Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 29th 2010 10:00AM by Julian Marszalek
Yet having recorded under a variety of band monikers, it comes as something of surprise that Mason's has decided deliver his latest, and quite probably best post-Beta Band collection to date, under his own name.
"I've been wanting to put out records as Steve Mason for ages really but I didn't want to get lumped in with people like David Gray and that army guy that sings, James Blunt," explains Mason as he takes shelter from the rain in an east London pub.
"I was about halfway through the album and it was going to be a King Biscuit Time record and I just kinda thought, I wanna slip away from every thing that I'd done before and say, this is just me, really.
"There was a point a few years ago where I had five or six different MySpaces with music on with all different bizarre names and that was ridiculous so I just thought I'd knock all that on the head and be myself. It actually feels quite nice just to be me, really."
'Boys Outside' is an album that's recognisably Steve Mason. His soft, lilting voice, strolling baselines and lolloping beats are all present and correct but there's a succinctness and directness of delivery present that's been absent from his previous work. Partly it's a result of Mason's desire to work with re-mixer and producer Richard X -- the man who helped pioneer the bootleg craze of the last decade before adding his pop magic touch to the likes of Liberty X, Kelis and Sugababes.
Given the pedigree of both artist and producer, the pairing may -- on first inspection at least -- seem like something of a mismatched pairing. Yet according to Mason, his choice of producer isn't as eyebrow-raising as it may seem.
"I wanted to work with someone who's a ruthless pop producer because I've always wanted to make a pop record, or at least a more poppy album anyway and he's definitely the man to see. It was a great experience, really," says Mason.
"I love all types of music," Mason continues, "but I've always had a massive love of hip-hop, reggae as well as a million other different types of music. When you're immersed in that, there's a certain thing that you're looking for."
He's not wrong. It's a pairing that's produced an album that's by turns seductive, intriguing and just plain groovy. The real Steve Mason, it seems, has finally stood up to be counted.