BORN & RAISED IN TOKYO, RISA TANIGUCHI HAS DRAWN INSPIRATION FROM THE CITY'S UNDERGROUND SCENE WHICH HAS LED TO A STRING OF SUCCESSFUL RELEASES ON SUARA, KNEADED PAINS & SECOND STATE. WE CAUGHT UP WITH RISA AHEAD OF HER DEBUT ADE EXPERIENCE...
Hello Risa, thank you for taking the time to speak with us at Virtus. You’re on your first European tour. Where are you now and how has the tour gone so far?
Thank you for having me! Yes, I’ve been touring in Europe since the 1st October and I’m currently in Berlin. My first gig in here was at Watergate with the Second State crew and it was lit! The club was packed from the beginning of the night and I was really happy to be able to share my music with the dancefloors of Berlin and that everyone was dancing! I also had a gig in Colchester last week with Sankeys, another debut for me in the UK - and I got so much love from the crowd, it was amazing.
You just played in Berlin for the first time. How does playing in Berlin compare with back home in Tokyo?
To be honest the club scene in Tokyo is getting smaller than before but there are still many of good venues. The fact there are less clubs, means they keep their quality when it comes to line ups and the overall club experience. You find all the international DJ’s playing at VENT, Womb, Contact and Circus. You cannot really compare the two, Japan is like a different world to everywhere on the planet, even more so Europe. It's a culture shock for Europeans going there, and the same for us when we come to Europe. We have the best of many things, but so does Germany. Vibe wise at the clubs, every party I’ve played in both Germany and Japan have been amazing, crowds going mad, and everyone enjoying themselves.
What did you do before you became a DJ? Everyone always has some interesting stories! And, if you HAD to change jobs tomorrow, what would you do?
Actually, I have always been in music, I completed school and started to DJ a lot in Tokyo and it grew from there. So, I haven’t really had a career in something else before this. I did always want to be a pianist though. If I had to quit and do something else, I think all my dreams would be broken, but I would say a translator. I studied languages at University and love to learn them.
Since your international debut release on Clash Lion, how would you say your sound has evolved in your most recent releases?
Apparently, my DJ sets have gotten faster! Ha ha. And I guess that my songs are too. I used to produce around 125-128 bpm, but now it’s around 133. Not only the tempo has changed but also my production has become a lot simpler, but I have learned to really hone my skills and focusing on defining my own sound.
As a DJ, what has been your most memorable experience to date?
Actually, my set at Watergate last weekend is the one for this question. As it was my very first gig in Berlin and at such an amazing venue invited by Second State, I was nervous but when I did sound check everything was fine. BUT once I started to play my first song in my set (I was an opening act) and put my headphones on my head, the headphones were suddenly broken for some reason! It was broken into two parts and I was like ‘WTF’?! Super upset but when I looked at my manager he looked frozen! Lol Then I kind of got back to reality and just told him to ask the venue if I could borrow an alternative pair, so in the end, it was sorted, panic over and my set was saved. This accident actually made me forget I’m on the booth of Second State’s showcase for a split second.
I’m sure this gig will always be an unforgettable memory, as it was my first.
What would you tell other Asian-based acts about building their profile in Europe.
I can just say to always keep producing good songs, as long as you have good music, you can find a way to get that to people in Europe, and they will love it! You can’t rush anything, everything happens naturally, although it might take longer than you want.
What artists are you really digging in your sets at the moment?
Emanuel Top, KUSP, Responder, Keith Carnal
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given so far in your music career that you’d like to share with others?
‘As long as you love and keep doing it, you can do whatever you want’
What releases can we expect from you in the near future?
In November one of my tracks will be featured on a VA on Elementra, a cool label run by a great friend of mine in the scene Frazi.er. And then I have another track out with Second State before the end of the year! This year has been crazy when I think about it, so many cool releases. I am so happy.
Can you tell us one fact about you that no one knows?
My father used to work with Jamie Oliver in his restaurant J
Will you be playing at ADE? If so, where can we catch you?
Yes, I will. On the Wednesday I’ll be doing a live stream actually, with Clubbing TV, which will be broadcast over a few pages, so you can catch that on Facebook. Gig wise, I will be playing at De Markantine for the Second State showcase with a whole group of amazing artists on the line up. Finally, on Sunday I will be doing a Supperclub Cruise for Happy Techno, on their ADE boat party. I am really excited to get to Amsterdam and see what ADE is about! This is my first time, and to be playing the parties I am, I am very thankful!