His name is Christoffer Kasim, he's 28 years old, was born in Singapore but currently resides in Holland. Kasim's mother is from Indonesia so he lived there until he was about 8 years old. His father is Dutch so they eventually moved to Holland where Kasim has lived for most of his life. He did a short stint here in New York City but Holland was a-calling! And it is there that he created Music For the Masses, a site devoted to nothing but tunes.
Without a doubt, this has become one of my favorite online destinations and I was absolutely floored when I saw that MU4MA was only created in April of this year! The site can now break it down like no other. Pop isn't just Pop. It's Ambient Pop, Dream Pop, Singer/Songwriter Pop. Did you know about Shoegaze music? Me either so color me impressed!
I "sat down" with Kasim to talk about all sorts of good stuff from what his musical guilty pleasures to his favorite song of the moment.
That Fashion Dude: What compelled you to start Music for the Masses?
Music For The Masses: I was fascinated by the independent and underground music industry for quite a while. I came across a lot of artists who put out amazing songs but did not always get the love that they deserved. Then I stumbled upon music blogs like disco naïveté and yvynyl, and websites like Plotholes In My Blog and Pigeons & Planes (http://pigeonsandplanes.com), who all solely focus on independent artists. These sites create a testament that a site does not have to play popular music to be successful and appreciated. I got inspired and decided to start a new music blog. Thus, Music For The Masses was created where I, along with my newly formed team (shout out to Angelina and Johnny for helping me bring more good music!), showcase our love and support for independent and underground artists as well.
TFD: What are the top 3 criteria a song has to meet in order to be posted on your site?
MU4MA: Our taste in music ranges from Classical, Jazz, Folk, R&B to Rock, Experimental, Electronic, House and everything in between. So, it's quite diverse. But since we solely focus on independent and underground music, the only criteria we have is that the artist is independent and/or underground – so, no Lady Gaga, Rihanna or Coldplay.
We also get emails from (DIY) artists who want their music to be featured on the blog, and since we want to give everyone a chance, if we like it, we'll post it. It doesn't matter if you only have 10 followers on SoundCloud and this is your first track ever made, or if you're already a well-known artist in the independent music industry.
TFD: What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to music?
MU4MA: Okay, I’ve got a few. Please don’t judge me for it. I like belting out Toto’s “Africa” in the shower. Also, there’s Mika’s “Grace Kelly." I sing like a teenage girl to this song. And sometimes, after a long day, I like to sit in a large comfy chair, pour myself a glass of fine wine, then listen to Sisqo’s “The Thong Song” while I reflect on my day. And then there are the Spice Girls. Enough said.
TFD: Let's say you're on a road trip with your best friends. What song or artist immediately springs to mind?
MU4MA: I've been streaming The Walkmen's new album, Heaven, a lot lately. It's already released in the US, but in Europe/UK we have to wait until June 4. The album contains quite some songs that are perfect for a day at the beach and for road trips. And if I have to choose one song, it would be the lead single, "Heaven." A simple two-chord progression, reserved bass and drums and hopeful lyrics that almost anyone can relate to. This is the type of melancholy stuff mixtapes are made from. And it's a super catchy song to sing along to.
TFD: Someone comes to you and says that you can only listen to one album for the entirety of summer. Which would you choose, current or old?
MU4MA: I would choose Beach House's new album, Bloom. It’s absolutely terrific! I can listen to that for days and not get tired of it.
TFD: Who has been the biggest surprise, musically, for you this summer thus far?
MU4MA: First of all, without a doubt, Jessie Ware. She has been exciting a lot of people with her blend of supremely classy Pop vocals with the best of modern bass culture. She already made a name for herself through her vocal contributions to SBTRKT's excellent debut album, but since she's gone solo, I fall in love with her with each and every new song she releases.
Canadian Electropop duo, Purity Ring, have become an instant favorite as well. They have been generating a lot of hype and have already conquered the blogosphere with their addictive pieces of Future Pop. That’s because every song the duo has released thus far has been a killer.
Slow Magic has surprised me as well. There is something instantly magical about him. The mystery, his tribal mask, the title of his debut album (▲). He takes all the key features of the chillwave genre, makes them his own and runs ahead of the crowd.
And lastly, Koda. I’m surprised that a talented artist like Koda still manages to fly under the radar in the blogosphere. The Electronic producer and singer/songwriter creates such a refreshing and unique sound that is both innovative and powerful. And he continues to craft and record high quality music as if his life depended on it. I started following him when I came across the absolutely gorgeous "Reclaimer" and since then I've been a big fan of his work.
TFD: What's one song that you currently cannot get enough of?
MU4MA: According to my Last.fm page, it's Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs' "Tapes & Money." This standout electro-house track, and one of my favorites from the flamboyant electronic producer, has got me dancing for days. I'm pretty psyched about his forthcoming debut album, Trouble!
TFD: Lana Del Rey or Kimbra?
Seriously. If you want to discover sensational music, you need to click over to Music For the Masses. Oh! You have your own set of questions for Christoffer? Well, tweet him (@mu4ma). While you're at it, tweet me (@thatfashiondue) just because!