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The youngest RESIDENT DJ "JAKE" captures the past and future.
DJ JAKE debuted at the age of 17, and two years later, at the young age of 19, he was selected as the Resident DJ of CLUB CAMELOT, which won DJ mag #1 for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. He has been making great strides with his style of play, and has been the talk of the town since he won 2nd place in the DJ category of "DJ MAG JAPAN U-29 2019" held the following year.
We conducted an interview with him to find out more about his roots and playstyle, and asked him to speak candidly about his passion for music, his struggles since becoming a Resident DJ at the young age of 19, his realizations, and his vision for the future.
Become a DJ. How did it start?
I started DJing in my sophomore year of high school at the invitation of a senior who was DJing at the time. I originally became interested in DJing when I was in junior high school, when Steve Aoki played at the "ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL -ULTRA MIAMI-".
During the live performance, a cake was thrown to the audience, and I was strongly impressed by the scene where the audience got excited after being hit by the cake. Since I started DJing, I have been fascinated by the music and the atmosphere, and I would like to create that kind of frenzy myself someday.
On how he got into CAMELOT
At the time of my debut, I was mainly active in local clubs in Chiba, but I had a chance to meet DJ MASA, who was active as a DJ at CAMELOT, and he invited me to play in Tokyo, which led me to play at the big box called CAMELOT.
At the young age of 19, you became CAMELOT's RESIDENT DJ.
To be honest, I was very anxious. I wondered if I would be able to fulfill the role, since there were no other 19-year-olds around me at other clubs who were also Resident DJs. I also struggled with the difficulties of "standing on top of others," such as having to coordinate the efforts of superior DJs while there was a gap between my career and my age.
It has been six years this year since I debuted as a DJ, and I still find it hard to do so.
On the other hand, were there any good things that happened?
I think the way I choose the music I play has changed a lot. I used to put "having fun" and "expressing myself" first, but now I realize what is most important.... I think the environment as a RESIDENT DJ has changed my way of thinking, such as "what kind of music is best" for the customers who come to the shows.
Isn't it cooler to have "a DJ who does what he likes in a place where there are no customers" and "a DJ who expresses himself while entertaining the customers who come?
Inspiration for creating music
Originally, I was more focused on improving my own playing than on creating music, so I was not that interested in it at first. However, one day a senior DJ told me, "In this day and age, you should make music," and I decided to rethink the path I wanted to take. When I was looking back at the videos of top DJs from overseas who were wowing their audiences not with trendy tunes, but with tunes they had created themselves, I began to think, "I need to do that too...," and when I looked at my goals again, I thought it was necessary and decided to start. I decided to start this project because I felt it was something I needed to do when I looked at my goals again.
Do you feel there is a difference between actually playing and creating music?
I am a DJ, so I know how a song is composed and how sounds work (cutting the lows will not produce a kick or bass, cutting the highs will not produce a hi-hat, squeezing the mids will not produce a synthesizer sound, etc.), but they are in fact completely different. I didn't feel there was much in common.
Music that you have a special place in your heart
When I first started DTM, I was making music in a genre that was relatively popular in Japan, but I didn't really feel comfortable with it... I reaffirmed that the kind of music I wanted to make was bass music like Skrillex. I was able to reconfirm that the kind of music I wanted to make was bass music like Skrillex.
It took longer than the planned production time, but I still remember the excitement I felt when I was able to create a song that sounded just like the one he had created, but with a sound that was uniquely mine.
What is important to you when creating a song?
While many people make bass music at the same BPM, I like to make music at various speeds. However, I try not to forget to keep "my own style" in my music.
What is your own personality?
I play bass music, so the songs I produce must have bass music as the main focus. The other thing is the sound that is being played. If I incorporate sounds from completely different people, it will not be my sound.
What do you keep in mind when you play as a DJ?
I am conscious of "how to naturally draw people into my world. So, at first, I focus on the music I inherited from the previous person, and gradually switch to my own music. Especially when there are a lot of Japanese people, they don't often listen to bass music, and if anything, EDM and other major music tends to be the main focus. In other words, it's the exact opposite when we play on the main floor.
In the process, I feel a sense of satisfaction when I see the audience enjoying themselves by dancing to unfamiliar songs.
My dream is too grand, so I don't know if I can make it come true, but I have wanted to be like Skrillex (Skrillex) since I started DJing. To be more specific, my number one goal is to get more fans to listen to my music and dance to my songs. And my most recent goal is to be a regular performer at Ultra Japan and other events.
Of course, we would like to release new songs regularly in the future, but our goal is to continue to evolve and improve our "personal style" by incorporating new things as we go along. Whenever I create a new song, I study the songwriting process from scratch. I don't think there is any evolution if I just make something that already exists. So, there are many times when I end up disliking the first song I released (laugh). (Laughs) Even though I have feelings for a song, the level of the song has improved.
We put it into the music.
What is "YOSEEK's" commitment to music production?
A natural extension of your own worldview
Draw in the dience.
He naturally draws the audience into his worldview.
DJ ing and writing songs that "move people's hearts".
Capturing the audience's enthusiasm in terms of surfaces rather than dots, the audience is in control of their enthusiasm.
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