The Person Behind the Turntables: Exclusive Interview with @DJKENTARO

Q. We know about DJ Kent­aro, Japan’s greatest turn­tab­list, but we know little about you as per­son, we saw you say­ing you are not used to speak­ing much in pub­lic. Can you tell us more about you and your daily routine? Do you listen to the news? What do you think about glob­al issues in terms of polit­ics and tech­no­logy for instance?

As there’s inter­net in every­one’s life, all the news, updates from friends or reports come dir­ectly to every­one includ­ing me! Even friends who are abroad feel like they are very near. A lot of our loc­al big news recently is about the 2020 Olympics being held in Tokyo which is the city I live in now. The media and people are talk­ing about this all of the time. It is very excit­ing and I think this will cheer up all the people in Japan. Very pos­it­ive news.

Q. And what do you think about the con­tem­por­ary Hip Hop move­ment, how do you find the Hip Hop –Style DJ-ing since you won the DMC world Cham­pi­on title in 2002?

I don’t even play “Hip Hop” or “Rap” songs any more, but as far as what I do when I dj, I think what I do is still hip hop, “Turn­tab­lism”. The selec­tion of music maybe dif­fer­ent from “hip hop” djs from the 90s, how­ever what we do is still “Turn­tab­lism” which is a part of hip hop I think. Plus today’s hip hop music or tunes have diverse tastes as far as in their beats, can­’t really say what today’s hip hop is.

Q. Can you name some of the early pion­eers that influ­enced your work and who would you wish to share the stage with?

DJ Craze, off course, good friends too! There are so many to name as well. DJ Shortkut and I had a gig togeth­er last month etc.

Q. How do you find the crowd /Hip Hop/ Bass scene in the UK? Is it very dif­fer­ent to Japan’s?

It’s obvi­ously the lead­ing coun­try in the world, so whenev­er I come, I always get new influences.
Very inspir­ing people and pro­du­cers are in UK.

Q. You are world-fam­ous for your col­lab­or­a­tions with USA/UK/France/Canada/Japan big acts in Hip Hop, Raga, D&B, Dub­step, to name some of the genres; do you have time to explore oth­er types of music like Japan’s eth­nic music or clas­sic­al music? Can you sug­gest us any to check out?

Yes, we had this Japan­ese band who play the tra­di­tion­al drum called “TAICO” at our fest­iv­al called “BASSCAMP” couple of weeks ago, and we jammed (did a ses­sion) ! It was super dope!

Q. Your album “Con­trast” was one of the heav­iest releases of 2012 and now you will be play­ing at Vil­lage Under­ground — Lon­don can you give us a sneaky peak of what  we will expect?

Well, I will play lots of new tunes and some exclus­ives, so stop by please!

Q. From your per­spect­ive what are the high­lights of your career and where do you see your­self in 10 years time?

Being able to vis­it Europe more, UK is my high­light! I love UK and people in UK! (cul­ture and music as well!).

For mixes and updates from DJ Kent­aro, please visit :

dj kentaro i am hip hop

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Gata Malandra

Edit­or / Research­er at No Bounds
Gata is a music and arts lov­er, stud­ied anthro­po­logy, art man­age­ment and media pro­duc­tion ded­ic­at­ing most of her time to cre­at­ive pro­jects pro­duced by No Bounds.

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About Gata Malandra

Gata is a music and arts lover, studied anthropology, art management and media production dedicating most of her time to creative projects produced by No Bounds.

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