Interview: Five Minutes with Snowk

                                                                                                                  Image credit: Kodai Kobayashi

Snowk, the joint effort of Japanese musicians Namy (Yutaka Takanami) and Fuminori Kagajo have just released their latest single, ‘Under The Moon ft. J.Lamotta Suzume’ via Namy& Records and Warner Japan. The name, Snowk, is a nod to the fact that the two were both born in “snow countries”. With several releases via the renowned French label, Kitsune, the two are currently recognised as a fast-rising talent, marking themselves as ones to watch for 2021. ‘Under The Moon ft. J.Lamotta Suzume’ is lifted from their upcoming album, Powder, which will be available on the 22nd of January.

Find out more about this mysterious duo and their latest creation in the exclusive interview below.

Stream / Download ‘Under The Moon ft. J.Lamotta Suzume’

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Fuminori Kagajo>

When I was thinking about my future, I came across DJ/club culture and decided I wanted to follow this path.

Yutaka Takanami

While working in the office for 10 years, I was exposed to the music of the musicians I met when I was DJing and playing at clubs every night.

I wanted to expand their music and challenge myself to do the same.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Basically, we’ll start off by bouncing ideas off each other to create a sound.

Even though we like each other’s sounds a little differently, we’ll share the music that inspires us.

There are things that are born, so I cherish them. In Japanese, it’s called “A-Unoki”.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

That’s right! It’s almost like that because there are so many featuring vocalists.

We’ll give them a track that we’ve made and if they get inspired, a lot of times they’ll write the top line and lyrics for us.

We choose the singers we like and offer them the chance to collaborate.

We’ve worked with NUDE and ROSE in France as a trackmaker, and with Shigge in Japan.

What’s on your current playlist?

Fuminori Kagajo>

Lots of Lo-Fi Beats and Neo-Soul type music.

Dinner Party – The Mighty Tree

Sherman’s Showcase – Sing Me A Lullabye

Yutaka Takanami>

I’ve been listening to a lot of mellow music lately.

・Caribou – Suddenly

・Bearcubs – Early Hours

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

We’ve been preparing for the show as Snowk, but we’re very disappointed that we haven’t had a stage yet, due to Corona. We want to share the music with all our fans around the world.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

The important thing is to create the sound of the synth and process the effects. We’ll play those sounds through different speakers and see how they sound.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

We go into the studio in the morning to check our email and then decide on the day’s production schedule.

On days when I don’t have a meeting or something, we just stay in the studio until noon and do some light exercise before lunch.

Relax. Then we’ll work until the night again.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

>Fuminori Kagajo

That was definitely the first time I DJed in a club.

>Yutaka Takanami

This was the moment when I performed in clubs abroad like New York and Amsterdam with some of my favourite DJs in the world.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

Headphones and an Apple watch. LOL.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

>Fuminori Kagajo

It’s hard to name any one person.

>Yutaka Takanami

I listen to a lot of things, but the ones I listen to most often and pay attention to when I’m working as Snowk are SG Lewis, Moon Boots, or Nick Monaco.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

When we discover a cool track, we often find ourselves wanting to use it in a DJ set, but at the same time, we want to make it even better.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

We’re using Logic as a base for Roland, Korg, NI, Maschine, spectrasonics, UA plug-ins and so on.

Anyway, we’re trying out more and more software that we’re interested in. We’re using software more than hardware now.

Any side projects you’re working on?

>Fuminori Kagajo

I’m focusing on both the house music scene and the Snowk scene, and both of them are my main focus rather than one of them being on the side.

>Yutaka Takanami

I’m working on projects like Namy and AmPm. And others.

I’ve been DJing for years and I’m influenced by a lot of music.

We’ve been working with the truck manufacturer to come up with ideas, and we’re a mutually beneficial team.

You have a lot of projects to do a lot of different things.

Each one is an important project. Snowk is probably the most fun right now.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

We think everything we do in this industry, not only DJing and gigging, but also digging songs and studio work, which are all tied to improving our skills.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

We’ve had a rough year with Corona, and I don’t know if next year will be any easier.

Anyway, this year is almost over… I hope you’ll listen to next year’s album first!

I’d also like to play a DJ/Live set on the Asia/Europe tour that I had planned to do but couldn’t.

Famous last words?

Good-bye and I hope you will be safe

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