Interview

Deep Dive with Maasho [Q&A]

Joe DelloStritto

If you don't know the name Maasho by now, you will soon. The humble North Carolina native provides us with some insight on his music, his streetwear line, and plenty more in this Deep Dive.

Talented at such a young age, when did you decide to really go for music? How old were you when you wrote your first song?  

I really only started making music in spring of 2019, but as a kid I used to write poems and stuff. A lot of the things I used to write have become songs that I hold in the vault right now.


So you must be busy attending NC State while also pursuing music. What's the hardest part of doing both?

The hardest part of being a student and a musician is really just fighting my urges not to do school work. I’d love to just sit down and make music all day and have that be my whole lifestyle, but school also helps keep me grounded. 


Did you grow up in NC? You plan on staying after school?

I moved to Cary, NC from Boston, MA when I was 7 years old so all of the important parts of my life have been here in North Carolina. For right now, I have my mind set on graduation but 2020 has shown me that everything can change in a matter of moments, so I’ll probably have to revisit this decision later.


To this point, whats your favorite song you've created?

Based on the music I’ve already released "boyfriend" is my favorite with BIG SHOT! At a close second. 


What's your favorite part of the creative process? 

I absolutely LOVE mixing. Engineering vocals and instruments is such a fulfilling part of my process because I have complete control over whats going on. It's the little things that engineers do that I believe truly make the song.


Having such a unique sound, who would you say you've pulled a lot of inspiration from? 

I’m Ethiopian so when I first started making music I drew a lot of inspiration from Aminé. He’s always pushing the boundaries when it comes to his music videos, merch, and sound. Recently I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Brent Faiyaz, The Weeknd, Harry Styles, and smaller indie rock bands.


Tell me a little bit about your latest release, BIG SHOT! and your relationship with Sonny Miles. 

Sonny Miles is also from this same area. He went to NCSU and graduated a couple years ago but I found out about him through mutual music friends. I had the open verse version of BIG SHOT! sent around to some people that I thought would sound good on it until a friend told me that I should reach out to Sonny. Sonny inspired me from the jump when I found out about him because of his soulful sound that I love so much. I played BIG SHOT! for him one night when we somehow ended up cooking something new with Lesthegenius. He immediately loved it and sent me his verse a couple weeks later. That's a guy that deserves the world, incredibly talented, outstanding friend and collaborator. If you get the chance, definitely go check out his music.


Speaking of collaborating with Sonny Miles, who has been your favorite collaborator to this point, and who would be your dream collaboration?

My friend REHMA who is featured on "Rest of Me" is by far my favorite collaborator. We met a while back through social media and when I flew out to LA for a couple days in January we finally met in person. We’ve got some other songs in the vault that you should be on the lookout for in the future. My dream collaboration is constantly changing on my music preference at the time but currently it would be Aminé.


Clearly into fashion and street clothing, tell me a little about your clothing company FACES.

FACES is a joint brand with my friend and graphic designer Shaheer Yousaf. I’ve been holding out for a while on doing merch because I wanted to make sure whatever I put out was top quality. Shaheer and I sat down one night this summer and started talking about making the leap but we wanted to create something we thought people would wear. After a couple days of bouncing ideas back and forth we came up with the design for the "World On Fire" Tees which are currently sold out. 



Tell us why should everyone care about Maasho? 

In all seriousness over the past year music has taken the biggest role in my life out of anything else that I do. I really just want to portray myself, my emotions, and experiences in a way that people can enjoy them and find fulfillment. Im 18, I go to college, I have 2 immigrant parents that wanted me to find a job in STEM, I’m speaking, singing, and rapping about real shit that happens to me, and as much as I’d like a #1 Billboard hit I’ll be fine without it. At the end of the day I make music for myself to help me progress through life and if someone else can benefit from that, that's all I need.

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