"It takes bravery and hard work" Masia One feature in Today Newspaper

Sending a great big thank you Today Paper for this full page feature in the Culture & Lifestyle section on my music, work and recent achievements at 2013 VIMA South East Asian music awards.  I love that this article was right next to Jay-Z's picture who went from street life, to artist, to bigger than Hip hop.  I'm working on taht May-Z hustle.

Many thanks to writer BALVINDER SANDHU and editor Chris Toh.  


Read the full article here or posted below.


Hip-hop artist Masia One is setting the international scene on fire — thanks to a cassette she bought in Bedok

SINGAPORE — From scribbling rhymes in a notebook as a kid to recording in Bob Marley’s studio in Jamaica — hip-hop artist Masia One has sure come a long way.

She first fell in love with hip-hop after buying a Public Enemy cassette somewhere in Bedok when she was eight, and she hasn’t looked back since. The Singaporean moved to Canada the following year. Hip-hop gave her an avenue to express herself while she pursued her academic studies (she graduated from the University of Toronto with honours, majoring in architecture).

She first had the opportunity to show off her emcee-ing skills as a last-minute replacement at an all-female hip-hop showcase. With her first album, Mississauga (2003), Masia became the first female emcee to be nominated for a Much Music Video Award (Rap). More albums followed, including the noted double disc Pulau (2009) and Bootleg Culture (2012, which featured the hit Warriors Tongue). She has shared the stage with the likes of The Roots and Mos Def, and has worked with Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Pharrell Williams and The Game.

More recently, she recorded a yet-to-be-released album at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica. “As a little girl growing up in Singapore listening to my brother play Bob Marley’s songs, I would have never imagined that one day I would walk into his studio in Kingston, Jamaica, see his handwriting for songs he had written still on the piano and begin recording my own songs inspired by him. These are the most beautiful moments in life to me.”

And her Singapore fans will want to be at Fort Canning Park on Saturday, when she, along with Brit MC Lady Leshurr, co-hosts the Big Wig Music Festival, which features acts such as Pharoahe Monch, The Bizarre Ride/Pharcyde, Kevin Lester/DJ KoFlow, The Cuban Brothers and Wicked Aura Batucada, among others. To think the girl was scolded for “remixing” songs as a young student. “In Singapore, I would get in trouble with my English teacher for adding Chinese to English songs and (vice versa). I was always told, ‘That is not how the song is supposed to be sung’ and I would wonder what’s wrong with my version of the song.” It’s no wonder that Masia is active in promoting arts education, along with anti-bullying and female empowerment (she has conducted workshops for 50,000 students in Canada) — and has received the Chinese Canadian National Council Pioneer Award. It’s also no wonder that she describes her musical style as “music to make people feel brave toward their pursuits in life”. “It is my purpose as an artist that has been blessed with so many amazing opportunities in my career, to show a younger generation that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and your passion,” she said. “I was able to achieve my dreams in spite of not fitting into the status quo or looking like I play the part. It takes bravery and a lot of hard work.”

The Big Wig Festival is on April 6, 3pm, Fort Canning Park. Tickets at S$105 from Sistic. Read the full interview on Poparazzi (http://www.todayonline.com/blogs/poparazzi )