There have been a lot of weird, laughable moments in 2016 — a lot of overreactions over tweets and the like. A root cause of these reactions is people taking themselves way too seriously. The world is full of big problems, and little things seem to irritate people and consume their daily thoughts. In music, too, you feel people driving themselves crazy with their own seriousness. The reason so many people get into music is, of course, for self-expression, but also to entertain. It is easy to forget that, and important to remind yourself. It’s not that serious. You might want it to be, but it’s really not. Just have fun with it while it lasts.
NOTE: The SoundCloud mix is missing track 4 (“Moon II” by Louis Val) and track 16 (“Movie Screens” by Rory Fresco). Original image by Damon Casarez for NYT.
MAKA is a singer and producer from Cambridge, MA, who has been on my radar for quite some time. His new track “Better,” produced by rising Boston rapper and producer Haasan Barclay, is the full realization of the MAKA sound. His voice, as always, is the star of the show.
In any given moment, MAKA has a seemingly limitless number of ways to attack a beat with his dynamic voice. The trick is to pick the correct lane for his vocals, and on “Better,” he picks the right moments and pockets to show off that Makonnen-esque deep, undulating voice. I fully believe MAKA is a star in the making. He has undeniable originality, a solid team of collaborators, and an opportunity to make a dent in this industry.