They are about to perform in one of the biggest and most happening indie music events in Malaysia, Good Vibes Festival in a couple of months. Before that, let’s look at their journey from being high-school buddies that connected through their love of hip-hop to creating music. We had Ming (Producer, Mixing/Mastering), Alan (Vocalist, Lyricist, Producer) and Ilyas (Vocalist, Lyricist) from Mass Music to talk about their achievement and their next plan moving forward.
How did Mass Music come about?
Alan – We met each other in high school. We grew closer by sharing our common interest in music.
Going our separate ways after high school, an idea of creating original music sparked my mind. After doing some research, I bought a groove production system called Maschine 2. (Ming) was studying in UK, Ilyas was studying in America and I stayed in Malaysia. When Ming and Ilyas got back from their summer holiday, I showed them the Maschine and that planted the seed to create original music. Although we were in different continents, we were committed to this passion by Skyping each other every other day to bounce off song ideas, concepts and sounds. I guess we shared that common interest because it was a gateway for us to express ourselves.
In 2015, we released our first mixtape , “Practice Flex” and have released a total of 20 songs digitally. That’s pretty much how we got on the music bandwagon.
What was your first impression of each other?
Ming – I always thought Alan was the cool kid and Ilyas was the new kid from the block. He stays nearby to me and would carpool to school every time.
Alan- We all came from different social groups. I’ve always found Ming as a person that’s willing to adapt and learn more. We all got close towards the end of high school.
Ilyas- Ming and Alan had very different personalities, but what was similar about them was their willingness to try new things and push the boundaries.
What motivated you all to start Mass Music professionally?
Ming – We personally didn’t care about what others think of us. Making music stems from our own passion and we weren’t seeking into fame rather to just express ourselves. We’re always having fun with it, I guess being professional right now just means making business decisions to push our brand forward.
Why the name MassMusic?
While creating music on the side, Me(Alan) and a group of friends would record videos of us trying to woo a girl and it would be added to our Youtube channel called MassLifestyle. We were pretty viral in the sense that we got interviewed by Hitz.FM and garnered about 150,00 viewers on social media over a short period of time. We called ourselves Mass Lifestyle. It was all fun and lasted for some time but we weren’t making any money. While that was going on, we were still talking about music and from there, we just took Mass and combined Music with it.
Another reason why we took the name Mass Music is also from wanting our music to reach the “masses”, which is ultimately a global audience. We expand on our music genre so it fits to everybody.
Your new EP, Yired, it’s been going around and people are still figuring what that means. Care to explain what is the real truth behind the word ‘Yired’?
Ming – When I was in America, studying audio engineering there, Some of my friends who stay there keep uttering “oh, that’s Yired”. It’s basically a slang language from Pasadena, California for ridiculous (in a good way).
Alan – One day in the studio, Ming played the “Yired” beat he made and I decided to freestyle over it. For some reason, I freestyled the word “Yired” and just went with it. The lyrics and the beat was cohesive to the word . We finished the song in half a day and we wanted to push the point in of what Yired meant. So, we put in bunch of situations that represents “Yired” . For example, “ playing DOTA, 5 blunts smoked, that’s Yired”.
How did the gig to perform at Good Vibes Festival happened?
I (Alan) spoke to local rapper, Jin hackman and we set up a meeting together. I even played few of our songs to him. During an event launch, he walked up to me and ask if we wanted to perform for Good Vibes Festival. I just froze and eventually the word yes came out from my word. We just couldn’t help but feel excited because this opportunity is once in a lifetime.
Who are you most excited to see during Good Vibes Festival?
Majid Jordan and the local acts for sure like Zamaera, Naufal & I-Sky, A-Kid. It’s good to be around people that we know for sure we’ll have a vibe with.
“Blue Skies” It’s been raining recently, been missing the blue skies lately, come around lay on cloud nine, better yet find the time for sunshine. • • • •Link in bio 🎤: @ilyas_youngeli 🎹 : @mingaling26 🥁: @alandurairaj 📷 : @gotta_be_midnight_somewhere 🎨: @akirarih • • #artist #producer #original #music #blue #sky #love #musicproducer #massmusic #instavid #instavibe #instamusic #Malaysian #rain
What are some of the biggest struggles you all have to endure?
(Alan)- Marketing our music out there is pretty much one of the biggest obstacles we have to overcome. We do it old school too by pasting a bunch of posters all around PJ, Bangsar, Subang area. Basically also just reaching to people through social media and branding ourselves with our natural personalities.
In your opinion, why do you think some Malaysians are shutting the local music down?
Ming – I don’t think Malaysians are shutting local music down, they are just not exposed to it enough. The majority of Malaysians are accustomed to music on the radio and aren’t being exposed to local music . As a musician, it is critical to be smart in the music industry to get exposed . You need to look at the business aspect of the industry and not just focus on the creative side. There is so much talent here in Malaysia that people do not recognize and the support of Malaysians would go a long way in growing our music industry.
What advice can you give to those starting out in the music industry?
Ilyas – You gotta “eat dirt”. What we mean by that is you gotta know where you’re coming from and why you started music in the first place. If you’re looking for fame or handouts, it’s not gonna come to you. Instead, just stay committed from day one, go out and spread your music out there (in our case, handing out posters, DM-ing people to welcome suggestions back on our song), and gather resources and try to finesse that. Support is another big thing. You can’t do music alone without a helpful team. Lastly, have vision, be yourself and put in the time on your craft and work towards your dreams.
Just pushing the MassMusic brand out there and network around. Definitely, we are focusing on making more great music and just pushing ourselves out there. Our core strength lies in the music studio as we handle all areas of production by ourselves.
If you’re interested in watching them perform at Good Vibes Festival (21st -22nd July, 2018), tickets can be bought through here : Good Vibes Festival .
You want to get Yired up, listen to their other amazing song or simply know their whereabouts, here’s where you find them;