Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Japanese beatmaker Jahuke. Together we discussed living countryside in Japan, meeting their collaborator rosso, their influences, their newest song “Roots”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is thankful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?
I am very grateful too and feeling great!
2. What role did music play in your life growing up?
My parents are both professional classical musicians so I was always surrounded by music at home. I played several instruments growing up but mostly stayed in the classical world until I discovered electronic music when I was in college in Montreal. From there on, I was hooked. I started making my own music in whatever way I could and never stopped!
3. Is there a song or album that had a significant impact on you? What makes this song or album special?
One of my favorite albums of all time is “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. I can listen to it over and over again and always discover something new. It has been a great inspiration for some of my jazzier beats too. It also made me want to learn a little bit of jazz on the piano and guitar.
4. You live in the countryside of Japan. How does your environment help inspire or influence you musically?
As opposed to living in the city, I can blast music at all hours of the night without worrying about the neighbors whenever inspiration strikes. Conversely, I can experience quietness and tranquility as soon as I step outside to recharge. I like to be influenced by traditional Japanese music as well and incorporate it into some of my music. You can hear an example of this through another musical project I run called “Moguta” (linked below).
5. Speaking of the countryside of Japan, you met your collaborator rosso while hiking in Japan. Could you share more about this moment? How did you two end up connecting?
It was a total chance encounter. I was hitchhiking in the summer with my American buddy in a highway rest area near Nagoya when rosso and his friend walked by us a couple times before they decided to turn around and give us a ride. In the car, rosso and I learned that we both like to make music and exchanged contact info so that we could collaborate. It was about a year later that rosso asked if I had any beats for him to rap on so I sent him what would later become our first song “Good Vibez”. From there, our collaboration took off and we made several more songs pretty quickly!
6. Who (or what) influences you?
I try to soak up any music I encounter like a sponge and take mental notes or make quick iphone recordings as a starting point for beats and songs I might make later on. Recently, my biggest influences have been jazz and traditional Japanese music I’ve been hearing at local autumn festivals.
7. Who are some of your favorite beatmakers? What do you classify as a good beat?
While living in Seattle, I discovered Odesza and have been a big fan ever since. Their sound is so original and complex while somehow still being able to be accepted by the masses. They are a great inspiration for me since I’m always trying to strike that delicate balance between simplicity and complexity as well as originality and familiarity.
8. At the start of December, along with Rosso, you will be releasing “Roots.” What inspired this upcoming single?
The instrumental for “Roots” was something that was sitting on my hard drive for a long time and I was constantly looking for a way to use it. After hearing what rosso did with our first song “Good Vibez”, I knew it would be perfect for him to rap on. His friend B.e that is also on the song was a very pleasant surprise!
9. Following “Roots”, what is next for Jahuke?
rosso and I will continue releasing songs together since we have a few more up our sleeves before we have to make more! Otherwise, I have my other project “Moguta” which uses traditional Japanese instruments in an Odesza-esque way. Besides that, I’m also getting into the world of ghost producing for J-Pop and K-Pop groups. Lots of exciting things coming up!
10. Where can readers listen to your music?
Check out jahuke here:
Check out Moguta here:
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/moguta/1646355397