Up-and-coming artist Maasho has been unstoppable since the success of his banging hit “Fresh Air” in 2019. In the short year and a half since, the North Carolinian rapper, singer, and producer has dropped ten additional songs as well as some other unofficial material on SoundCloud. At 18 years old, the independent musician has been featured on playlists like Spotify’s “Anti Pop” and “No Borders” playlists, and he has come this far all the while studying communications full-time at East Carolina University.
Maasho kicked off his music career in 2018 when he uploaded his first song “Turn Me Up” on SoundCloud. He has since taken it down – along with the rest of his earlier releases – because he says that music was not very representative of him as an artist or the direction in which he was attempting to move towards.
“I didn’t wanna trap myself in a bubble. I wanna do what I want and make the music I think is cool. I wanna make music that makes me wanna sit down and cry. I want something that I can be proud of, not just a banger. I wanna make timeless music.”
Maasho was first introduced to production in his junior year of high school by his digital music creation teacher. He and his classmates set up a little fully-equipped recording booth in the classroom closet, and that’s where he spent much of his time. Unfortunately, he was forced to transfer schools before senior year and lost access to the amenities he was got to use for free.
With no means of making music, Maasho’s passion slowly dissipated; until one day he met a producer named Cash Paradox, and the fire was lit again. He started uploading his songs to SoundCloud, and by the end of his senior year, he was able to gather a small following of other high schoolers in the area. In May of 2019, Maasho put out his first five-track EP Senioritis, which is no longer on Apple Music or Spotify but still up on SoundCloud.
Maasho’s first official release on Spotify and Apple Music was his summer 2019 hit “Fresh Air.” The catchy tune features Weston Estate and remains Maasho’s most popular song with over ten million streams across platforms.
At the end of that summer, Maasho realized he had done exactly what he tried so hard to avoid: trapping himself in a bubble. “I felt like I was only making trap music, but I didn’t really wanna make trap music. I wanted to make timeless music, as I said,” he emphasizes.
So then, he started getting really into indie music until he realized that he had, once again, trapped himself in a bubble. At this point, he was having what he describes as a “crisis,” and even contemplated abandoning his entire music career. He remembers sitting in his car one day, crying to himself in complete silence and asking himself, “why do people listen to my music?”
“Music has become the largest aspect of my life since I was running in high school, and I was running since the third grade, so I was pretty good at it. I dropped the biggest part of my life in exchange for something else, but now I’m having second thoughts about why people would listen to me.”
After some motivational words from close friends and family, Maasho thankfully decided to keep going. In March of 2020, he released “Chanel,” a song he describes to have been a turning point for him as an artist. “Things have really started picking up, not only because of [Chanel] but because I changed my mindset as an artist and figured out how I’m going to identify myself,” he says.
“I wanna be somebody that changes other people’s lives through my music and be able to impact people’s lives – whether that’s just putting a smile on their face or giving them something to be happy about or letting them know somebody else out there relates.”
After “Chanel,” Maasho dropped a mini three-track EP called World On Fire and, most recently, his infectious and diverse collaboration with Sonny Miles called “BIG SHOT!”