Lofi Japan update #3

This blog issue contains massive updates about our Japan operations, as well as an interview with Japan based artist Thirsty Girl about their recent EP release with our label! To learn more about our Japan operations, visit our Urban Japan discord server or follow us on Instagram



Art made by Shota



//Project: ENERGIZE!


As you might know, we host multiple beat events per month with our label Tsunami Sounds as an attempt to push the beat culture forward, and to encourage a fun and collaborative perspective on music production. We've done 20+ events over the last few years so far, and it has become an important part of our label philosophy.


Thanks to the many friends in our Japanese team (Urban Japan) we now have a strong ability to reach into Japan's beat scene. In Japan, the beat scene is not new or inexperienced, in fact it's quite distinct and healthy. However it hasn't seen the same saturation, attention, or editorial support that American & European areas have seen. I think this has led to an underrepresentation of Japanese artists in the niche, but on a positive note, this has created an opportunity for us to do something both impactful and collaborative.


"Project: ENERGIZE!" is our first beat event made exclusively for the Japan region and is themed off of "energy" (upbeat, energetic, summer theme, etc). We believe this is a pivotal moment that we are at the epicenter of. This event begins today, and will run until July 29th. More information can be found in our discord server if you want to follow along with it!




//INTERVIEW


Recently, our label Tsunami Sounds released an EP project named "Memory Dress" with Japan based artist Thirsty Girl. Join our short conversation below as we learn more about the artist and their release!


Art made by itono



Damon:

What’s up Thirsty Girl! Thanks for joining me on my blog! I wanted to get you on here so we can talk a little more about your recent EP release, “Memory Dress”.


The first thing that stood out to me about this project was the wonderful design by itono. It features a warm, nostalgic appearance of a city scene in late afternoon- the words "Kokatsuya" (a family name / store) written on a banner of the building, with two people hanging around leisurely. The artwork leaves a lot of suggestions as to what might be occurring- but nostalgia seems to be main focal point here. The music itself was very fitting for this direction; with songs like "Tobacco" giving a deep, melancholic feel. And "Memory Dress", sounding like a reflection through one's life and memories.





Damon:

To start with, can you tell us a little more about your background? (Birth place, lifestyle, inspiration for music, etc)



Thirsty Girl:

I was born in Iwate, Japan. It is a snow country located north of Tokyo and south of Hokkaido. I started making beats in December 2021, but I used to play the guitar in a rock band back in the day. Then I encountered LoFi music because of my illness. I have a daughter who is one and a half years old. Before she was born, I developed a nervous system disease.


During my recuperation, I happened to listen to the beats of "LoFi Girl" on YouTube. The music was very comfortable and relaxing. It actually relieved my symptoms.

It was then that I first learned of the existence of the LoFi/Chillout music genre.

Since music has been my hobby, I wanted to create music that would ease the symptoms of my chronic illness.


I also wanted to help heal the hearts of those who were suffering from the same disease. That was the beginning of my career as a beat maker. I decided to pursue LoFi beats in my own way, utilizing my skills as a guitarist as well. It is not easy to balance work, child-rearing, and making music. In the midst of it all, I will continue my creative activities while also cherishing time with my family.



Damon:

Your EP “Memory Dress” sounds very nostalgic- and the title hints at the distant past, with warm emotions. What memories were you thinking of when creating this album? How do those memories compare to now?



Thirsty Girl:

"Memory Dress" was the first EP I submitted to an overseas music label. From the beginning of its production, I had decided to submit it to Tsunami Sounds. After deciding on a label, I started writing the music. The theme of the EP is "Japanese Nostalgia".


When I was a child, there were many "Dagashiya" (candy shops) in my neighborhood that sold sweets for children. Dagashi are inexpensive Japanese confections that can be bought for about 5 to 10 yen. Some shops also sold "cigarettes" along with the dagashi.


After reaching a peak in the 1980s, candy shops began to disappear. The signature artwork of "Memory Dress" is inspired by the candy shops that existed from 1980 to 2000. Today, it is rare to encounter those candy shops. At least when you listen to this music, you can go back to "those days" when you used to go to the candy store. That is the kind of music I wrote.


One more thing is that I lost my father when I was a child. The candy store was the place of memories of spending time with my father. I made a musical piece so that I would not forget those precious memories. That is "Memory Dress".



Damon:

That's fascinating! I agree that cultural elements are disappearing worldwide, that's what led me to love your album to begin with. I could sense that this project was attempting to chase something that is "no longer here", and I admire that pursuit.


Growing up, what did you often do as a child or teenager? Did you have any hobbies or dreams?



Thirsty Girl:

When I was a teenager, I spent most of my time in band activities. I listened to and made music all the time. I didn't make it big, but I still think I have a long way to go.



Damon:

Oh nice! When did you first join your rock band? What instrument(s) did you play?



Thirsty Girl:

I joined a rock band when I was in high school. I wanted to play the guitar at that time, but there weren't enough members in the band so I ended up being in charge of the drums. It’s a common story in a rock band though! I started playing the guitar after I became an adult.



Damon:

Who are some artists or albums that have inspired you? I especially love your guitar style. It brings a nice indie/rock aesthetic to the Lo-Fi world.



Thirsty Girl:

Some of my influences are:

・My Bloody Valentine

・Bring Me The Horizon

・Sigur Rós

・65daysofstatic

・Billie Eilish



Damon:

You have a song named "1973", why is that year significant to you?



Thirsty Girl:

"1973" is a nostalgic, somehow sad beat. The origin of the title is in the "oil crisis" that occurred in 1973. As you all know, the global recession later occurred. My mother experienced the oil crisis shortly after her marriage. She still says to me jokingly: "I couldn't get any single toilet paper at that time," she said. On the other hand, she also said: "I was poor at that time, but people's hearts were rich."


Now that the Internet is widespread, we can get everything done online. It is also true that the connections between people are weaker than in the past. Our lives have become more convenient, but our hearts are forgetting what’s truly important in life. That’s how I made the beat 1973, with all the thoughts mentioned above in mind.



Damon:

Interesting point! I think it's true. Community & harmony are some of these important things that are being forgotten about now days. Speaking of which, I noticed that you have a very supportive community who always supports your music, and you referred many new Japanese artists into our Urban Japan discord server like Lily, Eqsia, Takesy, Streethider, and many more. How did you meet all these friends? Is there an active online music scene in Japan?



Thirsty Girl:

I met them on Twitter. Twitter has an algorithm which connects people with similar preferences. So as I posted my music on Twitter, the music itself started connecting people and people attracted by each other, finally becoming friends.


As I said, we can get everything done online, however it depends on ourselves if we can create connections between our hearts.



Damon:

That's cool to know! Yeah, connections and collaboration are important. And you've certainly done a great job at team-building so far! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. The Memory Dress EP has surpassed 10k streams since its' release and it's having great reception within our audience. We have more work coming out soon! (Audience- stay tuned!)






//Ending

Thanks for taking the time to read this issue and I hope you heard / saw something that made you vibe. If you'd like to help me out, you can donate here, or you can just support our music label by streaming our playlists (below).



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