Artist Feature 002: Tokiomi

Nov. 24. 2014

ADSR Artist Feature of Tokyo-born, Vancouver-based Tokiomi.

Start your week off right with some fresh sounds from Japanese beat maker: Tokiomi.  Fusing field recordings, interesting samples, and chilled out, downtempo rhythms, Tokiomi keeps things both fresh and unique.  As always tunes and links at bottom, Enjoy!   

How long have you been in Vancouver and where did you grow up?
First off, thank you for giving me this opportunity ADSR! I grew up in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Vancouver 5 years ago.  What I enjoy most about Vancouver is going to see my favourite artists.  There are so many good shows throughout Vancouver, both big names and underground artists.  And the best thing is that sometimes you can see them in small, intimate venues. This motivates me and gives me new ideas for making beats.  

What music did you grow up with?  
Mostly Japanese Hip-Hop.  I still remember that I got a small, yellow, portable cassette player as a christmas gift when I was 5 years old.  It had a speaker on its body and I played lots of Japanese Rock and Folk songs with it.  When I turned 13, my friend made me a mix tape, with many Japanese rap songs which were not yet famous.  It completely blew my mind and got me into Japanese Hip Hop culture deeply.  What attracted me was not just the music or songs, but also the style, fashion, and culture of Hip Hop.  

Any Japanese artists that have been particularly influential to you?
Daisuke Tanabe, Yosi Horikawa, and Ryuei Kotoge.  Their production ideas and sense of sound making are insane.  I love their music a lot and am always learning new things from their sounds.  These three Japanese artists are the ones that I have spent most of my time listening to in the last 4 years.  If you have never listened to their music, you gotta check them out!      

A lot of your beats have a very spacey left field feel to them, particularly one of your latest tunes “Ikura”.  What attracts you to this style and bpm?
I have never even thought about why I like spacey sounds until now…. I actually really really like spacey sounds, but I think there is no specific reason, I just produce how I feel.  Most of the time, I set the bpm around 90 to 100, I think because my beat making started with Hip Hop, a lot of Hip Hop beats are around 90 bpm, so I naturally set it at around there.  My music is basically for chilling with friends, so I don’t want a bpm that is too fast or too aggressive a sound.  My personality is super chill and easy going so I never really feel like using aggressive sounds like overdriven guitars.  Those sounds usually make me feel tired after listening.  Come to think of it, slow spacey sounds are a good match to my personality. 

Talk to us a bit about your production process…
First, grab a six pack, open it and drink up. :)  Then click on the Ableton Live icon on my iMac.  Looking for sounds for drums or percussion is my first process.  I like to sample sounds around my work station, like hitting beer bottles, door noises, dropping coins on the floor, nothing special but I believe that any sound can be brilliant with your own editing ideas.  Then throw them into sampler in Ableton, also I just got a Roland SP-404 last month so I’m going to use it in my music more often.  Then I’ll add some more stuff on top of it.  Editing samples is the most fun for me so I’ll play with many sounds for just one track but most of them I don’t end up using.  My last process is crossing out tracks which I don’t need, to make the track as simple as possible. 

Do you often collaborate with other producers?  Or prefer to work solo?
Not often now, I would like to have more opportunities to work with other producers, local rappers or poets.  I want to join any fun projects.

Any new music coming up? 
Yes, now I’m working on a mini album which has 5 or 6 tracks.  

Plans for the rest of 2014?
I have been focusing on making tracks this year but now Im starting to DJ!

Final words?
Here is my soundcloud down below, I try to constantly update new tracks, so please check it out.
Feel free to contact me, Im not much of a talker but I love to connect with people!

Thanks for reading!

Cheers for stopping by Tokiomi, hear more below!

Connect with Tokiomi on Soundcloud, Instagram, and Facebook