Master Peace's 'How To Make A Master Peace' Is a Cheeky Nod to Alt-Punk British Youth [Album Review]

Everyone wants to have an early and exciting story about how they discovered their favorite artists before their career took off, but sometimes those favorite artists are actually just served up on a silver platter. Every time I listen to music, I say a small prayer for Spotify's "Discover Weekly" algorithm for bringing my friends and me artists like Master Peace. Peace Okezie, more commonly known by his artist name, Master Peace, is a brazen twenty-something mixing irresistible melodies with cheeky British humor. In the last few years, he has collaborated with the likes of British artist Mae Miller and iconic producer SG Lewis for a remix of "Chemicals." He has amassed only 300K followers on Spotify since his music hit the platform in 2018, but his discography boasts some of the most catchy, irresistible pop-sleaze hits that are primed for a blow-up.

Now, Master Peace is ramping up with the release of his debut album, How To Make A Master Peace. The album is a punchy turn towards alt-rock and indie sleaze. To summarize the sound, Peace comments, "I drew influences from Indie sleaze & indie dance acts such as Friendly Fires, Justice, LCD Soundsystem and early Calvin Harris. But beyond this, I also found inspiration in the soundtracks to some of my favourite shows: Skins, Misfits & even Waterloo Road." The project examines themes of Black and British youth going through the trials and tribulations that adolescents go through with drugs, alcohol, and love. Unlike some foreign artists, where you can't tell where they're from until they start talking in between songs, Peace is unmistakably British. He lays on his accent so thickly into the music that it can become hard to decipher lyrics to an untrained ear (like mine). I had a few of his words mixed-up all wrong until I dared to look at the lyrics. The result of this is refreshing, and adds an element of personality into the music, defining him as a UK artist. No surprises here (I've been singing his "Sick in the Bathroom" in his accent: screaming "BAHF-ROOM" at the chorus and giggling).

One of his main collaborators on the album is songwriter and producer Julian Bunetta, a musical powerhouse who is a longtime collaborator with the boys of One Direction and has been since their days of the boy-band. Peace remarks, "Julian played a big role on this album, especially in terms of direction and formula. He knew what I was missing from the music I had put out in the past, and he knew that I needed to captivate people from the off, so we spoke and it absolutely changed my whole perspective on what this album needs to be.  Him and my other producer Matti (Matt Schwartz), are the reason this album sounds cohesive in its sonic and it’s writing and it’s relatability." Peace also doesn't use any samples or demos, committing to making each song from scratch and producing something foundationally new.

The other unmistakable thing about Master Peace's new album is his cheeky lyricism. His humor adds a new dimension to his themes of punky youth. "LOO SONG" is a favorite, a shamelessly penned tune about a girl interested in both him and his girlfriend. Peace sings, "Aye, n***** think they're hot, but they're not / They ain't been involved / Tell me what you want / Not my fault that she's on my balls / Don’t be mad at me 'cause I'm sweet / I be looking cute / She said, "bring her back", I'm like "mad" / Make my dreams come true." "LOO SONG" was one of six singles released "waterfall-style" under "Shangaladang." Master Peace and his team rolled-out the freakier, more upbeat half of the album this way, while saving the deep-cuts, ballads, and longing melodic songs for the full-length album.

Peace's single "Shangaladang" is making waves on UK's BBC Radio for its catchy and ambiguous title. Master Peace posted a clip of himself on-air explaining the titling and expressing his emotions at releasing his album, "my baby." Other high-voltage songs include his opening track "LOS NARCOS" (and rightfully so, this seemed a perfect pick to open the album with). "LOS NARCOS" is a scream-fest of British punk-pop laden with drugs, money, and sex.

The raunchy hook states, "Girls goin hard with her daddy's credit card… drugs ain't for free / every toilet every beach / every park every leach / man I can't stay sober. The single "Start You Up" is a poppy earworm about trying again to re-ignite a lover. The lyrics go, "So don’t try and deflect me / You said I was your baby / I still got all the texts that you sent me and some more."

Other notable songs on the album include "Heaven," a fun, buzzy electronic number with record scratches, plucky guitars, and synthetic chord progressions. "Panic 101" has a more classic alt-rock sound, reminiscent of scene music. My personal favorite, "Sick In The Bathroom," is an emotional ballad, with a nod to Depeche Mode in the repeated lyric "reach out and touch me."

Master Peace's debut album How To Make A Master Peace is just that-and it's out now on all streaming platforms. If you're lucky enough to be in the UK right now, Peace is touring around the area and you can catch him singing his new songs live.

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