November 20, 2029 | Tokyo, Japan | Dawson Baiden
Daichi Yamamoto is a young multi-disciplinary artist. Rapper, singer, beatmaker, photo model, designer… He is one of the year’s revelations on the Japanese hip-hop scene. The artist released his first album, “Endless,” on September 4th under the well-renowned label Jazzy Sport. He collaborates with high-level artists such as Peavis, Stuts, and JJJ while revealing his universe by releasing several music videos. We met Daichi Yamamoto by chance: during a trip to the Jazzy Sport Shop in Kyoto, we discovered it was also his place of work. Welcoming, passionate, and humble, we took this opportunity to learn more about this phenomenon.
RJHH: Hello, Daichi Yamamoto; thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. First of all, could you introduce yourself?
Daichi Yamamoto: Yes, I am Daichi Yamamoto, from Kyoto, Japan. I rap and sometimes produce beats.
RJHH: Congratulations on your recently released first album, “Endless.” Before returning to this project, tell us what motivated you to start rapping and why?
Daichi Yamamoto: Thank you. At first, I recorded songs just for fun in university. However, I wasn’t sure if my music was of good quality to be listened to, so I contacted several artists via DM (direct message). During this time, my current manager found me on SoundCloud through the artists I had got, and he offered me the opportunity to make an album.
RJHH: What strikes us in this first album is your versatility. You easily switch from Japanese to English, from singer to rapper, and the instrumentals that accompany you have very different styles from one another. How do you approach making music? What did you want to express in this project?
Daichi Yamamoto: I don’t have a specific process; it’s very random. I try all sorts of styles on a song. Sometimes it takes a long time; sometimes, it can be finished in one day.
However, I kept the concept of this album in the back of my mind the whole time to express myself as best and as purely as possible. I wanted to tell the pain of our generation through my experiences. It’s a personal project, even though many people can identify with this album.
RJHH: On “Endless,” you invited well-known artists such as VaVa, JJJ, or Kid Fresino as rappers. You also collaborated with producers such as Aru-2, Grooveman Spot, and Kojoe. How did the connection come about between you all? What did you learn from these collaborations?
Daichi Yamamoto: Mostly, I know them from when I was sending DMs to artists, as I mentioned earlier. And for others, it was through friends or common acquaintances, such as Aru-2, VaVa, and Kid Fresno.
RJHH: You released this album on Jazzy Sport, and we also discovered by chance that you work at the Jazzy Sports store in Kyoto (thank you, Shun). How did you find out this label, and what is your contribution to the title?
Daichi Yamamoto: I have known Jazzy Sport since high school, so it was pretty incredible when I received an e-mail from Jazzy Sport A&R (Artists and Repertoires). I can’t say if I bring something particular (laughs)
RJHH: What are your musical inspirations?
Daichi Yamamoto: I like Jazz, House, J-POP, Reggae, and a lot of Neo Soul. I also like books and movies, which are a source of inspiration for my lyrics.
RJHH: Is there a desire to stand out from other rappers/artists in your music-making approach?
Daichi Yamamoto: I try not to compare myself to other artists.
RJHH: You come from Kyoto, a city whose rap/hip-hop scene is rather discreet. Can you talk about the local scene and its specificities?
Daichi Yamamoto: I think it’s a pretty cozy city and not business-oriented. Many artists do the things they love and believe in.
RJHH: You are performing many scenes for your album promotion. How do you live this adventure? What is the public’s feedback on your album?
Daichi Yamamoto: The feedback is pretty good; I wasn’t expecting it. It means a lot to me because I lack confidence in myself. Performing on stage is fun and scary at the same time. I wasn’t sure if people would like to listen to my music, so seeing a crowd singing along to one of my songs is always surprising.
RJHH: Is Daichi Yamamoto an artist name, or is it your real name?
Daichi Yamamoto: It’s my real name.
RJHH: What does a typical day for Daichi Yamamoto look like outside of music?
Daichi Yamamoto: Start the day with a good cup of coffee. I like to go rock climbing on my days off. Work at the Jazzy Sport Kyoto store. Watch movies. Read books. That’s my ordinary routine.
RJHH: What are your five favorite tracks at the moment?
2020 de Kojey Radical
DHL de Frank Ocean
It’s nice to be alive, de Vegyn
Family and Loyalty de Gangstarr
You aren’t the problem de Michael Kiwanuka
RJHH: You’ve lived abroad, you speak English fluently, and you work with a renowned international label… Can we expect to see you on projects abroad in the coming years?
Daichi Yamamoto: I hope so! I’m enthusiastic about working with foreign artists.
RJHH: What’s next for you? Any new projects?
Daichi Yamamoto: I’m always on new ideas. I hope to be able to put them into practice.
RJHH: Thank you for this interview and your availability; it has been a pleasure. Do you have a last word for the listeners discovering you in France?
Daichi Yamamoto: Arigato, stay tuned. https://www.daichibarnett.com
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