Masia One
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Masia One

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Reggae




"Masia One wins three at VIMA music awards"

So, it’s a been a while since we heard from Singapore rapper Masia One, but we finally received an email from her, and what happens?

She just goes out and wins top honours in three categories at the recent 2013 VIMA SE Asian Independent Music Awards, held in Kuala Lumpur last week. She bagged Best Hip-Hop Song (Warriors Tongue), Best Collaboration (for Errrybody ft. Pharrell Williams, The Game, Isis Salam & DJ Dopey) and the Thank You For Existing awards.

According to a VIMA statement: “Masia One has been a trailblazer and has been making waves of late with the stunning release of her album Bootleg Culture featuring collaborations from heavyweights such as Pharrell Williams and RZA. Masia One has taken Southeast Asia to a whole new level with a mixed bag of Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B and Dance.”

The rapper gave shout-outs to her fans on her blog ( “It has been truly amazing experience to be a part of this event and I am so grateful for all the new musical friends I have made and the doors of opportunity that open from this recognition. Sending love to all the fans that took the time to vote and gave me encouragement on the road to the awards.”

She also acknowledge her late brother Ming, who passed away last year. “Finally, LOVE to my bro Ming Towers ... this one, two and three is for you. I’ll do my best to make you proud and let your legacy live on in the music and good vibes.”

Masia One was nominated in eight categories for her latest album, Bootleg Culture, produced by Grammy winning producer Che Vicious (Kanye West, 50 Cent, Lauryn Hill) and Travis von Cartier. Also featured on her album are RZA, Talib Kweli, Pharrell Williams and The Game.

- TodayOnline Singapore

"New Music: Masia One feat. Pharrell, Game & Isis “Errrybody”"

Admittedly I don’t know a thing about Masia One but I found myself pretty distracted by her collabo with Pharrell and Game. Of course, this lead me to dig into her music and I’m loving it. The homie Nav over at HHNM has some real info on her:

“Originally a graffiti artist, Masia One is a femcee who was born in Singapore, raised in Vancouver but studied at University of Toronto where she took to rapping seriously. Her new album BOOTLEG CULTURE LP hits stores in September.”

Listen to “Errrybody” after the jump… -

"Masia One Puts A Spin On Bootleg Culture"

Inside an Italian pizzeria in the heart of downtown Toronto on a Tuesday evening serves as the perfect backdrop to release of Bootleg Culture, the latest album from Masia One.

“I want community; I want people to come together to network, hustle and build together, that’s real life,” says the femcee, born in Singapore and raised in Canada.

That sense of community exudes at the Bootleg Culture release party. With many people in attendance, ranging from Masia’s close friends to record industry executives, the vibe is more of a family house party than a traditional album release.

“She rap, she sing, she has reggae style. It’s great,” compliments Masia’s longtime friend and DJ of the night, Toronto-based reggae artist Lindo P.

But of course, along with such accolades comes criticism as well, Masia shares. “I’ve been criticized over the years. Especially by Canadian music critics, that I’m too schizophrenic. That I don’t stick to one particular style that they can understand. But we’re artists, we’re diverse; we’re allowed to write dancehall one minute and hip-hop the next minute and pop the next. I’m being true when I do that, [it’s] not because I am having an identity crisis.”

The style diversity she draws reference to is evident throughout Bootleg Culture. The album ranges from hip-hop and dancehall to catchy love songs and truly emulates the artist’s background and beliefs.

“What I want fans to take from it is number one, even if you don’t look like the dream that you have, you can still do it” – Masia One

“Real life is bootleg culture… I also felt like I wanted to make music that will make people feel brave. I feel like music is a spiritual thing. I wanna have when that first drum beat of “Warriors Tongue” comes in, it’s like a warriors summon.”

And summon is what she is doing with this release. Inside a room dimly lit with a few candles, the mood is set as Masia One performs the first single off her record, the aforementioned, “Warriors Tongue”. The message resonates clearly over the sharp percussion of being true to one’s self and fighting against all odds.

“What I want fans to take from it is number one, even if you don’t look like the dream that you have, you can still do it. Two, don’t take things so seriously. A lot of the songs have political conscious messages that I try to hide in the mainstream sounding beat. And three, bootleg, propagate.”

Words By. Aliecia Brissett -

"EYE Weekly / "All B-Girls School feat. Ladybug Mecca""

"In true grassroots fashion, she switched roles from promoter of the night to performer. On stage, backed by her live band Ultra Magnus, she performed album cuts and brand new material. Effortlessly in-synch with her band, she had enough control of the crowd to introduce new MCs Khanh Artist and I. James Jones without missing a beat." - Joseph Galiwango

"Exclaim Magazine / NXNE 2004"

"Masia One It's a no-brainer that Masia One is one of Canada's most-gifted female MCs, but after a performance like tonight's it won't be long until her gender altogether takes a backseat to her vicious abilities on the microphone. With a full band to back her up, including a small horn section, Masia One flowed like silk as she dropped politically-charged numbers on the unsuspecting crowd, who just continually craved more. It goes without saying that Masia One is a very important figure in our country's hip-hop scene." - Noel Dix

"The Fighting 44's / Interview with Masia One"

"If your name is Andrew Baker and you want to be a professional violinist, you might be able to succeed; if your name is Ashanti St. Clair and you want to sing jazz, you just might make it. But if you’re Asian and female and you want to be an emcee ? No goddamn way.
Unless your name is Masia." - Lopan & Dialectic the Stealth M.C.

" / Interview with Masia One"

"With the lyrics visibly written on her hand, the hip hophip-hop artist admitted she wasn’t quite familiar with the new song just yet. I found that hard to believe because her flow was smooth and bang on. Rapt with attention, all ears were perked, necks strained and eyes glued. The petite Singaporean beauty was a force to be reckoned with, rapping with conviction and edge. One unidentified audience member in a Pink Floyd shirt tried to take the rapper to task, throwing down the dance gauntlet. Without missing a beat Masia One danced right back. This unexpected performance added flavour and depth to the different sounds already represented at Dufferin Grove Park. Those in attendance can consider themselves lucky to have taken in Masia One’s performance as she continues to cause a stir in the hip- hop scene." - Lidia Vila

"EYE Weekly / "Much Vibe""

"Titled Mississauga in tribute to the coincidental home of almost all of her crew - talented producer Yoroku Saki, engineer Al P of Girlsareshort, contributing musicians, and others - the album is solid. Masia One rhymes over adventurous beats, forays into booty and electro, and samples ranging from Isotope 217 to Pharcyde. This original thinker also produces events showcasing the talented peeps in her life." - Denise Benson

"The Toronto Star / "Not Your Usual Rapper Chick""

"...But the independant artist is strictly business and she's ready for her closeup. Her independent debut album, Mississauga, has started to make the rounds of local record shops and she's ferociously gigging, last weekend in Ottawa, at T.O.'s Dundas Square as part of Style in Progress...She's just releasing her first album officially, but she's already thinking about the next. "This is the first one and it's more like a demo. It's all completely produeced, but with the next one I'm thinking of having all live instrumentation," she says. "Besides taht, it's just all about pushing this record." With good reason, since Mississauga has never sounded so good." - Raju Mudhar

"Masia One & Friends: Pulau CD Release Party Rating NNNN"


Business-tight Masia One was no joke, putting together an almost flawless lineup who delivered an assortment of entertaining highlights. Montreal’s Sikh Knowledge came with high-energy hip-hop but was unkindly given the Screwface stonewall. They remained stoic before Japan’s DJ Sarasa sliced up the between-set sections. Something was missing from San Diego duo Sabowtawj’s show, a small step down before the headliner.

Masia One then stormed onstage with an army of gifted collaborators and live musicians and put on a heart-warming performance full of smooth vibrations and masterful melodies. An all-star three-part harmony consisting of Jessica Kaya, Tanika Charles and Zaki Ibrahim was simply phenomenal, while a razor-sharp Junia-T and Van Khanh also rocked the mic.

...She performed at the top of her game.

Addi Stewart

- NOW Magazine


MUSIC / VIDEO releases

Sept 2012: Album Bootleg Culture

Sept 2012: Number One video

Sept 2012: Errrybody ft. Pharrell, The Game & Isis. Viral video

Sept 2012: Bootleg Culture Sampler mixed by DJ Autograph

Aug 2012: Soldier ft. Talib Kweli viral video

Feb 2012: Alright OK! video

Dec 2011: Warriors Tongue video

October 2010: Montreal In The Fall video

May 2010: High Place Drive album

Sept 09. 2008: PULAU album


May 2005: Split Second Time nominated for Much Music Video Award (1st time a female has been nominated in the category of Rap Music)

October 2004: The Hazing video

May 2004: Split Second Time video

November 2003: Halfway Through the City Video

August 28. 2003 : LP Mississauga release

TELEVISION Highlights:

March 2011 - AUX TV, MTV, CTV, CBC, CBC Radio
Sept 2010 CP24
May 2010 CTV, Global
June 2010 MTV Canada
Nov 2009 CTV, Rogers, CBC
July 2005 Annual Asian American International Film Festival
March 2005 CBC "nerve" Masia One commercial aired Famous Player Theatres Nationwide (trailer)
July 2004 Much Vibe host
Jan 2004 CBC Zed TV live performance
Dec 2003 BPM TV
May 2001 Teen TVO
July 2001 Much Vibe Commercial



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 The 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.

Masia One recently won three South East Asian VIMA Music Awards. Best Hip Hop Song (Warriors Tongue), Best Collaboration (Errrybody feat. Pharrell, The Game & Isis Salam) & Thank You For Existing Highest Honor Award.
She was nominated in eight categories, including nominations for Best Overall Female Act and Best Pop Song - "Make Up".

In May 2013 Masia One got the opportunity to perform for the first time in Europe. Did shows in Germany and Sweden as well as working with Swedish producer team Musicano.

Also of note Masia One, together with The 411 Initiative for Change, tours through over 200 high schools each year working with young people by teaching them about the arts, women's rights, HIV/AIDS awareness and promoting the importance of education.