LessThan3: Your first album releases soon on Silk Digital. Can you tell us about your vision behind this project? Where did you find the inspiration behind the album and what impression do you want to leave on your listeners?
Shingo: Ever since I started producing one of my dreams was to make my own album. I’m very proud that my dream is being realized and that my album is being released by Silk Digital, one of the preeminent labels in progressive house. It took me two years to complete the album because each song was inspired by completely different sounds.
My inspiration often comes from daily life. For example, I made my first song Thousands of Sounds when I lived in Ibaraki Prefecture near Tokyo. During the summer nights I used to hear crickets chirping. One rainy night I recorded this cricket chorus, and it inspired me to make music out of it. Whenever I listen to this song, it reminds me of the Ibaraki landscape. My biggest single on the album, Sapporo, is actually where I am living right now, and then we have Hakodate, which is another wonderful place in Japan that gives me great musical inspiration. For me writing songs is like writing in a personal diary or taking a photograph. My one goal is for my listeners to see and share in mutual feeling the value and beauty of the great places in Japan.
LessThan3: Like many other great modern Japanese musicians, your music is highly emotive and reflective. How does your music represent your inner artistic vision?
Shingo: I have been playing the piano and a few different wind instruments since I was a child. I also listen to many different genres of music like Classical and jazz, thus I am influenced heavily by both my musical interests and experiences. I enjoy making music because it comes naturally to me; I approach it like an art.
LessThan3: Given that Japan is somewhat geographically isolated, can you comment on the influence of other areas of music or other cultures in your productions and those of your peers?
As a geographically isolated country, Japan has a unique culture and heritage. I have drawn inspiration from the traditional Japanese folk music of Yosakoi
, and the shakuhachi
One of Japan’s most popular DJ/producers, Daishi Dance
, who also lives and works in Sapporo, has become deeply involved in using the culture of our country in his music. He has collaborated musically with the monks in Shinto temples and has played with shamisen
players and the Yoshida Brothers
. All of his work is very interesting, and I hope someday I also will be able to collaborate with some great Japanese traditional musicians.
LessThan3: Do you feel as though this isolation has been a benefit for the creation of your unique sound and beats?
My music has been described to contain very strong Japanese characteristics, but then again my sound is not similar to other Japanese producers like A.Mochi
, Hideo Kobayashi
, and Satoshi Fumi
. From my personal perspective I would say that my music does not really have anything to do with the isolation, but rather it has to do purely with myself and how I think and act.
LessThan3: Who are some of your favorite producers outside of Japan, and are there any you would like to create an intercontinental collaboration with?
I’m a big fan of Soundprank
. His stuff is way groovy and emotional. I would really love it if he would come to Japan so we could do something together. As for another artist I would like to work with, it would probably be DJ Orion. He makes really chill tracks, and his chillout version of Raining in Osaka
is one of my favorites.
LessThan3: How do you think your career would be different now had your first entry to the industry not been through Anjunabeats, but through some other means?
If I had never met James Grant I would probably be producing uplifting trance. At the beginning of my career, my high school friends taught me to be a trance producer, and I liked to listen to Alphazone
and System F (Ferry Corsten
LessThan3: What was it about progressive house music that made you want to get so deeply involved in the production of it?
Shingo: Well, to sum it up, it just came naturally to me. It’s for dancing. It’s BPM for a great night. It’s for relaxing at home. We can enjoy it everywhere. I can be myself when composing this music, and no matter what it will always be there for me.