DJ Kentaro: I threw my first party aged 14 at a club called Ghetto
Since then, the Japanese DJ has earned a legion of fans across the world, who flock to his live shows to see what the technical master will do next… But, despite being treated as a deity by turntablists and technical-geeks across the world, he remains incredibly modest. When asked who he considers his peers, he softly replies: “My peers are my parents! I just respect my family, who have been supporting me all of these years.”
We spoke about his forthcoming album, Contrast, and what he has in store for festival goers home and abroad.
You’re best known for your DMC battle sets – do you take differing approaches to those and your commercial performances in clubs and festivals?
I always plan what I play, so I do not really change my set because of the slot of the night. However, I need to think a little deeper to be able to challenge the crowds at Fuji Rock this year, because I am playing the White Stage which is THE stage to play this year. Wow!
Oh really! What will the show be like?
At my album launch festival at ageHa Tokyo I had 800 LED panels and over 3,000 fans dancing the night away on the floor. It’s the same sort of show that I will have at Fuji Rock Festival at the end of this month, which I am very much looking forward to.
Amazing, are you excited about playing at Soundwave in Croatia?
Soundwave is always great fun to play in. The crowd is always up for it! Can’t wait to be there, and meet all the fans, as well as the Soundwave family.
You moved from DJing in to producing, do you enjoy the more technical side of things?
Yes, I released my 1st album, Enter, in 2007, and my latest LP, Contrast, just came out last week. Now I’m into producing. It is just a whole lot different to DJing – producing takes a lot longer than making mixes, for sure.
Other than your DMC glory, what else would you consider your greatest achievement?
Signing with Ninja Tune Records and having released two fully produced albums. I was a big fan of Ninja Tune for a long time, and then they asked me to do a mix CD series called Solid Steel in 2005. Then, I signed with label in 2006 and the first album ‘Enter’ came out in 2007. Good times!
When you were growing up, what did you aspire to be?
I always wanted to be a DJ… I was a skater, but after a while got massively into music and DJing. I threw my first party when I was 14 years old at this club called Ghetto in Sendai Miyagi, Japan.
What music soundtracked your youth?
Hip hop – and it was from listening to it that I got into turntablism and started doing my own thing by joining DMC, before fully getting into turntables in 2002.
Can you name three of your best releases from 2012?
DJ Krush – Green Rain (Single). It’s part of DJ Krush’s monthly series, I wish I could see this kind of rain in real life!
Matrix & Futurebound – Brave New World – Universal Truth (Album)
Great new world. I play this all the time. Can’t stop moving!!!
Foreign Beggars – Palm of my hand. They are such awesome guys!!!
…and of course I am very confident about my new album ‘Contrast’…
Are there any UK artists you are in to?
When I played Koko last week, I was really excited about playing with RESO who a remix of did my track Kikkake (ft DJ Krush). I have always liked his production and tunes, and couldn’t wait to share a stage with him.
DJ Kentaro jets in to play alongside De la Soul, Ghostpoet, Anchorsong, Submotion Orchestra, Alexander Nut and many more at this week’s Soundwave Croatia Festival 19-23 July Tisno, Croatia.Tagged in: Contrast, hip hop, music, Ninja Tune, soundwave croatia
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