“As I said, there are lots of conflicts in the world between countries… But at least, in the music scene, we all wanna hold each other’s hands”

Interview : Tokyo, october 14th.
DJ Krush’s new EP will be released on the 1st of December. New Album out before summer 2013.

Krush’s interview about his new album, american hiphop, japanese MCs, tributes, hard-rock and kabukicho theater.

– dat’ : You released a track every month between 2011 and 2012. What was the concept with this release ? Why did you choose this way of releasing the music, and not a ‘normal’ LP/album ?

DJ Krush : We can all see that the way of selling music has changed in the last few years. At first, we had wax, followed by CDs, and now CDs have been replaced by MP3 files, all over the net. I don’t have to state that I have clearly grown up inside the vinyl and CDs culture, so we wanted to do a test, an experiment. We wanted to introduce Krush into the digital era. I think that it was a very good experience to sell my music with this ‘1 month / 1 track’ formula…

– dat’ : You always seems to take a different direction every album. Those 10 songs were very progressive, with lots of instruments, sometimes very melodic… but your official website says that the next album will be completely different… Can you give us hint about the sound of the next album ? When will it be released ?

DJ Krush : Well… for the 20th anniversary of my career, I went to more than 20 countries in only 6 months. Of course, also in France. During those trips around the globe, I’ve been  hugely influenced by those countries, their culture and everything. So I’m preparing a new album with all those influences from all over the world in it. It’s still too early for the moment to be really accurate about what the sound of my album will be, but it will definitely have been widened by those journeys. 
I think… well, I hope that my new album will come out before Summer2013 ! At the moment, I am still composing the tracks, and making new sounds.

– dat’ : You always worked with the best of American hiphop. But its been 7 years since you last released an album. Who are the MCs of today’s hiphop that  you would like to work for ? Or that you find interesting ?

DJ Krush : It’s hard to say. There are so many amazing MCs everywhere in the world… I have the feeling that Hiphop is getting bigger and bigger today, you can find it everywhere now, way more than when I released my last album. I was talking about other countries influences for my new LP, but for the MCs, I would really want to work with Japanese artists again. You know, you can find very good MCs in Japan too ! So for my next album, I want to aim my research of vocalists on this idea.

– dat’ : Doseone said to us that the first time he came to japan was because you wanted to work with the Anticon crew, and that he will always remember this first meet with you. Can you tell us why you were interested by Anticon sound, and how it was to meet those crazy Americans in Japan ? 

DJ Krush : Oh, he told you that ? That is really cool (laughs) !! This guy is awesome… Man, it was amazing, we really had so much fun at that time, without boundaries, in a very spontaneous way. Why work with Anticon ? Well, because they all had very strong individualities, they are all damn original in their way of making music. Thats why I wanted to contact them… I had to ! (laughs)

– dat’ : Hennessy Artistry events try to give the possibility to organize events between Western artists and Japanese musicians (like C2C and Tucker)… Today it’s you and Large Professor. Can you talk to us a bit about this event ?

DJ Krush : Well, you know… there are so many problems and conflicts in the world right now. The music, I don’t know if it can change… how can I say, I know there are other perspectives or opinions, but me, I want my music to be connected with the world, we all need to share and do stuff all together. So tonight’s event is really meaningful for me. We should organize these kind of events way more often ! As I said, there are lots of conflicts in the world between countries… But at least, in the music scene, we all wanna hold each other’s hands, aight ? (laughs)

– dat’ : Did Main Source’s (Large Professor’s band’s) music have an impact on your early years in making Hiphop, in the beginning of the 90’s ?

DJ Krush : I’ve listened to Main Source A LOT !! I have all Main Source’s LPs in their original format, plus all the EPs ! You know, Hiphop was born in the USA. For us, from Japan, we studied this culture, we learned from it, we were shaped by US hiphop. So I am really glad to share the stage tonight with those artists who come from this era. That’s one of the main reason why I’m so glad to still be a DJ. Actually, we will even perform a track together tonight, but we forgot it a little bit at the rehearsal (he laughs a lot). But, hey, guess it will be alright (laughs again) !

“This movie was showing that the guys could fight with microphones instead of guns. It was a big shock for me” 

– dat’ : You talked a lot about the fact that Wild Style changed your vision of music, and made you begin hiphop in the early 90’s. But I wanted to know : how did you got to watch Wild Style? I mean, how did a young Japanese guy could fall on the movie ‘Wild Style’ and watch it ?

DJ Krush : (laughs) Well, I remember, it was in a Kabukicho theater ! Actually, I was not alone to see this movie, I was with a girl. This girl was working in a hostess bar, it was a Kabukicho girl. Anyway, we really didn’t know anything about what was breakdance, or even hiphop! So I had this date, we had time to spare, and we were like, let’s go to see a movie. I saw the poster of Wild Style on the wall, and we went to see it completely randomly. Actually, there was just a few people in the movie theater.

So you know, the movie was talking about bad guy’s culture, but the movie was showing that the guys could fight with microphones instead of guns. It was a big shock for me, coz you know, I was behaving very badly in Shinjuku’s gangs back then… So yeah, this movie Wild Style, I didn’t knew it before, just happened to watch it like that at that time…

– dat’ : And the girl ?

DJ Krush : I forgot (laughs)… I think she told me when we went out from the cinema that she didn’t really understand the movie (laughs)

– dat’ : But If you discovered hiphop with Wild Style, how was your music life before it ?

DJ Krush : Well, I was playing small drum in a marching band when I was in elementary school (laughs). I also always liked painting very much. Later, as a young adult, I joined a band, and we were playing wild hard rock like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple or Black Sabbath, stuff like that. I still play some Led Zeppelin when I DJ sometimes. Anyway, I was listening to a lot of music, even when I was a kid. As I said, lots of rock, like Eikichi Yazawa, Carol… some punk also, with the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned… I also listened to some electronic music with The Human League… I’ve listened a lot and got so many elements from this stuff. To be fair, I didn’t really care about any genres, I was just listening to cool music I liked. So maybe this can be heard on my hiphop…

– dat’ : What about Tokyo and the Japanese Hiphop scene ?

Krush : Well, how can I say. I’m living in Tokyo, but those days, there are so many different types of Japanese hiphop ! Actually, even me, I don’t really know if I’m hiphop or not, I mean, where my music would be classified. Like, today, I’ll spin some hiphop, but tomorrow, can be different. I think that in Tokyo, there are some artist who are more “hardcore hiphop” who might know this better than me. I don’t really know about this… (he describes a big tree with his hands, which represent hiphop, and point far away from the center of the tree) I think my music is around here (laughs) !

– dat’ : Lots of French people discovered Tha Blue Herb with your mix Code4109 and Candle Chant. Now, for us, this band is considered as one of the best active Japanese hiphop acts. Do you still have connections with Tha Blue Herb ?

Krush : In France? Really? Thats cool! Tha Blue Herb’s lyrics are as well written as a book. They don’t just talk about cars and girls… Well, we are still connected, we play at the same music events sometimes. I’d like to work again with them of course… but they are very busy at the moment… !

– dat’ : Its impossible for us to understand Candle Chant, the track you did with Tha Blue Herb, but its always ranked in the 10 best Krush songs… The title says its a ‘tribute’. Can you explain to who this tribute is?

Krush : (think a bit in silence) Candle Chant, is a song about a Japanese guy I knew, who was half-Japanese, half-black. But he died because of a cancer. He was a real hiphop fan, and he was an MC also, and he really liked my music. I met him in hospital, and he wanted so much to do a track with me. So, we were planning to work together, but he died before we could do it… So Ill-Bosstino and me, we decided to write a song, which was Candle Chant at the end. Really, this guy had lots of talent… Unfortunately, he was bullied and discriminated when he was a kid in school, because he had black blood. But he was saying meaningful things like “I have two bloods in me, so I’m twice as strong!”. In Japan, few people react like that when they are discriminated you know… He was a great guy…

– dat’ : Last question, could you recommend us 3 artists people back in France should listen to?

Krush : Like we talked about a few minutes ago, people should listen to Tha Blue Herb because they are so adventurous and innovative. I wish people could understand their lyrics, it would be even better… and who else… hmmm… its difficult (laughs) ! Because I’m making a new album at the moment, I don’t really listen to new things these days, because I am too scared to be influenced by them right now (laughs) !

Well, I receive lots of demo tapes and mixtapes of Japanese MCs who’d like to work with me, I’ve got to focus on this as I said earlier. But I have to pigeonhole all those tapes first. So let me listen to those tapes, and after, please check the guys I’ll work with (laughs) !

Photos Dj Krush x Large Professor / October 14th / 2012:

Dj Krush – Kemuri

Dj Krush – Candle Chant feat Ill-bosstino

Dj Krush – Only the Strong Survive feat CL Smooth

Dj Krush interviewed by dat’ / Chroniques Automatiques / FACEBOOK

All photos by Dat’ / Chroniques Automatiques

Check Hennessy Artistry website and videos here

Big shout to Hennessy Artistry, Syn Song, Asai-san, James, Cécile and my mates Darren & Myuji

Dj Krush New Ep Informations :

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