– What opinions do you have concerning the differences between the DJ’s who stick to vinyl and the ones that are fully electronic?
I can’t answer this in a single question, but I am for the best possible musical performance at any cost. Technology is there to be used. However, in music school I hated listening to a Beethoven sonata played by a primitive Macintosh computer, when I had the recordings of Yo Yo Ma at my fingertips. I feel the same way about DJs, probably because I’ve heard so many.
– As your bio explains, you received your Masters from NYU’s music technology program. What were the main points of your thesis? How does your thesis apply to today’s music industry and your understanding of music?
I concentrated on music technology as it applies to DJs. My main point was that DJ technology should advance the DJ performance as opposed to simplifying it. While I applaud the devices and applications that have expanded the group of existing DJs, technologists are obligated to further the profession, not to hinder it. If this is all technology, in any arena, affords us, then we are missing the primary purpose of it’s exploration.
– Where do you see music going? How are you preparing yourself for this change?
I have learned to never be surprised when there is a shift in music. I am also always happy when the shift takes place. Still, no one can forecast the direction of music in this day and age. It would be a total fabrication of the truth. At the same time, there are some indications. The computerization and digitalization of music made electro and up tempo pop music make sense. Next, I could foresee the reintegration of electronic music with that of analog, wind and string driven instruments. Also, music made in time signatures other than 4/4 beat would open an array of new musical possibilities. I am not a profit so these are just some of my best guesses.
– How does the music scene vary from country to country?
Music in every country is deeply rooted in their own sense of nationalism. I love finding the local anthem in a far away place, and integrating it into my performance. However, radio and TV have lost a bit of it for me. The expanse of internet music promotion will truly be the globalizing factor in international music.
– In today’s market, how easy is it to sell your music?
It is nearly impossible. In fact, I have found that I make more money by making the music free and charging for extras (add-ons). As I’m in Japan, I notice that many magazines give away a “free gift” with the purchase of their publication. Maybe it’s a bag, small case, or any other bullshit item. Regardless, it seams to work. I don’t sell my music through gimmicks despite my large investment in shirts and stickers. However, I see my music sales as meaningless to my purpose as a performing musician. The power I hold as an individual can never be translated into numbers or sales.
– Where do you see the industry heading?
The bigger question is what industry am I in? In the past it may have been easier to qualify this kind of question, but this idea is becoming a thing of the past. Industries come and go, and are fueled by the minds behind them. Right now it seems as though the music industry is out of ideas. But to count them out would be foolish. While DJs follow the industry, we also carve out a piece for ourselves. In this sense, independent people and labels are clearly the future despite the significantly smaller budgets. Good music can’t be paid for, it just happens.