Mason Summit is a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA. Since age 13, he has been playing around L.A. at venues such as Genghis Cohen, Molly Malone’s, The House of Blues, and Hotel Café. Mason’s third album, Gunpowder Tracks, was released in September 2016, and has garnered comparisons to Wilco and Ryan Adams, as well as KCRW airplay on Valida’s The Lab.
In this interview spotlight, we chat with Mason about the latest project, motivations, challenges and more.
Full Q&A along with links and music below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I was born and raised in Santa Monica, California, around a lot of music and other art forms. I like to call my music “alternative” or “indie”, mainly because those terms don’t actually describe a sound… My goal has always been to defy categorization. That said, I incorporate elements of folk, power pop, jazz, country and psychedelia into my music.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?
This album is really different for me because I recorded and mixed most of it by myself at home, and also played almost all the instruments. It gave me an opportunity to get better at bass and keys, as well as the engineering process. I definitely didn’t want it to sound “lo-fi”; I wanted to make the best-sounding record I could, within those self-imposed constraints. Doing it yourself definitely slows it down but it also gives you the freedom to record whenever you want and have complete control.
Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)?
I’d say the main challenge of being a musician right now, of course, is streaming. I held out for a long time before breaking down and getting Apple Music, when I realized that we’re long past the point of no return. People just don’t want to pay for music anymore, so making records is no longer a viable source of income for most musicians. At the same time, it is infinitely easier than ever before to make decent-sounding recordings at home, and to share one’s music with the world.
Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?