on the bucket list for some time. A seasoned traveller, she tells us of her anticipation leading up to the events this weekend.

What is exciting you the most about coming to Sydney and representing for Singapore?

Back when I was living in Toronto, people told me that I just had to check out the hip hop scene in Australia. I’m thrilled that after hearing about the scene for years, I’m back on this side of the world and I finally get to see it for myself. To do this under the Singapore banner is icing on the cake.

Have you been to Australia before and if so, what has been a big drawcard about being able to showcase your music here?

I’ve never been! But I do have Australian friends [who] I’ve met around the world who are really open-minded about travel, music and culture – if these friends are representative of the crowds I’ll see in Sydney and Melbourne, I think the audience is going to be lit!

How has 2017 treated you in terms of the music you have been making?

My biggest news of 2017 was having my vocals played through the speakers of New York’s Time Square as part of the trailer launch for Fast & the Furious 8: The Fate of The Furious. It was unreal! Bass Nectar has sampled my underground hit “Warriors Tongue” in his new song “Speakerbox”, but no one guessed it would one day be used in the official trailer for such a major motion picture.

I’ve also been keeping busy with various collbaorations with many artists in the places I’ve toured to, including Vietnam’s rap queen of hip hop, Suboi and Indonesia’s king of reggae, Ras Muhamad, while focusing on a new album called The Irie Guide to the Far East Side. I’m working with Richie Beretta – the album’s executive producer – and Major Lazer in the production of the album, it should drop next year. It’s going to be the guide to Irie places in Southeast Asia through video, music and images through my eyes, as I explore my own roots in Southeast Asia after spending so much time away.

What do you think an event like Singapore: Inside Out stands to deliver for Singaporean artists in terms of producing opportunities for networking out in Australia?

I believe any opportunity for unique cultures to meet and create will result in greater things for all parties involved. On all my tours around the world, I’ve always been most fascinated by the people and the culture, and I can’t wait to meet more awesome Australians.

How crucial, in your opinion, do you believe events such as these are for musicians?

We live in a digital age where people all over the world can discover and choose their next favourite musician online and not be limited by where that musician is from. Nothing beats the experience of watching that musician perform live, off screen, right in front of you. And that’s what Singapore: IO does, it brings us to our audience.

Do you hope to tour out this way in 2018?

Yes, with my new album The Irie Guide to the Far East Side coming out next year! I intend to tour the album and further explore reggae festivals and hip hop events in Australia and beyond. Maybe I’ll add an Irie Guide to Down Under one day, fingers crossed!

Singapore: Inside Out takes place within the Chippendale Creative Precinct. For more information about the event, head here.

Keep up to date with MAS1A online here!

Photo by Ren D’vila.