Every time that I do an interview, I feel very pleased to discover the life of important DJs worldwide. This time I had the hon0ur to interview Tomo Hirata, who has been recognized as one of the best DJs in Japan since the early 90s. Today, his new passion is EDM and of course, he is ultra happy with his latest single “Taiko”. Read this exclusive interview below!
1 – When did you become a DJ?
In 1990, I released my first record on HOOJ CHOONS from the UK. Then I rented a bar and started DJing with my friends. It was like a house party at the beginning.
2 – When did you get interested in music?
When I was 14, I first listened to Cumbia (Colombian dance music) on FM radio and was very impressed with it. As I was not a big fan of Japanese pop and hated Karaoke, groovy music gave me big impact.
2 – How big is the EDM scene in Japan?
Ultra Japan’s 42000 tickets(21000 per day) are sold out. Electrox which was held in January gathered less than 10000. Now you can guess how quickly the scene is growing!
3 – There’s been a lot of discussion of the term EDM, What’s your opinion on it?, Are you against it as a term for the current scene?
EDM is the mainstream dance music at the moment and there’s no room for doubt. I know many people complain about EDM as it’s very money-oriented. But actually it gives people the ultimate joy and spreads the PLUR mantra. Good music doesn’t have to be complex or underground. If you can’t get good feeling from EDM, all you need to do is just to ignore it.
To be honest,I don’t like discussions about music. The discussion always pulls the trigger of quarrel. Remember what Bruce Lee said. Don’t think: FEEL!
4 – What do you get the most pleasure from producing or DJing?
The feeling that my music makes people happy & united.
5 – How has the Internet changed your working life?
To communicate with people in the world gets drastically easier with the growth of the Internet. In 1990, the only way to communicate with HOOJ CHOONS was by international telephone call which was really expensive. Now I can work with anybody in the world with e-mail and SMS. And I don’t even need to release my tunes on record labels. Just uploading it on Soundcloud or YouTube can be more effective sometimes.
6 – Tell us more about the production of your latest single “Taiko”.
I was really surprised to see the explosion of the US EDM scene in 2011-2012 and found it very international. DJs/Producers from Netherlands, Sweden, America, Canada…were playing together and created a really big movement. I thought this EDM movement was the biggest dance movement in the human history and would like to join it. That was the reason why I started making EDM. “Taiko” is my first namecard to that international scene and it shows my Japanese identity with the use of Japanese traditional sounds. On the other hand,I didn’t want to make it too Japanese. I spent a lot of time adjusting the balance of Japanese elements with the modern EDM sounds.
7 – What is the meaning of “Taiko”?
“Taiko” is the name of Japanese traditional drum which is played at festivals and ceremonies. It hasvery spiritual sound.
8 – Describe your music with only three words.
original, emotional and positive.
9 – Who do you think is the best DJ in dance music right now?
There are so many great DJs and I can’t choose one. I can’t compare French food with Japanese food 😉
All I can say now is I enjoyed Alesso’s set at Tomorrowland 2014.
10 – What do you think you’ll be doing in ten years’ time?
I’ll be trying to make better music & to play better DJ. I’ll never stop making music & Djing. DJing at the age of 100 for 20 years old kids sounds great!