Hey guys, sorry this is late, and yeah I lied, one last post for tonight cuz I just remembered this. Check out on my YT channel - my interview with Pulse N Limited, a dance crew based in Ottawa. Speaking on behalf of this 20-member crew is NT Ng, Curtis Alvaro and Linh Le!
Hey guys, my last post for tonight, with another Brand New Star contestant, Evelyn Leung!
Evelyn Leung (born December 20, 1992 in Hong Kong) is a HK-based YouTube singer. Also a contestant in the recent Hummingbird Music Brand New Star contest, her fanbase has grown much bigger and her vocal talents keep getting better! Keeping busy as always, Eve stopped by to answer some quick questions!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? I've been singing at a very young age, but I wasn't as passionate for it as I am now. I guess you can say I'm doing it independently at this moment, but I would love to do it professionally, since the equipments I have are still quite limited.
What style of music do you generally perform? Most of the videos I've put up on youtube is only me singing along to instrumentals, but lately I've been playing my guitar more and I think my viewers will be seeing a lot of the acoustic side of me. But generally I enjoy all styles of music because I think every genre has something special and great about it.
How did you first get involved in music? I was first involved in music when I was joining a children's choir in HK. It made me realize how awesome it can be to perform in front of people and how much I enjoy doing it. Then as time goes by I just eventually found the type of music that I like to sing to.
What made you decide to starting YouTubing your musical talent? It was kind of awkward in the beginning, cause I've never sung in front of the camera before. But then when I know about YouTube I was fairly excited about it because I wanted to share what I have with other people around the entire world. Honestly, when I look back to a few years ago I think I sounded quite bad, but the more I keep recording and getting comments from youtubers- no matter if it's good or bad, I've learned so much and gained more confidence every single time. And I'm not gonna stop making YouTube vids :)
Who are your biggest musical influences? My biggest musical influences are Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne. I would say Taylor Swift comes first, because she inspired me to write my own songs, and just be who I am. Avril is one of my biggest influence as well because she was the first English artist I've ever listened to, and she made me want to discover more and more singers out there and fall in love with music. :)
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? It makes me feel so blessed inside and happy. It really is an AMAZING feeling to have people support you and agree that what you're doing is something you should never stop doing, and it reassures me that I'm never gonna stop singing no matter what.
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? Yes there is, in fact there is a million of them I would like to collaborate with :) I'm a small girl with a BIG dream after all haha. I will collaborate with anyone, really. No matter if they're famous or not, as long as they love music I'm in.
You took part in the recent 'Brand New Star' contest run by Hummingbird Music in HK, how was that experience? IT WAS AMAZING. I was so excited to meet the directors of Hummingbird and the HK artist GEM and to talk to them just totally made my day. It was even better because I met all the other HK You Tubers that day and we're all good friends now! We even jammed so it was just awesome :), it's a day I'll never forget.
What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? Your most popular original song on YouTube? My most popular cover was Love Story by Taylor Swift. I recorded that right before I went to bed, and i never expected that to get a lot of views, so it was really great. I was super happy when someone told me they found that video in the Grammy's We're All Fans Taylor Swift category, cause I'm a HUGE taylor swift fan! I haven't posted any original songs out yet, but hopefully it will be out in a few weeks :)
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? Yeah, I'm a music addict :D! I listen to everything really, so normally I just play something that suits my mood of the day. Lately I've been listening to lots of Gaga songs though, am I having gaga fever?...
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? I would say, somewhere quiet and peaceful. Sometimes it just comes when I'm riding on a bus or in the shower, but it gets forgotten easily so I always keep a pen and paper nearby.
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? My closest musician friends will have to be the contestants of Brand New Star Final! They're all amazing people and I'm so glad I met them all. We'll be collaborating soon :)
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? When I'm not playing music, I go on facebook a lot haha xD. I read, watch movies, go shopping, YouTube, and do homework, just things that a normal 17-year-old would do :)
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? I hope to have my songs published and become a singer-songwriter someday. It's a big dream but at least you'll have to dream about it before it happens right? :)
Hey guys, guess what? That's right, another interview, this time with talented singer Martini Ma!
Martini Ma (born December 20, 1990 in the UK) is a UK-based YouTube musician. Having just competed in the Hummingbird Music Brand New Star contest, this musician's fanbase has grown exponentially, and it's no wonder since this singer has no where to go but up! Check it out!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? I've been doing music ever since I was a kid, I used to sing to all these old school Chinese songs that were in films and put on these shows for my mum with my sisters being my backing singers/dancers as I would be the lead singer. I started playing the piano when I was really little, but I never really paid too much attention (which I really regret), because I really disliked my teacher - he was really mean! and made me hate playing the piano, so I stopped for a few years. I also played the violin for a while in primary school. I started having piano lessons again when I was 16 with another teacher (In which I also started having singing lessons with and was classically trained) in which I stayed with for about 1 and a half years - ( I stopped because I had to go to uni) I studied music for my GCSE's and for one year at college, but despite getting good grades for my performances, I decided to give up because I didn't like the theory side of things and wasn't doing too well in that area either. I'm doing music independently but hoping to do it professionally in the future.
What style of music do you generally perform? I'd say I mostly perform ballad type songs, and the classical hits that most people know.
How did you first get involved in music? Well, I used to play the piano, violin, and recorder (which I forgot to mention above :P) so I guess thats how I first got involved, but I mostly enjoyed singing when I first joined choir in secondary school.. me and my friends thought we would join for a laugh, and I ended up having a really good time, and was in the choir for 5 years. I took part in competitions at school and loved taking part in the concerts the school organised.
What made you decide to starting YouTubing your musical talent? I had a Youtube account for ages, but never really thought to upload anything, till Feb this year my friends and sisters would tell me to upload some videos, but I didn't ever want to as I didn't want to be put down or receive harsh criticisms - as I knew it would knock my confidence. However I went to my friends home studo one time and started doing some singing and he made me realise how much I had miss doing music and singing, so I was at halls in uni one day and thought i'd give it a go, afterall, criticisms could be a way to improve :)
Who are your biggest musical influences? Leona Lewis - she is a major influence!! and I am the biggest fan! I absolutely adore her, she is such an amazing girl, not only musicaly but she just seems like such a down to earth person! Others include (globally): Karina Paison, Beyonce, Ayaka, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Gem Tang, Alicia Keys, Jay Chou, Eva Cassidy, Mozart. Seriously a lot but i'll have to stop here
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? It feels really good, you can't appreciate anything more than just having people support you for what you do. It is truly amazing as these people are why you do what you do, cos its them that you wanna share your music with. They work like an energy to keep pushing you to carry on, and to never give up.
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? There are just so so many but Leona Lewis and Gem Tang would definetly be on top of my list.
You took part in the recent 'Brand New Star' contest run by Hummingbird Music in HK, how was that experience? It was such an experience, I can barely explain.. I feel so lucky and privellaged to have been one of the 16 finalists in the competition. However it was really sad that I couldn't go to the final audition/interview of the competition as it took place in Hong Kong, and I was in UK - unable to get away due to my studies and a sudden funding for the flights etc. However, the experince has been amazing and really given me a confidence boost.
What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? Your most popular original song on YouTube? My most popular cover is 'Ave Maria' By Beyonce, in which I entered the 'Brand new star' competition with. I haven't uploaded any of my original songs yet as I haven't found a good equipment to record me singing and playing the piano at the same time. However, I have got a backing track of a song that I composed a while back, so I'll be uploading that soon I guess ;)
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? I listen to quite a wide range of music, varying from Chinese/Jpop/Korean pop/Jazz/Classical and RnB
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? It can be anywhere really, as it's in me that feels the urge to write/create music, I could be on the beach, in the train, seriously anywhere, something has just got to hit me emotionally, and it can spur my thoughts to compose.
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? I guess my closest musician friend is Chris Kwok - I met him through some other friends, and he has been so supportive of my music, letting me work in his studio etc.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? hmm..spare time..shopping, doing my nails, browsing the internet, facebooking, having a good time with friends, partying.. - What every other uni student likes to do?! I guess! :P
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? I want music to be part of my career in the future, even if it means working behind the scenes or whatever, I just want music to be a part of me forever. I wanna be able to move and let people be able to relate to my music and just feel like they can enjoy listening to my stuff.
Do you have any final words for the readers? Never let anyone tell you you can't do something! Believe in yourself and strive for what you wish - remember, anything worth having needs to be worked hard for ;)
And And AND! A big big thank you for reading my long winded answers :P (I could so extend them, but thought better not bore you guys xp) Thank you all for supporting me, it really means so so SOOOoo much to me!! Feel free to get in contact with me :D email: martinimamusic@googlemail.
com website: www.xanga.com/martini_ma youtube: www.youtube.com/martinima
Love you guys ♥
Thanks to Martini for the interview, and thanks again for continuing to support!
Hey guys, yeah tonight there's a lot of these but it's all good, check out Robynn Yip! :)
Robynn Yip (born in Hong Kong, raised in the US) is a YouTube singer-songwriter from Hong Kong. Well known as one of the many actresses to grace the videos of Wong Fu Productions, and having just won the Hummingbird Music Brand New Star contest, hosted by Gem Tang's label, Robynn has proven herself to be a multi-talented artist. A grad of Northwestern, Robynn keeps busy these days working on her music and what not. Check it out!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? All my life!! It's been with my schooling, and independently I do lots as you can probably see on my youtube channel =), but I'm so excited to start doing it professionally with Hummingbird Music!!
What style of music do you generally perform? I don't like slapping a label onto myself saying that I'm a certain style of a singer, I think I have yet to really develop into an artist with a specific style, and there's so much room for me to learn and grow. I'd leave it open for now, but I guess I'm more acoustic pop than anything else so far, though some say that my sound is sometimes quite jazzy.
How did you first get involved in music? Tough question! Music has always been in my life, here and there in different ways. I started informal piano lessons at the age of 3, and apparently my parents' favorite story to tell was when I claimed to be composing at the age of 4. I'd scribble random numbers on paper apparently, and claim that it's a melody floating in my head. I guess I was also a huge choir girl all throughout my school years, too!
What made you decide to starting YouTubing your musical talent? Graduating from college was a rude awakening. I used to take the existence of music in my life for granted! There was my acappella group, I was singing in a band, I took voice classes at the music school... and then snap it was all gone once I graduated. Welcome to the working world. I realized I missed singing a lot, and that I can't live without music. So here I am, on Youtube. =)
Who are your biggest musical influences? Way too many! I'd say..... Disney from the start. With all its fun and happy songs that I used to know all the lyrics to. Utada Hikaru. Japanese singer songwriter that got her smash hit when she was 16. Or something crazy like that. Her song was also my first video on Youtube ever!
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? It feels surreal and amazing. I never thought that my music could move so many people and actually gain me some fans. I'm more than grateful. It actually really helps because I used to be shy and unsure of myself, and I've gotta say I was kind of a perfectionist so I wouldn't do anything or show people anything if I thought there was something wrong with it, which was most of the time. That took me a while to get over. Supporters make me realize, that I don't have to be perfect, because nobody's perfect. They've grown to like me because I'm real. In my singing, in my songs, in my lyrics. Song writing is like writing my life journal. =)
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? Taiwanese singer 盧廣仲 Lu Guang Zhong. He brightens up my day every single time I listen to him and I think he's AMAZING. Also would love to collab with my fellow Brand New Star 2010 contestants! We've all grown to become friends so quickly it's amazing, and I think I actually will get to collab with them some time soon!
You just won the recent 'Brand New Star' contest run by Hummingbird Music in HK, how was that experience? And what was your reaction when you found out that you had won? It was a dream come true! Really, I couldn't ask for more. I think it's the PERFECT opportunity for me, hands down, and I was SO excited! Still am, actually. I'd jump up and down right now. It's an amazing experience, meeting the team, and actually having them recognize me as one of them. There's still SO much more room for me to grow and be up to par with the people in HK's music industry though, so I won't get too excited, I still gotta work hard!!
What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? Your most popular original song on YouTube? Most popular cover was probably a chinese cover, "現實不重要", which is a song written by a contestant on a HK Idol show. He won the competition, and I guess because I was one of the few that covered it people saw. Most popular original song I think would either be "Someday", or "回憶當初" "Hui Yi Dang Chu".
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? haha wow. Very tough. It depends on my mood really. Lady gaga, Black Eyed Peas, 盧廣仲 (Lu Guang Zhong), 方大同 (Khalil Fong), 王若琳 (Joanna Wang), 陶喆 (David Tao), Jennifer Chung, Marie Digby, David Choi, Kina Grannis, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Colbie Caillat, Lilly Allen, Lenka, Leona Lewis, list goes on!
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? There's no one place. I wish I could find it cuz life would be so much easier! I keep a notebook with me, and whenever I have thoughts or ideas I write them down and see if something can develop from there when I'm at home. But I was on a trip recently, and I wrote something on the beach. We shall see how that's gonna turn out!
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? I've gotta say.... I consider so many people close musician friends... Christine Liu, a girl that inspired me most with acappella music, was the founder of my acappella group in college and proofread my first vocal arrangement. Daniel Lo, met him through friends and he's an amazing Jazz/Bossa Nova musician who plays the keyboard and the drums. Terrence Kwok, a keyboardist who I met through friends as well. Both Daniel and Terrence have played for me for gigs and performances. They really know and appreciate my music, and I love the way they execute things and add ideas to my head. Young Jeong, a college friend who's also a singer songwriter himself! He's played guitar for me at a show too. I'd have to say I'm very blessed to have met all these talented people in my life that made my music better.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? Aside from my job and my music, I sleep (a lot!), I go to the gym, I kickbox, I like walking around book stores & furniture stores, I volunteer at a special needs children organization.
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? I want to be able to express myself with my music, I want to be able to share joy, share emotions, share excitement, and share love with people. I want to be able to touch people's hearts and inspire, in my own little way. I guess it's a process of discovering and exploring who I am, who I am not, but in the end of the day, I wanna be able to share that with others.
Do you have any final words for the readers? Final words: I hope these words are not the final words you'll ever read about me! =D Jk, I guess I'd say this: When in doubt, just be yourself and be real! You'd be amazed by how much people appreciate that.
Thanks to Robynn for the interview! Keep tuning in for more awesome interviews!
Hey guys, back again tonight with my guest, Vivien Chan from Nottingham!
Vivien Chan (born June 17 in Nottingham, UK) is a UK-based artist and YouTube musician. Part of an upcoming 6'th generation of YT musicians including the likes of Kevin Kaho, Robyn Yip and Andrew Lumapas, Vivien relies a lot on her artistic passions to express herself and music is one of those ways. Find out more about what she's like here!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? I've been doing music for a while now, I would say since about 11 or 12. I do a little bit of both, mostly professionally, I play flute and sing, of which I both do grades for, and I used to play piano for grades too. However, most of the activities I do are all for fun and have been doing for a long time now.
What style of music do you generally perform? Performance wise, I rarely perform on my own as I am in a lot of choirs and fairly big bands. As for my little band The Projects, we've never performed other than on Youtube. We're working on that. Generally, I perform showpieces, classical pieces, and with Projects, it's all about acoustic.
How did you first get involved in music? I took flute lessons and sang in my school choir in 6th grade, but quit both in secondary school for about a year. My friends are very musical and I saw them at a school concert, which fortunately encouraged me to start things up again. We have a steel drums group, of which we're all still involved, that started it off. And then, my parents bought me a flute after a lot of persuasion and I joined our marching band, which is now about 7th or 8th in Europe. From that I got flute lessons, and seemed to have a knack for it which never showed before. From then I joined several bands and choirs, all of which I am still involved in.
What made you decide to starting YouTubing your musical talent? I got most encouraged by Andrew who wanted to see what my piano skills were like, which of course didn't match his natural talent. From then, it interested me what people would say about it and a lot of people liked my singing. Then, my friend Alex and I began The Projects.
Who are your biggest musical influences? I would say Regina Spektor is one of my idols. Her lyrics and melodies are all so unique and completely make sense to me, and it's so difficult to play!
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? Music is not really my first love, and although it is such a big part of my life, it's not where I want to go in my career. There is alot of support, yes, but Music for me is one big hobby. Nothing much more.
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? I can dream, but who wouldn't want to collab with Lady Gaga? She's just incredible.
I heard you're part of a music project now. Tell us more about that! What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? Your most popular original song on YouTube? My covers are not that popular; among The Projects, our cover of Friendly Fires seems to be the most popular, and rightly so as it's the best one we've done yet! Of original songs, we only have one which isn't so popular called El Pastel, which I wrote on a whim.
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? I usually put my iPod on shuffle and see what it brings. It's a big habit of mine, I don't want to leave any songs behind! I think it's sad when you can forget some songs that you once loved.
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? In my room, in the middle of the night, and can only be written in one notebook :)
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? I'd say Andrew Lumapas is an inspiration to me and I admire his ambition; funnily enough we met at marching band in Italy when we competed against eachother. And of course, my bandmate Alex, we also met at marching band and finding we had similar taste, grew very close musically and friendship-wise.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? I am an artist first, and spend alot of time doing so. I am also very outgoing and like to spend a lot of time with my friends. But A LOT of time is spent on music.
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? A few more subscribers on The Projects Youtube would be nice :) a few small gigs maybe, and all the big grades on my instruments.
Do you have any final words for the readers? Music is such a source of friendship and passion. Use it well, and let your creativity soar.
Thanks to Vivien for the interview, and until next time, adios!
Hey guys, check it, my interview with Alexa Yoshimoto!
Alexa Yoshimoto (born October 29, 1991 in Diamond Bar, CA) is a Cali-based YouTube musician. Also being a dancer and sister to moviemaker/singer Scott Yoshimoto, Alexa is also a athlete and student at CSU Fullerton. Check out what she has to say here!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? I've been doing music on YouTube for only a year, as of last January. But I've been singing since middle school and I am do it independently.
What style of music do you generally perform? Generally i like to perform current pop or R&B songs but I'd love to sing more big band, jazz and oldies songs but i'm not sure if the public relates as well to that genre of music.
How did you first get involved in music? I've been around music my entire life. My dad is in a band and is the drummer and lead singer. Also, my brother began to sing at an early age, but it wasn't till middle school when i actually began to sing.
What made you decide to starting YouTubing your musical talent? I had a really late start with youtube but i knew my brother started posting up videos years before me. then when he got the chance to make a music video for AJ Rafael, AJ and all his other friends like Randolph Permejo and Cathy Nguyen and Andrew Garcia, whom i met all around the same time, inspired me so much because they were so musically talented and I knew they supported me and my singing.
Who are your biggest musical influences? A few of my biggest musical influences would have to be Michael Buble, India Aire, David Ryan Harris, Ernie Halter, Keri Hilson and especially all of my YT friends (Aj, Andrew, Cathy, Randolph, Jenny Suk, Joseph Vincent and much more)
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? Ive gotten so much support especially in the past few months and it really keeps me driven in wanting to sing and perform. And it just feels so good that people like what i love to do.
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? My dream would be to collaborate with Michael Buble! But unfortunately its only a dream.
Since you're the younger sister of Scott Yoshimoto, is there ever times where you two compete when it comes to music? And have you guys ever looked to each other for inspiration for music? Scott and I always seem to have a different take on music, he's always into video taping and perfecting his music in recording where on the other hand, I love to perform on stage and connect with the audience more. So we don't really compete against each other in music and we don't really look for each other for inspiration but we support each other and its always fun doing a show when he's there.
What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? Your most popular original song on YouTube? My most popular cover on Youtube would have to be "Fallin for You" by Colbie Caillat. And unfortunately i only have one of my original songs on Youtube although i have written more, but that one is called "Need you in my Life".
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? I would have to say i listen mostly to anything by Michael Buble and slower more mellow music to relax.
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? There's really not one place i go to for inspiration, when I write music it really just has to come to me. i can be in the most random place or even sitting in class and Ill think of a few lines, and once a get an idea, my ideas just flow.
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? One of my closest musician friends would have to be Joseph Vincent. We met last year at FAP and we've been friends ever since.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? In my spare time, I dance on a Hip Hop Team thats called IP, its a part of Cal State fullerton.
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? I hope to accomplish more of a fan base to further spread my music, perform at as many shows as i can and hopefully come up with more original songs as well.
Do you have any final words for the readers? A few final words, if you feel like you can't learn to sing or play an instrument, you can, I, Myself learned everything at a older age so just keep trying! Also, all you really need are your friends to support and inspire you, and if you have something special, keep at it and and don't give up.
thank you so much! -Alexa Yoshimoto
Thanks to Alexa for the interview, and thank you for reading! :)
Hey guys, what's up? Back in, dishin' out another 411 with my homie Taiyo Na!
Taiyo Na is an MC, singer, songwriter and producer based out of New York City, NY. Having played at venues around the country, Taiyo has become an acclaimed musician for his creative lyrics and down-to-earth vibes in his music. Having also been a part of Kollaboration NY 2009, Taiyo gained more exposure in the NYC underground music scene. He took sometime from his busy schedule to answer a few questions!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? I’ve been rhyming since I was 13 years old, but performing music seriously, I’d say for about 7 years or so.
What style of music do you generally play? It ranges from straight up hip-hop to live band music to acoustic soul and folk, but the overarching “style” would be hip-hop, more or less. I’m not really into categories though.
How did you first get involved in music? There isn’t really a simple way to answer that, but when I was a young teen, kids in my school and around my neighborhood were into rhyming, and I dug it, so I wanted to do it, too. It wasn’t until later though, like 19 years old, where I bought my first guitar, and I felt like I needed to write songs. Not just raps and poems, but songs, and that happened because of a number of reasons coming together making it something I had to do because I really felt it in my bones.
What made you decide to starting YouTubing your musical talent? I have to thank my younger brother for that. I personally am not good with computers or technology as a whole, and I had some footage around, and my brother helped me put them up because he’s good at that sort of thing. Other friends, too, helped me put my work up.
Who are your biggest musical influences? There are so many. Right now, it’d be everybody in my “home:word” crew, which is a loose collective of musicians that include myself, Magnetic North, Charles Kim, Jaron Lum, Sam Guenjin Kang, Abe Kim, Scooter Oyama, Vudoo Soul and Cynthia Lin.
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? It’s wonderful. A real blessing, and I’m humbled by it constantly, especially as of late.
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? Many. All my idols, the greats like Prince, Stevie, Bill Withers, D’angelo, Alicia. I think music is all about collaboration, so if I want to keep making music, you better believe I’m going to be collaborating all the time.
You took part in Kollaboration NY last year, how was that experience? It was good. It was important for it to have been as big as it was in NY because NY hasn’t seen something like that from young Asian Americans. It was an important step in the right direction. I greatly respect that whole movement. I do have to say, however, that I am not a big fan of the whole competition aspect of Kollaboration. I joke with friends that they should call it “Kompetition” and not Kollaboration because it’d be truer to their program. I hope they don’t take offense to that though. It’s just me. I’m not a super competitive guy when it comes to art and music. I believe music is something you contribute to people’s lives, rather than compete for.
What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? “No Woman, No Cry”
Your most popular original song on YouTube? “Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother)”
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? It’s changing all the time. Right now, I have The Roots, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Erykah Badu and Miles Davis.
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? I don’t know, man. I think that place finds you. You just have to make sure your antennae is on, and when it hits you, let that shit flow. Otherwise, fellow musicians who you vibe well with are a great place, too.
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? Vudoo Soul, or Vu. Across coasts, he’s still my brother, man. We met doing this little musical/play together where we played best friends, and we have stayed in those roles ever since. We balance each other out and vibe off that. He gets up at 2 or 3 pm to start his day; I get up at 7 or 8 am. He likes wearing white shoes; I like wearing brown shoes. But at the heart of it all, he passionately wants to keep growing as an artist, and so do I, and that’s where we connect.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? Run, exercise, play basketball, watch movies, read books. Different things.
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? Just keep being true to me, and always grow, progress.
Do you have any final words for the readers? Thanks for checking this out, and please be on the look out for the new Magnetic North x Taiyo Na album coming in May 2010! It’s called Home:Word, and it’s going to be bananas!
Thanks to Taiyo for the interview, and thank you for continuing to support!
Guess what, round two ya'll! Let's give it up for Leejay!
Leejay Abucayan (born December 5, 1986 in Sacramento, California) is a YouTube musician, more known for his amazing beatboxing skills. Also a part of three-piece group GLP (along with fellow YT musicians Gabe Bondoc and Passion), Leejay is also a UC David alum. Leejay has great aspirations as well as great advice for all you aspiring musicians out there!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? I've been beatboxing since 2001, so... 9 years now. Wow, has it really been that long? I guess you could say I do it "professionally."
What style of music do you generally play As a solo artist, I tend to gravitate more towards hip-hop and R&B, but in my collaborations with other artists, we tend to play… pretty much anything and everything. A lot of nostalgic songs that remind me of childhood, soul, R&B, pop, hip-hop commercial jingles, TV theme songs, whatever feels good.
How did you first get involved in music? If we're talking music in general, I've been into music LITERALLY since I was in my mama's belly. My dad said he used to always play music to my mom's pregnant stomach while I was still in there, haha. Today, I'm the kind of person that always needs music, even if just playing in the background. As far as beatboxing goes, I picked it up originally as a hobby after hearing my good friend, Kevin Discipulo, beatbox for me face-to-face back in 2001. Watching all those sounds come from one person's mouth was enough to inspire me to learn how to do it myself.
What made you decide to starting YouTubing your musical talent? I started my website, LeejayBeats.com, back in 2003, after coming home from the Austrian Beatbox Championsip in Vienna, Austria. Having a website, I was able to upload my own audio and video clips online for fans and supporters to listen and watch, so having online media was nothing new to me when YouTube came out. (Of course, I had no idea how much of a phenomenon it would become later.) When YouTube first started picking up popularity, I just casually decided to upload a few of my videos to test out the interface and see the kind of response I would get. Before I knew it, YouTube blew up and helped a lot of local artists gain popularity and exposure. Although I don't even consider myself a "YouTube artist," as I don't put a whole lot of effort putting my musical talents online (I use it more for my personal and humorous adventures), I somehow found myself in this circuit of "YouTube stars," as I have collaborated with a few of them. I guess I'm a YouTube Star by association, haha.
Who are your biggest musical influences? Oh man. As far as beatboxing goes, I'm really diggin' Beardyman, Eklips, Scratch (of The Roots), Otha Major, Killa Kela, and legends like Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, and of course, the original human beatbox, Buffy (of the Fat Boys). But since I don't like to limit myself to just hip-hop and beatboxing solo, I would say that I'm pretty well-rounded as far as musical influences go. I don't like to stick to one particular genre — I like to see beatboxing as a versatile artform that can magically work with just about any genre and style of music. Generally speaking, I believe any two musicans can play together if they can vibe together, regardless of background, genre, or style. It's such a universal language that doesn't even require knowing a person to communicate — any two strangers can make beautiful music together. Wow, I'm totally going off on a tangent here. That said, I listen to anything from John Mayer to Nat King Cole to Biggie Smalls to Hans Zimmer. If it moves me, it inspires me. And if it inspires me, it influences me. The beautiful thing about collaborating with other artists — whatever I can't do on my own, I can do with teamwork. Just like Planeteers combining to summon Captain Planet.
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? It's really the best feeling in the world. One promise I always make to myself is to never be afraid to show my personality and character, whether on stage or on screen. I grew up being told I was weird, and I feel like I haven't really changed much, personality and imagination wise, since then. To be admired and inspire others for doing what I do and simply being myself is really the most rewarding part of it all.
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? OK, I know he's not a musician, but I would LOVE to someday... beatbox while Christopher Walken narrates over it. That would be my dream come true.
What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? Your most popular original song on YouTube? I don't often sing or perform sitting in front of my webcam, but right now, a lot of people seem to be loving my somewhat morbid parody/cover of "Raindrops," a children's song made popular by Barney & Friends hella years ago. As far as originals? Wellllllll... I don't exactly have any "original songs" as a beatboxer. People tell me all the time they love me as the Tooth Fairy though. Haha, that's hella not a song.
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? Oh boy. I get told a lot that I have the randomest playlist. I just like to listen to a lot of music that others wouldn't even think to put on their iPod. I have a lot of theme songs, motion picture scores, and outlandish mp3s I find scouring the Internet for hours. All weirdness aside, I love listening to R&B, soul, old-school, lowrider oldies, 80s hip-hop, 90s jams, megamixes, video game music, mashups, chiptune, other people beatboxing, live performances, super-cheesy pop & dance songs from the "Night at the Roxbury" era, and I'm trying to get into other stuff like dubstep.
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? THE BATHROOM. Honestly where all my ideas come from. And I'm not just talking in the shower. Use your imagination. Also... the car. Sometimes, I'll just shut off the radio during extended periods of time driving, and beatbox with a blank mind. Sometimes new material will magically find its way from the deepest regions of my brain and spitting out from my lips.
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? Ahhhh, too many. And to choose one would be rude to the others. I love all of you!
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? I'm into design and art. I actually work as a digital media/graphic/web designer when I'm not performing. Also, I love going on food adventures and blogging them. (Shameless plug - check out my Tumblr page at http://leejay.tumblr.com!)
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? I just love seeing people smile and laugh when they see my performances or videos. I'd much rather be known for my overall personality, character, and humor than ONLY for my music. When I see comments on videos that say things like "this made my day"... THAT makes MY day.
Do you have any final words for the readers? Stay inspired! And never, ever be comfortable in your craft. Keep yourself uncomfortable and always learning and growing. No single person can accomplish everything there is to accomplish so you can always improve and grow. The second you become comfortable in your craft, you become stale. Always stay hungry in the search for creativity and continuously feed your imagination. Network. Meet other artists. As my friend Charito says, make "musical babies!" You can always learn from other artists, as they can help you to discover abilities and ideas you never knew you had. Lastly... check my out on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/leejay and follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/leejayabucayan. Thank you! ♥
Thank you to Leejay for the interview, and thanks for reading, later days!
Cowabunga! Let's skip with the pleasantries today and dive right into our next interview, with NYC-based singer-songwriter TJ Mic!
TJ Mic (born TJ Kim on April 15) is a Korean-American singer-songwriter/actor/dancer based in NYC. Having moved around from South Korea as a kid to Canada, then to the US, and then having spent time in China during college, this well-rounded young musician aspires to be many things but says that he wants to remain as original yet inspiring as possible. An alumni of both Brown and Berklee, TJ is no stranger to having to juggle both music and school. He has even met the likes of musicians both independant and major - AJ Rafael and JY Park (JYP) for starters. Enter TJ!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? I played the violin as a kid growing up in Korea but after I moved to Canada at the age of 13, I stopped studying music all together. It wasn’t until I went to China to study abroad in college that I began to appreciate and feel passionate about music all over again. After watching Wang Leehom’s concert in Shanghai, I decided to attend Berklee to get formal training in music. So I guess I have been studying music for just over 2 years now. (I’m behind most people, but I’m making up for the time that I lost ☺ )
What style of music do you generally play? Generally, I like playing Asian pop ballads or old pops from the 80-90’s as well as Christian music.
How did you first get involved in music? I studied the Violin when I was little but at the time, I did not appreciate music as much. In high school and university, I started singing with the musical groups as well as Higher Keys co-ed a capella group. And I loved it!
What made you decide to starting YouTubing your musical talent? Honestly at first, I wanted to get noticed by the entertainment companies but then I slowly began to realize that I wanted to use this space not only to motivate myself to improve but to share my music with the world. If I can bring a positive impact on one person’s life through my music, I would be happy.
Who are your biggest musical influences? I have lived in many major cities around the world, my influences include but not limited to: Korea : Kim DongRyul, SES, JYP Japan: Koji Tamaki, Nobuo Uematsu (FF music), Joe Hisaishi (ghibli), M-flo China/Taiwan: Jay Chou, Wang Leehom UK & US: Beatles, The Carpenters Others: Kings of Convenience I respect and get inspired by all the singer/songwriters.
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? At first, my brother and dad did not understand my decision to pursue music after I got my Biology degree from Brown but now they fully support my decision. I am truly blessed to have such supportive friends and family. God has been so wonderful to me.
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? Too many to list but from youtube, I would be lucky if I get to write a song together with David Choi!
During one of our earlier chats, you mentioned that you had done an internship last semester with JYP in NYC. How was that experience, and what was one memorable thing from that experience? I actually wrote 7 bi-weekly journals detailing my experience at JYP. Basically, I worked as the executive assistant for a semester. This being my first real work experience, at first I had a hard time adjusting to the office life but in the end, I have learned many invaluable life lessons. During the internship, I missed playing music so much so that I went to audition for the same company that I was interning at. I did not make it but I felt proud of myself for confronting my fear of auditioning again and singing the whole song in a capella. The highlight of the internship was, meeting my childhood idol JYP and having a very short but enlightening conversation with him. That’s when I decided to become a creator and touch peoples lives with my music the same way JYP’s music touched mine.
What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? Your most popular original song on YouTube? Cover of Jay Chou’s ‘An Jing’ (Silence) it’s the only cover where I play the piano and sing at the same time.
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? I like listening to all kinds of music from ethnic/folks songs from all around the world to video game/anime music, from Billboard Hot 100 to Christian music. Sometimes I deliberately leave my ipod at home so that I can ‘hear’ the sound of NY and listen to NYC subway music!
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? Usually at home with my two cats by my side. Once in a while, I like walking around the city and the central park in the early morning and be inspired by everything I see, smell and hear.
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? Po Lin and Andrew Yeh. We met at Berklee and became best musical buddies, they are like my brothers to me. Last year, we formed Acoustic Trio called “Jin Lin Yeh” (our three last names combined meaning ‘a leaf from Golden Forest) covering Asian Pop Songs and performing around Boston.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? I recently enrolled in French Culinary Institute as a part-time student! I practice/write music in the daytime and cook in the nighttime ☺ My other hobbies include outdoor camping, traveling, watching indie films, communicating with animals, reading science magazines and learning languages.
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? My short-term goal is to improve my instrumental, sequencing skills as well as my singing in the next 9 months. I plan to write and record a few original songs for my demo. My long-term goal is - in America, Asian music is merely one genre that lumps together everything oriental sounding. J-pop, K-pop, and C-pop have their genre names based not on their styles but rather by their geographic and linguistic divisions. I aspire to become an artist/producer who can change that and create a sound that’s uniquely Asian. With this new sound, my goal is to reach out and bring hopes to those people who have lost their dreams, and by doing so, hopefully along the way- I will be able to have a positive impact on someone’s life and bring one more smile into this world. I also plan to open up my own restaurant where I can invite my close musician friends to perform with me on stage.
Do you have any final words for the readers? Dream big and follow the drumbeats of your heart. Most importantly, enjoy life! and be happy with who you are and what you do. - It's fun to do the impossibles (Walt Disney) - Thank you for reading (my new website is about to open soon, please come and check it out -> TJmusic.com)
Thank you to TJ for this interview, and thank YOU so much for reading, till next time!
Back again, what? Check out what Marie Choi is sayin, word!
Marie Choi (born Choi Yoon-Mi on June 25 in Tenafly, New Jersey) is a singer-songwriter, who gained attention while participating in Kollaboration NY 2009 as well as having had videos on YouTube prior to that. After having moved to LA from NYC not that long ago, she spared a moment to answer these questions for your reading pleasure!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? I’ve been singing ever since I was a kid. I began classical training in high school and pursued it pretty heavily into the beginning of college. So I guess you can say that I started performing in high school but more seriously during college. I’m doing it independently and pursuing it professionally.
What style of music do you generally play? My style of singing can generally be categorized as a soulful R&B, indie sound... to be very general lol.
How did you first get involved in music? I guess I was always involved with music. My family has always been musical. But for sure, it was church that started it all! Having been raised in church and having traveled in missions with my parents (missionaries), I was always involved musically. It was my offering wherever I went.
What made you decide to start YouTubing your musical talent? Um, I actually just took down most of my YouTube stuff… lol. I need to start over with that one…so stay tuned!! But to answer your question, originally I posted stuff on YouTube for feedback & to demo how I sounded to potential collaborators & such. Very amateur stuff ☺.
Who are your biggest musical influences? The first CD that I bought was in elementary school, Boyz II Men – II. Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston, oh, and the Les Miserables OST (haha) started it all… then Lauryn changed my life… especially her Sister Act II rendition of “His Eye is On the Sparrow”. Actually, that film did a lot for my singing career. My friends and I would do 4 part harmonies to songs in that movie… and then just any song we liked. Music has always been my passion. Since it’s always moving and changing, I find myself constantly being influenced by different people and sounds… influenced and inspired. Oftentimes, it can be one song that does it for me… that song will stay with me forever. But just to give you some names, in no particular order: Lauryn, Mariah, Stevie, Donny, Jill Scott, Chopin, Radiohead, The Roots, Musiq Soulchild, Alicia Keys, Etta James, Total, Yeah… I love the 90’s! good stuff…
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? I’m very grateful and encouraged. I hope to only get better with time!
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? So so many…
You took part in last year's Kollaboration NY event. How was that experience? It was a great experience. I’m really grateful to the musicians who sacrificed their time & played with me. Also, my friends who came out and made a lot of noise & a huge fluorescent “MURDA” sign, I love them… I’ll never forget it… it was the first thing I saw when I stepped out.
What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? Your most popular original song on YouTube? My most popular cover on YouTube was when I was in highschool. Me and my girl, Nellie, sang Lauryn’s version of “His Eye is on the Sparrow”… actually, that may have been my first YouTube post. In fact, that was a clip from one of my first live public performances and people, strangers even, still come up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed that night. Haha. But I’ve long since taken that down, good times but we’re moving on. But, like I said, no more YouTube clips at the moment…
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? My iPods, plural, are crazy… I have tens of thousands of songs. I go through phases for sure, but there are definitely songs that I’ve been listening to continuously for years… at least once every few days. Wow, that’s a crazy thought actually. But, let’s dig… um… Fiona Apple “The First Taste” Amerie “All I Have” Lauryn Hill “Sweetest Thing”, Radiohead “How to Disappear Completely”, “Bulletproof” Sam Sparro “Black and Gold” Gregory Isaac “Night Nurse” Keren Ann “La Forme et le Fond” Raphael Saadiq – “Still Ray” Nas – entire It Was Written album Jill Scott “The Way” The Roots ft Musiq Soulchild “Break You off” Robin S “Show me Love” Ok, I’ll stop...Definitely, just a few but all AMAZING.
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? It could be ANYwhere physically b/c it’s really all internal. I just have to get to that place mentally and emotionally. Oftentimes, it’s spurred by conversation, a contemplative moment, a memory, film, and a melody… that kind of thing.
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? I guess my closest musician friend is Vudoo Soul. We met randomly at a mutual friend’s bday party a few years ago. We became especially close when I first moved out to L.A. and stayed with him and his producer at his studio.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? Spare time… hmm, what’s that? Haha. Man, well my favorite thing to do is just kick it with the people that I love. Being out here in LA’s been rough b/c all of them are back in Jersey & NY but, luckily I’ve been keeping so busy that I’m not feeling too much…It’s brought out a lot of writing, believe me.
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? I hope to accomplish so many things with music. I think the root of it all is what I can do for others with the music that I make. Not only do I hope to bring comfort and enjoyable listening, but it’s also about the movements that I can be involved in through this career. Actually, I’ve reevaluated a lot of what my idea of success is these days and it’s becoming increasingly clear that God’s given me a gift and a passion to use it for His glory and not mine… because selfish ambitions have and never will bring happiness!
Do you have any final words for the readers? Um, 2010!! It’s my year!! Also, if you want me to come sing for you… or if you want to be friends… ☺ My email is Muhreee@gmail.com or facebook me!! Marie Yoon-mi Choi!! Thanks for reading!!
Thank you to Marie for the interview. Keep checking back regularily for more awesome interviews like this, I am O-U-T for now!
Hey guys, hope all is well. Checkin' in with a new 411, with my guest, Vada Senatin - check it!
Vada Senatin (born May 23, 1993) is a YouTube musician. Known more for her covers and strong vocals, this rising singer spared some time from her busy schedule to answer some questions!
How long have you been doing music for? Are you doing it professionally or independently? I have been singing for as long as I can remember! Probably since I was 2 years old, I would be messing around with the mic (according to my mom) haha. I’m not a professional or anything but you know, it would be great to get signed one day(:
What style of music do you generally play? Definitely RNB, accoustic, and a little bit of rap haha .
How did you first get involved in music? Well, I remember back in first grade, we had to do a little talent show thing. I had no idea this whole singing thing would actually get a little more serious until a couple of teachers back in elementary decided to have me compete with other schools back in the Philippines.
What made you decide to starting YouTubing your musical talent? I started posting Youtube videos just for fun, just so couple of friends could hear me sing. Back then, I wouldn’t even dare show my face singing until after having my youtube account for 2 years(I hardly uploaded anything lol) so yeah.. Ever since then, I thought I’d actually make more efforts in posting videos and that’s how it started!
Who are your biggest musical influences? I would have to say the biggest is definitely my dad! When I was little, I would always hear him sing and I guess I got it from him(: But anyways aside from him, I would have to say Regine Velasquez(Asia’s songbird) and other great professional singers and couple of youtube artists!
How does it feel to be getting all this support from people for doing what you do? OMG, ITS AMAZING! Like I never thought I’d actually be getting support from all these people, it just feels great knowing they take time to watch my videos and actually like them. They keep me going on posting vids (:
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? Of course ! Too many . Justin Bieber would be great haha ! But anyways, I would LOVE to be able to jam with other youtube artists such as AJ Rafael, Kat Badar, Gabe Bondoc, Mark Mejia etc. that would be hella bomb !
What has been your most popular cover on YouTube? Your most popular original song on YouTube? Most popular cover I would say Down by Jay Sean. My 9 yr old brother is actually in the video as well doing some parts haha (: As for original song, unfortunately I never really thought of writing my own songs.. But once it kicks in I’ll definitely be posting it up! I need to learn to play some kind of instrument first at least like accoustic guitar lol .
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? Rnb , it gets me through the day . Haha . And some drake/lil wayne type when I’m at home doing homework and just chillin .
Where’s the one place where you can go and get your creative flow going in order to write/create music? And again, I never tried writing my own songs. A lot of people actually tell me to but I just never thought of actually doing so . But I should one day !
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? I don’t think I actually have one.. But if I do, that would be great! I don’t really have anyone around my area who I could jam with lol .
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing music? Music is always with me . Haha . But yeah I usually just go on facebook, watch you tube singing videos, hang out with family and friends, and watch tv.
What do you hope to accomplish while being involved in music? Maybe get signed one day, that would be a great accomplishment! But for now, studies first.
Do you have any final words for the readers? I just want to say thank you guys so much for all the love and support! Without you guys, I probably wouldn’t be inspired to keep up with the whole youtube thing(; haha. Thank you !
Thank you to Vada for the interview, and thank YOU for reading, till next time, I'm out!
Hey guys, long time no post. Here's a little something for you, my interview with Tokyo-born Japanese/Kiwi surf-rock/acoustic/pop singer-songwriter Kat McDowell, gambatte!
Kat McDowell (born January 7, 1984 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese/New Zealander singer-songwriter, who debuted in 2007 on Binyl Records, a division of one of Japan's biggest companies, Avex. This young musician has developed quite a unique sound not often heard in Japan, and she's still going strong. While in New Zealand on a personal trip last month, she took some time to answer my questions. Enjoy!
How long have you been doing music professionally for? I guess I have been getting “paid” doing music for over three years now. But I feel like I’ve been doing it a lot longer than that.
What style of music do you generally play, and which musicians/genres provide inspiration for your sound? I’ve been playing rock and acoustic rock over the last few years. Songs inspired by life in Tokyo and the various Oceans I have been fortunate enough to experience.
In August last year you released your first full-length album “Echoes over the ocean”. How was the experience of creating the concept for the album, and were there any difficulties during the writing process? Yeah. It was definitely tricky because the songs were recorded bit by bit over two years so it was hard to have a “total” sound and choosing songs for the album was really difficult. There are songs I have recorded that have never been released which is a shame because I poured my heart and soul in to those..Hopefully one day!
Since your debut in Japan you’ve gone through quite a transition from starting out as a session musician to finally making your mark as a one-of-a-kind musician when you were offered the contract with Binyl Records in 2007, the same label that houses Monkey Majik, another crossover success. How has the experience been like? Have more opportunities opened up for you now that you’ve become more noticed in Japan? How did your Japanese fanbase react at first when you first came to Japan to sing professionally? Yeah some amazing doors have opened in the last few years. One of the fun things have been singing with Daishi Dance on his album. He’s a really popular house DJ here and it’s been fun singing on the electronic tracks. I guess I’m still a unique type of artist here. People don’t always know how to place me but I really do appreciate the loyalty of the fans who have stuck through with me because I have gone through quite a few transitions in discovering my ‘sound’ over the last few years.
Is there any specific times in your life or anything that is around you on a daily basis that gives you the inspiration and energy needed to write music? People!! Definitely! The different conversations, watching people on the street.. Things like books, movies, my own experiences, natures.. I get bored easily so it’s been hard having to write, e-mails, edit YouTube videos and sleep all in my bedroom.. Especially because my room is tiny!! I try to get away occasionally. Step back from my life and try to get some perspective again.
How did your love for music come about? I don’t really know.. but maybe from my Japanese grandma who really loves to sing. I’ve been listening to music and singing as long as I can remember. I would listen to the radio a lot and make up my own melodies over the songs.
Can fans expect new material from you anytime soon? I hope so!! I am working on a vision for the next project now. I’m traveling a bit. Going to Hawaii, the States and Nicaragua and I am currently* in New Zealand having rest with my family here. I know the experiences I have and the people I will meet will inspire many new songs so I am very excited!! Hopefully in 2011 I will release my next album! (* - she was in NZ last month)
In September 2008, you released a single called “S.O.S. ~ Same Old Song” featuring one of Japan’s biggest hip-hop personalities, VERBAL from m-flo. How did that collaboration come together and how was it working with VERBAL? Verbal is so inspiring! He totally deserves the name.. he is a genius with words! He is so humble too. He wrote the words to S.O.S for me after talking with him about the kind of song I was wanting to write and he was brilliant!
Is there ANY musician that you would like to do a collaboration with in the future? There are MANY!! One of the people I would LOVE to write a song with is Jon Foreman from Switchfoot!
Are you doing any projects and/or campaigning for anything right now aside from your music career? Well.. I am going to Nicaragua with my friend Braddigan. Braddigan has a concert every year in a dump in Managua. It is home to 1500 beautiful people, over half are children. I am passionate about Human Rights Issues, but there’s only so much you can read on books or watch in movies. I think I need to step outside my world for a bit and see how someone else lives their life. I guess you could say this trip is more personal than anything else. One of my favourites verses from the bible is Matthew 16:25 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it". So I guess my next project is to lose myself for a while.
I imagine you have a lot of music tastes; what do you normally play on your iPod and/or when you’re at home? Lately my favourites have been Mute Math and Switchfoot.
Who is your closest musician friend, and how did you two meet? Sayulee is my room mate, best friend and she is also a musician. We met in New Zealand, her dad was my Japanese teacher at high school but I met her after graduating high school. A friend introduced us because we were both half Japanese and for some reason we hit it off quickly!
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not super busy? Surfing, going for walks, cooking or watching a movie.
Is there anything you’d like to improve on as a musician? Yeah.. being a way better musician!!!!
To the critical question now. You have been involved in music for some time now, and music tastes and styles are changing quickly in this day and age. Where do you see music in Japan going in the future, in the sense of changing tastes, and will this allow you continued creativity down the road? I don’t know where the general trend will go..But I guess just speaking for myself.. I want to be true to myself..as best as I can be!
Do you have any final words for the readers? Yes~! Thanks for reading!! And more than anything I hope to meet you at a show some time. There is nothing like a live performance in the day and age of computers and mp3s. It makes the live shows that much more real. And it’s ALWAYS a pleasure to see you face to face and hear your stories! Come say hi!
Thank you to Kat for the interview. Until next time, gambarre masu!