Rising electronic artist MAFRO today shares his new single ‘Try’, the latest track from his forthcoming EP Higher, due for release on 26th Jan 2024 via LG105. The track follows his sold out showcase at Third Man Records in Soho last week, watch highlights from the night here.
A piano house cut featuring vocals from queer artist Qhairo, ‘Try’ sparks MAFRO’s signature feeling of euphoria and joy, pulled into focus by Qhairo’s gospel inspired vocals and MAFRO’s instinctual, icy synth pads. Speaking on the track, MAFRO explains: “On the surface, ‘Try’ is an upbeat and inspiring track, but underneath it has a lot more to say. Whilst working on this track with Qhairo, I was fortunate enough to speak to him about his life and journey, which in turn inspired a lot of the meaning behind the record and the direction I took when finishing it. Qhairo is from a gospel and church background, you can easily feel that inspiration and direction in his music and voice. He’s also queer and we discussed the challenges and difficulties that he faced within that community. To me this track feels like it has been written to explain the feeling of being part of a community, but not totally fitting in. It explores the juxtapositions between love and acceptance, but only when it fits the right agenda.”
In contrast to his debut EP Bloom, MAFRO’s forthcoming project Higher represents a newfound passion for songwriting, exploring an even broader range of influences and leaning naturally towards a more vocal-centric direction within his music. MAFRO’s multicultural background has profoundly inspired his music-making. Growing up in North London with a Trinidadian mother and an Irish father, MAFRO’s home was filled with a blend of steel pan-infused Soca beats, and traditional Irish melodies, while his older sister liked UK Garage and RnB.
Accepting this diverse mix of influences wasn’t always easy. He had very different reference points to his friends and as one of the few black or mixed-race people in his circles, MAFRO often struggled to define his identity, both as an individual and as an artist. Over time, embracing this journey of self-discovery grew to become a creative advantage. Rather than viewing his heritage as a burden, he began to dig deeper into it as a source of inspiration. As the electronic music world becomes increasingly more diverse, MAFRO feels more confident than ever leaning into his individuality. Steel drums, gospel pianos, and even elements of traditional Irish music with its extended chord progressions find their way into his music. This fusion doesn’t always make sense on paper, but it’s exactly this experimentation that excites him most as a musician.
In his own words: “When people ask me about the music I create, I often respond with a smile, saying it’s ‘crossover electronic music that can’t be easily labelled.’ And you know what? That feels right to me. It embodies my journey, from feeling slightly out of place growing up to finally creating music that is authentically me.“
MAFRO’s technicolour electronic music strikes the perfect balance between club euphoria and melancholic introspection. The multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter cut his teeth co-writing and co-producing for huge global names including the tear-jerking ‘Killing Me’ with TSHA & Aluna, ‘Somebody’ with TSHA, Ellie Goulding and Gregory Porter, Diplo’s huge breakbeat anthem ‘Let You Go’ as well as working on high level composition projects for British and American Film & TV. Since then, MAFRO has stepped out as a rising star within his own right following the release of his debut EP Bloom earlier this year and is now regarded as one of the most exciting new names in electronic music: Bloom landed MAFRO on NME’s list of emerging artists for 2023 and was supported across the board at BBC R1 by Clara Amfo, Danny Howard, Jack Saunders + many more. He also covered Spotify’s UK House Music playlist for 5 consecutive weeks around the EP with further covers for Metropolis, Portal and The Loft.
Stay tuned at Futuristic Tracks of the Week selection and Listen to MAFRO’s new music first