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Masia One, a multi-genre artist

December 27, 2012

An extraordinary Singaporean female hip-hop act who went beyond all norms.


Born in Singapore, Masia One became a fan of hip hop after stumbling upon a bootleg copy of Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’ at the age of 8.

After moving to Vancouver Canada at the age of 9, Masia developed a keen interest in graffiti and break dance. However it was not until she started studying architecture at University of Toronto that she began writing rhymes and performing. There began her journey into the music world.

Masia One’s debut studio album ‘Mississauga’ was released in 2003. The album was well received and the music video for the lead single ‘Split Second Time’ was nominated in the category of best rap video by the Much Music awards.

Masia’s second studio album, ‘Pulau’ was released in 2009. The album attained the number one slot on the Canadian College Radio Charts as well as charting on both CBC Radio 3 and South East Asian Radio.

Masia has also released several remix EPs on Muti Music. The EPs feature collaborations with artists such as Ill Gates & Bassnectar. These records exposed her sound to Dance Music crowds and were featured on Electronic Music sites such as Beatport where a few of the singles charted.

Masia has developed into a well rounded multi-genre artist. Her sound reflects inspiration drawn from touring through North America, Jamaica and Asia and sharing the stage with acts such as The Roots, Floetry, Mos Def, DJ Neil Armstrong, Lady Saw & Ron Sexsmith.

Courted by Grammy Award-winning Aftermath producer Che Vicious (Produced for Lauren Hill, Kanye West and 50 Cent to name a few), Masia began working on what would later become the album ‘Bootleg Culture’.

‘Bootleg Culture’ was released in September 2012 on Muti Music and featuring collaborations with artists such as Wu-Tang’s The RZA, Thunderheist’s Isis Salam, Uh Huh Her’s Cammy and Idle Warship’s Graph Nobel (Black Molly).The Bootleg Culture Album Sampler features an unreleased version of the album track ‘Errrybody’ which features Pharrell and The Game.


How does it feel to be nominated for a VIMA award? What does this nomination mean to you?

This nomination means the world to me. I am a Singaporean girl that discovered hip hop music as an 8 year old kid in Singapore and been able to work in world class studios and with world class artists around the world. This will be the first time I am being recognized by Southeast Asia, the place of my birth. This is a dream come true for me.

What efforts have you made to promote your nominations to your fans?

Facebook, Twitter, website, Instagram and a newsletter that goes out to 20,000 subscribers. We have announced the voting process at various Masia One live shows. The VIMA nominations have also be mentioned by various press particularly in Canada and America, most notably CBC Music (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) recently publishing a full album stream of Bootleg Culture as well as a mention of the VIMA nominations.

Do you believe that social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube and twitter are relevant marketing and publicity tools for a musician? What efforts have you made to engage with your fans using social media?

Of course they are – but they have to be used strategically. The Masia One team has created different graphics and links for fans to vote for the VIMA’s on twitter, FB and the website. As well, management has started a Facebook Page that directs the fans to each of the 8 nominations. Each of the links to the VIMA voting are being tracked by loaded links to evaluate which is the most effective vehicle online to promote voting.

How would you best describe your music?

Bootleg Culture – a mix up of different styles like Hiphop, Dancehall, Pop, Reggae and dance to create it’s own unique culture and sound.

If you were a superhero, what sort of super powers would you have and what would you champion or fight for?

The ability to engineer, build, transport and conjure up the raw materials to create and build anything. I would champion building infrastructure in villages where children need food, education and clean water. I would create beautiful villas equipped with studios in the most remote islands so that I could have studio sessions with my friends with natural backdrops. I would also be able to build sound systems anywhere to create instant parties in places where the vibe was low.

If you had a chance to collaborate with any musician on the planet, who would it be and why?

Celine Dion – cause she is the queen of sentimentality. LOL. Damian Marley in terms of writing and creation.

Have you championed any good cause? What are your plans to do more?

Once a year I go on a tour with the 411 Initiative for Change that goes into high schools and promotes ideals such as anti-bullying, girls rights and abuse to young people. I am slowly building the infrastructure to help create an international cultural exchange between SE Asia and North America & The Caribbean for kids to teach one another through arts education (music, art, dance). Education is key but there are other forms of education outside of book smarts including travel and cultural understanding.

Money or fame? Why?

Money. The root of all evil is the also the gateway to independence and freedom if used in the right way and for more than yourself. Fame is fleeting and I know many famous and broke artists that have allowed fame to create a negative mindset for themselves.

What is your adviceto up and coming musicians?

My music company’s name is Merdeka Music – we are in an age where the artists by educating him or herself can achieve the most out of his artistic expression through remaining independent and self sufficient. Stay true to yourself and your message and make good music through keeping your music independent.

What are your thoughts on music piracy?Would you give your music away for FREE?

My new album is called Bootleg Culture – and the physical album comes with a branded blank CD that allows you to burn the record the music for someone else. Slowly we are also releasing the acapellas off the album to allow DJs and producers to create their own remixes and versions. As well, graphics from the album are available for graphic remixes. We live now in the information age, where there is a fine line between piracy and inspiration. I believe in giving the listener the tools to create their own version of the music so that they can be a part of the art.

The Bootleg instructional manual on how to Bootleg my music and can be found online.

Please find all of Masia’s Social Network connections here:

VIMA Masia FB page: http://bit.ly/VnVuWn
VIMA Masia website page: http://bit.ly/UEO5Wp
Twitter: http://bit.ly/RAk8Yv
Facebook: http://bit.ly/11ASWe7
Instagram: http://bit.ly/VzD5rO
Masia One Blog: http://bit.ly/WKQH2o
Youtube Channel: http://bit.ly/12i8Ysz


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