When I created OA, my only goal was to help upcoming creators. I didn’t know how it would work, and I definitely had no idea how far it would spread – but thanks to you, the readers – I have been able to speak to some of the most talented visionaries worldwide.
For example, in this interview, I get the chance to speak with upcoming producer and DJ: Tokyo Twilight, from Brisbane, Australia. A musician since birth, Tokyo, whose influences include people like British producer, Bonobo, has gotten attention from music platforms such as Dynmk (music channel based on YouTube) and over 40,000 plays for his latest song “Little Things” in just under a week.
Although he’s relatively young, he’s already realized that this is a trying industry and that although it’s important to stay consistent, it’s just as important to “live in the moment.”
In this interview, I got the chance to discuss the backstory behind the name, the success of Little Things, and much more!
Q: Before we begin, would you like to introduce yourself?
A: Hey! I’m Jack. I’m a musician/DJ, and I live in Brisbane, Australia.
Q: Is there a backstory behind your name? If so, explain.
A: I went to Japan about 4 years ago I think? Anyways I was on the flight back to Australia during Twilight, and for whatever reason, the full moon was nestled behind the skyscrapers of Tokyo in the distance, and the name Tokyo Twilight just popped into my head!
Q: You’ve used words such as “ambient-electronic” to describe your music; Who are some of the musicians (artists, producers, etc.) that influenced this sound?
A: It always depends what I’m listening to! But my biggest influence would have to be Bonobo, I’m in love with the way he combines electronic and organic soundscapes into one piece, it’s makes it sound so orchestral and grand, but also stays true to the electronic elements.
Q: You’re relatively young, were you always attracted towards the arts? (specifically music) Does your family have a musical background?
A: I’ve been going strong since I could walk haha, I’ve always loved dancing to music, so anytime any Michael Jackson came on, the people around me would always get a show! I only really started to write music about 3 or 4 years ago, however things have become more serious and promising in this past year.
Q: I’ve previously interviewed an audio engineer, can you explain to me what the differences between an engineer and a producer are? (Is producing more about making a beat, creating the “whole picture”, etc.)
A: Yeah, it’s actually very different process with the same intended outcome, which is to make something sound nice. A producer specifically focuses on the content and sounds of the music, and a sound engineer focuses on making that content sound the best it can.
Q: At what age did you get into producing? What made you gravitate towards it?
A: I got into producing around when I was 13 I think, I just started messing around on GarageBand, and then found Ableton which is what I use now. I was listening to a lot of Daft Punk and really wanted to do the same thing.
Q: If I’m correct, the first song you released (that featured vocals) “Little Things (ft. DVNA) came out over the summer. What was the creation process of that song?
A: Yeah it was! With vocals at least. I’ve released quite a few tracks here and there beforehand but “Little Things” has been the start of what I’ve always wanted to do.
Basically, I had this chord idea and vocal hook I had been picking at for ages, and eventually I decided to send it to my good friend Dana (DVNA). She took the idea and transformed it into this amazing vocal performance and threw in some nice production ideas too, then it was an uphill journey of ideas that just kept flowing. We actually didn’t see each other in person the whole writing process, the power of the internet!
Q: Do you think you will collaborate with more artists in the future? Do you have any dream collaborations?
A: I’ve been listening to this LA based rapper Duckwrth lately, I love his flow and his tone, so yeah i’d love to do something with him one day!
Q: Since its release, the song has been played over 4,000 times on SoundCloud alone, featured on one of the biggest music platforms on YouTube: DYNMK. Did you think that the song would explode like it did when you made it?
A: I sort of made this song with the intent of appealing to pop lovers, my comfort zone of writing usually consists of more ambient sounds. I didn’t expect this one to get so much love, so I’m super thankful for it!
Q: You released the song during one of your shows, do you remember what the response was like? Were you nervous beforehand?
A: It’s tricky cause I tend to get in my own little bubble while I’m playing, and I usually forget to take a look up from my instruments haha! However, I had heaps of people come up and say that was their favourite of the night, so I was super humbled.
Q: You’ve actually held a number of shows since your debut, how do you usually prepare for them?
A: I’m pretty lazy when it comes to rehearsals haha, I usually just do a quick runthrough of my songs the night before and check that all my synths & samples are working cohesively with the tracks. I’ve been lucky to not get stage fright before shows, so that helps keep me calm.
Q: Now, you’re currently based in Brisbane (Australia), and OA is based in New York City; does it ever shock you to see how far your music has spread?
A: I’m so happy about it! I’d never thought I’d look at my Spotify stats and see listeners from the US and UK, so that’s very exciting.
Q: Are there any Australian based artists us overseas fans should have an eye on?
A: A fellow Brisbane local and one of my friends Golden Vessel, his stuff is stellar! I would also recommend checking out T. Scarlett and Marco, we work on a lot of music together, and they’re also Brisbane boys!
Q: You’re about a year into your career now, is there anything you’ve learned since being in this position? Is there any advice you could give up & coming musicians?
A: I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is to have all the patience in the world. I’m quite young for what I do so I tend to get ahead of myself a lot of the time. I find that stepping back sometimes and living in the moment is refreshingly healthy and helps my creativity.
Q: Lastly, is there anything you would like to tell your supporters?
A: Thanks so much for the love, new music very very soon!
If you enjoyed the interview and would like to continue to support Tokyo, be sure to follow him on Instagram & SoundCloud.
If you would like to hear his latest song, “Little Things” feat. DVNA – click here.