Tokyo based Aussie, J SQUARED has been laying low since his Aussie hip hop days back in Australia, so you’d be forgiven for not recognizing his latest lush production right off the bat. With the help of Japanese musician and song writer AMY, “RMB ME” is a disco infused bass track that shows off his progression as an artist as well as his production capabilities.
What seems to start off as your run of the mill almost future bass track quickly gives way to a funk infused dance fest. By really taking advantage of Amy’s sultry vocals the song becomes a jam you can expect to get down to poolside on a palm tree infused dance floor.
The single comes as part of a remix package release through CONTINENTAL RECORDS, a label off shoot from KITSUNÉ‘s resident party animal JERRY BOUTHIER ft. reworks from the likes of THE PASTEL, THE JAZZ ZODIAC and LEDAUX – the release is looking mighty fine!
We decided to ask JSQUARED a few questions to get to know the emerging artist…
what prompted your move from MELBOURNE and how is the TOKYO scene?
The move wasn’t so intentional at first. I was studying languages at university and applied for a scholarship to a university in Kyoto. I got in and ended up studying and living there. Once I graduated I moved to Tokyo and started working and continuing the music thing. I put a CD release out here in 2014 and from that started getting gigs. The Tokyo nu disco scene Is quite small. There are a few regular parties (that I know of). The ‘Modern Disco’ party is held regularly and occasionally invites disco guests from overseas. Also the Sheep party in Tokyo is a good local disco and house party I go to a lot.
who are some of your biggest music influences and how has the Japanese culture influenced you?
Not such an original answer but, my biggest influence has probably been JDilla. His drums were the best. I think listening to Dilla taught me about letting go of the quantize button and making beats sound more human. Also love Pomo, Mogul, Casual Connection, Billboard etc..
I guess living here has influenced my food choices more than anything!
what other artists songs inspired the single and who are the japanese artists you vibe with?
I was listening to a lot of Pomo, FKJ and Oliver at the the time of making it! Lately Ive been getting into new MONDO GROSSO and TOFUBEATS. Tofubeats stuff is out there and has a good mix of Japanese J-POP and foreign elements, it makes for interesting listening.
who is AMY?
I met Amy through a music friend a few years back. When I met her we recorded a song “Make Me Feel” that turned out well and got signed to German label NDYD (Nudisco Your Disco). She does a lot of solo stuff and also sings with a well known local band, Tempalay, in Tokyo. She played at Fuji Rock festival this year. We’ve done about four singles since and have a new one on the way!
what instruments do you play?
I play keyboard. I’ve got an old Juno 106 and a DX-7 plus a bunch of synth plugins to make the sounds. I can also play guitar.
any upcoming performances ?
Yeah! I joined Tokyo live band The Jazz Zodiac this year. The members are old school veterans of the local Hiphop scene here. The DJ, DJ Beat won the Tokyo DMCs in 90s. And the percussionist/dancer Goto-san is from well known Tokyo Dance group Sound Cream Steppers. We put our first remix out on my recent EP and have a single with Amy coming this summer!
Our band The Jazz Zodiac are playing the following dates!
August 20th – BBoy Park (Yoyogi Park)
August 25th – Cup n String at Circus
August 26th – Beach lounge at Azabu Juban
August 28th- Thick at Aoyama Hachi