Interview : Shinichi Osawa


If there is one thing that everybody who reads TMS knows it’s that we think Shinichi Osawa is pretty amazing. We have done an obscene amount of posts on the dude. Despite being incredibly busy and working on his second album he found the time to do a quick interview with us. Still very much in shock that it happened and many thanks to Shinichi for taking the time! :-D

What led you to making music in the first place?

I didn’t have a specific point. Although I used to play the Guitar in Junior High and I was a member of a brass band. I guess these motivated me a little.

Are there any artists that influenced you?

I didn’t have any idols but when the 80s began, my music life started and artists like YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA from Japan, New Wave from the UK influenced me alot. Also I was listening to stuff from Y Label such as THE POP GROUP, FACTORY,CHERRY RED labels such as A CERTAIN RATIO, The Durutti Column and CREPUSCULE from France.

What is the differences between working as Mondo Grosso and Shinichi Osawa? We get impression that when you are working as Shinichi Osawa, you seem to be expressing your originality more, is that true?

With Mondo Grosso. the process of the project is the band. Therefore it might be limited, but it’s still musically and technically growing so I believe it will broaden more and more.

You have been collaborating with various artists from various genres. How does it start? Do you change your style depending on an artist you are working with?

I try not to have any bias toward any specific genres. Collaboration work always starts with a spontenious idea like ‘ I want to do this! ‘. I just work with instinct when something comes in my mind. I think whether it will be successfull or not is depends on luck.

You have worked with Yuusuke Chiba from Rosso before. Is he your friend? Do you have any plans for Star Casino in the future?

I’m not sure whether it will be as Star Casino. Although I would love to do something with him again. He is one of a few Japanese artists I respect.

Do you enjoy more DJing in Japan or abroad ? What do you think the differences between them?

It’s not about countries but the people. I believe that passions and ambitions create music scenes. If a organiser has passions, there will be a great crowd and community. About the differences. I think there are much less ‘shy Japanese’ in clubs like 15 years ago and the culture of partying is spreading. I know this is not very nice thing to point out but another diffrerence would be a drug issue. I think we are still much safer about it.

You have become known through remix works. How did it all start? Did you approach or were you approached?

I have never really approached or pushed my works hard. I think it all started back in 2003. I was playing some materials, which I had edited for DJ play. Kitsune and 2ManyDJs showed interest and started using them too. After that I was offered a chance to remix officially. The edit I did of Christopher Just was a good example of this.

Were you surprised that these works got positive reactions?

Yes, I was surprised. I had never imagined that people would love the POGO (Digitalism) remix that much and I would receive a friend request from Felix The Housecat on myspace!

Were you pleased that your album was released abroad? You also received good reviews. Did you expect that?

I was very happy when the album was released last year. I thought it would be a little bit hard because the album was originally made 2006-2007. Reviews don’t bother me too much because there are people doing this as a job and also it’s not really honest opinions.

You have done so many remixes. Are there any differences when you make remixes and original tracks? How do you pick offers? Do you have anyone who you never want to work with?

I try not to make any rules or theories when I make music. I just always try. The only difference is whether I made the original or not. I believe remix work is also collabration work. That may be the reason why my remixes are always varied. Hahaha. I have so many rules for remixes that I don’t want to do. I especially avoid offers that make me worry about the releases.

Do you have any artists who you would like to work with? I remember that you said you would like to collaborate with foreign pop stars, will it happen?

Hmmm.. I would like to work with indie or underground bands at the moment. I think working with pop starts isn’t cool now. It would be nice to work with young talented bands around Brooklyn such as Dirty Projectors, Metronomy from the UK, Kings of Convenience, Bieruit, Feist and so on. I want to work with other genres , not only dance music.

What can we expect from your new album? I heard that you are working with Caged Baby.

I have alot of ideas for collaboration works but I don’t think all these ideas will make it. I’m still working with Cagedbaby but it’s not confirmed yet. I finished a track with Paul Chambers and The Black Ghost’s did a vocal for a track too. I think new album will be alot different from The One. You may hear the elements of folklore and techno in it too.

Do you think the internet is good for music industry. Do you enjoy comunicating with fans?

I think there are lots of down sides though there are more positive sides.

What was the happiest moment of your artist life?

When I make great music, also meeting people through music. I cant get this feeling in any other situations.

What do you think about the current Japanese electro scene by young artists? Do you support them as a Japanese artist? Is there anyone we should be looking at?

I want to support any young talented artists regardoless of where they are from but I don’t really like to belong to a particular group. I don’t see the point of gathering of the same/similar music. To be honest, I don’t even know if there is a Tokyo electro scene. I guess I’m not in that scene if it exists.

What do you prefer, a spy car that can flies or a spy car that goes underwater?

I’m not too sure though I think I would go for a spy car that goes underwater.

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