EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Japanese Turntablist DJ Takaki

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Japanese Turntablist DJ Takaki

0 comments 📅12 May 2016, 17:54

DJ Takaki 1

DJ Takaki is a world-class turntablist, having first made his mark on the DJ scene as a finalist of the DMC World DJ Championships when he was 16. Since then he has presented his scratching and beat juggling skills all over Japan, performing at some of the country’s most popular clubs and events. Now, he wants to take on the UK music scene, one that has influenced him for a long time, and MyM Buzz was able to meet with him before his debut at Flyjam Creative Agency’s spring event.

You were a finalist for “DMC” when you were 16, when did you first start DJing?

“I started DJing when I was about 15 years old. I first saw DJ shows and competition programmes that were shown on TV, and when I saw that for the first time I thought I had to do that. It was such a surprise to me because it might not look like you are playing an instrument as a DJ, but I am really interested in that. The scratch scene and beat-juggling was so influential for me, because it shaped my taste in music and what I wanted to do in the industry.”

What kind of music influenced you then?

“When I was 15 I usually listened to rock bands like Led Zeppelin and other classic rock bands, and then I started to become interested in electronic music, drum and bass, techno, and house music. That kind of music had a big impact on me, and were so influential for my style so my taste in music changed a lot when I was younger.”

What kind of electronic artists do you listen to?

“Roni Size. He has a record company called Full Cycle and their sound and style is so freaky so they are a big influence for me. There is also drum and bass, and rock music as well. The UK drum and bass and electronic scene is the most influential for me, like Ram Records, DJ Krust and Hospital Records – they’re really famous drum and bass artists in the UK and Europe.

DJ Takaki 4

Are you working on any music right now?

“I am thinking about it and am currently planning one release in the UK and Europe. Also I am working on the production side of music as well. Maybe six or seven years ago I started, and I had one release in the UK. There’s a famous clothing brand in the UK, and they organised a big compilation with different artists to release a CD in the UK and I joined with my tune for the album B-Side by Wale.”

What kind of music do you produce?

“It’s basically electronic music as well, but maybe not a particularly categorised genre because I like to focus on originality for my music and atmosphere. I also prefer music that has a much darker, cutting edge underground vibe. I want to reflect all of those in my music.”

You performed for the Panasonic commercial for the FIFA World Cup, what was it like doing that?

“Yes, I performed for the support song commercial for Neymar Jr organised by Panasonic during the FIFA World Cup. I am surprised it did so well! I had to use 10 turntables, and I practiced for a whole week to be able to do it right. When I first saw the DJ booth I was surprised that there were 10 turntables, and I thought maybe I can do it with practice.

“I practiced 12 hours a day for one week, so I was preparing for a long time. I don’t think I found it that difficult because I had confidence in my skills for scratching and beat-juggling. Normally I use two turntables — analogue ones that use vinyl — but in the case of the Panasonic commercial they were all using CD’s, but since they had the same feeling as an analogue turntable I was comfortable playing them!”

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Did anything change for you after you did that commercial?

“When I went to some venues to do gigs, and I met people there, many of them said that they saw my commercial. It was also picked up by a Japanese TV programme in the morning, so after that some people also told me that they saw my commercial.”

You also performed at Shibuya 109, one of the biggest department stores in Tokyo, what kind of event did you hold there?

“It was basically promotion with Monster Energy. When they came to release Monster Energy in Japan the company wanted to have a big promotional event, and Shibuya 109 is one of the most popular venues in the country and it looks great as well. The company said they wanted to do some sampling of Monster Energy, so they asked me to perform with them when they were doing that.”

You provide both a visual and musical experience for the audience. How do you intend to do that here?

“When I am DJing I think about what kind of image will suit the music I select. I think about the visual side, and what I wear as well. For now, I want to check out the music scene in the UK first, and then I can see what I will be able to do here during my performances. But tonight I will be doing a short-time showcase of my skills in scratching and showcase.”

What do you plan to do in the future?

“I just started my career in the UK, and I only moved here last month. I want to be in an active city like London because its club and music scene is so exciting for me, and so influential for my music. I want to stay in London for a long time! Of course, I really hope I will be a success here and I think I need to grow with the city, and learn to adapt my music through experiences so that I can improve my musical level to suit the level of everyone that lives here.

DJ Takaki 2



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