Connecting the PINEAPPLE to its roots.
Beginning, middle, to no end...
1. I figured we would start with the obvious. Your eclectic persona and pineapple craze (and by that we mean the pineapples floating on your social media platforms and cover of your EP). Tell us, what influences your unique identity?
People have always called me pineapple; my funky hairdo must have sparked the association. One day I took a hard look at myself in the mirror and it just made sense, so I embraced it and grew a moustache and a beard too. Now I feel like a half samurai half ninja persona behind the decks. I've always wanted to be different, to stand out. Although my unconventional appearance sometimes confuses people, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think it’s a good kind of confusion. It's always good, maybe even necessary to be different.
2. Your music career started out as a vocalist for a rock band in Tokyo. When did you first discover electronic music?
When I applied to University, I left the band because I needed to study for my admittance exam and concentrate on my degree. I eventually looked for another band to join but it was harder than I thought. One night a friend of mine from college asked me to go out dancing with him. I had no idea what to expect in terms of music, but I'm glad I went because he introduced me to Terence Kissner (Sleazy Deep) a DJ from Toronto who was dating my friend’s sister at the time. It’s a funny story actually, Terence was teaching English in Japan and was looking for a place to stay so I offered for him to stay with me if he taught me English in return; and that’s how it all began! As a DJ, Terence exposed me to vinyl records and different genres of music. Among them was electronic music and Techno. I was instantly hooked!
3. What was it like growing up in Tokyo? Has the city’s mega busy culture of electronics and efficiency influenced your music?
Actually yes it has, especially in terms on my appearance. In Japan, my look is considered unconventional. Traditional Japanese society expects a sense of conformity in appearance and behaviour, which often made me feel like I was the “odd one out.” On the streets, in the subway, people would constantly stare at me. It was okay at first because I understood that I was different, expressive; but then it started to bother me. As an artist, I wanted to be unique and true to myself. It was very important for me to find comfort in my own skin and Toronto was and still is the perfect place for me to able to do that. Here, I feel a sense of belonging and appreciation. Ever since I have moved from Japan, I actually found myself appreciating my culture even more in different ways. To say the least, the traditional Japanese influence has made me even more determined and ambitious to nurture my creative persona.
4. Why chose Toronto as your base over cities like Berlin where the demand for Deep House and Techno is constantly on rise?
Toronto has a thriving music scene. I think it’s dope! Yes sure Berlin has a lot going on in terms of house and techno. But I don’t want to be there just because it’s trendy and that’s what everybody’s doing. I don’t like to be part of a majority and would rather do my thing here. I have been in Toronto for almost 8 years now and I love it. There are so many artists emerging out of the city and I am happy to be part of this movement.
5. You have recently released your first EP “What you want” on Bohemian Yacht Club, March 31st. Was there something specific that ‘YOU wanted’ to share yourself? Explain to us the concept behind this EP.
Growing up, I was an only child who always wanted things. Not necessarily material things, but “want” was a prominent word for me. I am not sure if I was selfish or ambitious, but I would like to think that I was striving towards being unique in my work. Having said that, this EP was a project that I really wanted to make happen; that should pretty much explain the title.
6. In reference to the track “The frog still has a tail.” Who is the frog? And does he still have a tail?
Many artists become famous and lose their essence, their creative innocence, and become overwhelmed with fame. For me, basics are everything and I wouldn’t want to lose the inner child in me that has a genuine love for making music. Frogs embody the duality of grown ups and children. They are in that state of in-between, and I often feel this way. The tale of the frog is what grounds me and highlights my “back to basics” perspective on things, on life. I think it's safe to say that I am the frog, and I still have my tale.
7. Last time we saw you play was at Parlour for Sunday Night Tales (one of the venues listed with us on Spacefy). It was an intimate vibe, but you were still killing it behind the decks. Does the venue itself and it’s capacity impact the way you perform?
As I mentioned earlier, I am an only child and music for me is a way to connect with as many people as I can. Whether it’s a small intimate venue or a big warehouse, the most important thing for me is to vibe with the crowd and to connect with them on all sorts of energy levels. It makes my day to hear that I put on a good show, I am forever striving to improve myself.
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