Ken Ishii is seen as the most successful Japanese DJ who has toured the World over and played at almost every large festival or event over the years of his career. Now after his last successful visit to Hong Kong, the man returns to bring us a set 'full of funkness and real techno'.
HKClubbing: After doing recordings for such things as TV commercials and a Play Station2 game, is their anywhere else where you would like to have your music featured?
Ken Ishii: Iâm open with where my music is used in. I contributed an exclusive track for an established makeup artist Rumiko and her cosmetic brand RMK early in this year as well. Films are always my interest, especially experimental or cult ones. Recently Iâm interested in doing some music for art installations and exhibitions.
HKClubbing: Can you comment on what we should expect from your new album planned for release this summer?
Ken Ishii: From the last few yearsâ tour experience I found out what I wanted to see / hear more from techno scene all over because it was a bit too same everywhere. So, what I wanted to do with this new album is to go back to my roots in techno, which is early Detroit stuff, and put its original good elements to the current techno dancefloors. This means it will be a dance album with more melodies, harmonies and funkiness. Iâm currently starting a video production for the album with a CG artist Kazuma Morino, who did VJing on my last HK gig.
HKClubbing: Japanâs dance music scene is very individual and independent from the rest of Asia, why do you think this is?
Ken Ishii: Maybe because there are more music listeners who buy records, not like just party goers. Those music people have their own individual tastes and they want to hear their type of music each in clubs. We also have a better situation to buy records and CDs too.
HKClubbing: What are your thoughts about music on the World Wide Web?
Ken Ishii: As one music listener I think itâs interesting to have a possibility of finding what you want on internet as Iâm basically a technology friendly person. As a recording artist internet can be fatal, of course. But nobody can stop the progression of technology, right?
HKClubbing: As the UK Festivals and Ibiza is just about to start what plans to do have around that time?
Ken Ishii: I donât have plans to do those at the moment. Instead, I will do lots of big European events in the summer, like Holland, Belgium, Love Parade, Finland and France etc. I will also play in Thailand, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Philippines and Brazil later.
HKClubbing: Can we expect much of the same style of music like the last time you were in Hong Kong?
Ken Ishii: Although I donât really remember what I played last time, it will be full of funkness and real techno!
HKClubbing: On your stop over to Hong Kong is there anything you look forward to seeing or doing in âAsiaâs World Cityâ.
Ken Ishii: HK is my favorite city. I know where to go. This time I heard there would be big fireworks in the harbour, which sounds nice to meâ¦
Ken Ishii is releasing a new single this Summer and then the new album in Autumn. All these releases are on his new record label called â70 Drums", www.kenishii.com.
This Asian American Pop/ R&B group, who have only recently hit the music scene within the last few years appearing on 3 released music videos which has attracted a large fanbase in the Vietnamese community worldwide. Read on and get to know the guys just that bit better, you can also hear samples of their music on their site.
1. How was your group formed? Or how did you get into the business?
Cardin auditioned at Asia Entertainment, one of the 2 large Vietnamese Music production companies in Southern California. Asia wanted him to start a group and after a few months of searching, another singer introduced Spencer and Evan to Cardin and the initial group was formed. After a few trials and auditions, James, the last member joined the group.
2. What are your ultimate goals and/or dreams?
Our goal is to express ourselves musically whether in the Vietnamse market or the Asian American market in general. We want all Asians to know and respect who we are as Asia4. But our ultimate goal would be to go International and appear on Asiaâs MTV and radio stations.
3. What advice do you have for other upcoming artists?
Be humble and always try your best to be everything you can be. Luck comes to those prepared so always practice your craft.
4. Who are your biggest influences? (Musical and/or non-musical)
We would say our family is our biggest influences. Without their love and support for our dreams we wouldnât have followed our dreams. Musically speaking, it would have to be Michael Jackson, Babyface, Max Martin, etcâ¦
5. What inspires you?
Just being on stage performing and hearing the fans admirations for you.
6. What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced?
Our biggest challenges are probably overcoming this skeptical
mentality from people thinking that we are trying to be like the other boy
bands out there. Which is not true, we write and produce our own
materials from scratch to finish.
7. What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies and leisure activities?
We like to hang out with friends and socialized like everybody
else, have fun, and also playing basketball, golf, football, etc...
8. Do you have a significant other?
Some of us do, some do not, but we consider that as private
9. What are your favorite movies/TV shows
Hmm...there are too many to choose and with the 4 of us, there are different
choices. But among those things, we have to say for movies:
Brave Heart, The Last Mohican, American Pie, etc...for tv shows:
Married with children, the Simpson, Spin City, Friends, etc...
10. What are your favorite foods?
Thatâs the great thing about being Asian, we have a great variety to
choose fromâ¦like Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup), Chicken noodles, pasta, any type of seafoodâ¦.they are all great.
To find out more about Asia4 you can visit their web site at www.asia4.net
Tim Lyall has been with Slinky since the beginning, now the club night has become a Globally successful name, giving him the chance to return to Asia, to show Hong Kong his skills on the decks and lets us know what's on his shopping list!
HKClubbing: So what have you been up to since your last Asia Tour?
Tim: just been DJing all over went to Brazil, which was cool and just loads in the UK I have also been doing my own radio show!
HKClubbing: How would you describe the set you plan to play in Hong Kong on Saturday 11th May?
Tim: Well I play allsorts really as long as its good and I think the clubbers will dance, I will play it, but at the moment I am playing tech-house, progressive and tuff tribal stuff.
HKClubbing: From what you have seen, what do you think of the Asian scene compared to that of the US or UK scene?
Tim: Really good if not better than England I think clubbers are more into the music in the Asian scene.
HKClubbing: Anything you plan to do or buy in Hong Kong on your stop over?
Tim: Everything, no I am after some trainers and also a new phone if I can find one.
HKClubbing: Now Ministry of Sound has set up a club over in Bangkok, Thailand, can you ever see Slinky setting up any clubs in Asia?
Tim: Well all I can say there, is look out its not far off at all!
HKClubbing: Slinky has been running now for 5 years, can we expect another 5?
Tim: Yes, no probably, maybe 10!
HKClubbing: Any planned releases or special events where you plan to appear this year (e.g. Slinky in Ibiza)?
Tim: Well doing Ibiza ever 3 weeks though out the summer also Tenerife ever 3 weeks also Homelands and V2002 and loads more going to be a really mad summer!
Kristine Sa's debut album 'I Never Knew' posesses a mixture of sounds and emotions that captivates her listeners. HKClubbing catches up with her to see what she has been getting up to and how the internet has allowed her music to be felt by everyone.
HKClubbing: How would you best describe your latest album?
Kristine: This is such a hard first question! lol. I think I would describe my first album to be a little sad, and very honest. It is also a little experimental and very fun. There is a lot of truth and risk in this album.
HKClubbing: Which, if any artist do you believe has been the major influence towards your music?
Kristine: Iâve been heavily influenced by artists such as Jewel, Celine Dion, Sarah McGlachlan... basically, all the women artists that write and perform from their souls. It is very empowering and inspirational to me.
HKClubbing: You songs cover a variety of different styles, which one do you believe is the one that describes your music the best?
Kristine: I think I would have to lean towards the ballads. I love singing slow songs. I just feel like it gives me time to really sink into the emotions. However, I still love all of the other styles. I love being able to bounce around and move while singing. Itâs a great feeling when the music moves you. And I also love to just speak what Iâve written. This is the least stressful style of all. No vocals to worry about. =)
HKClubbing: Any plan to visit Asia to promote you album, for example an Asia Tour or just press visits?
Kristine: Between those two choices, I think I would have to do just the visits. I would get too homesick! If given the chance though, I would love to visit A LOT.
HKClubbing: I see that you can listen to a number of your songs on your site as well as live movies, how do you think the internet has helped to promote your music Worldwide and how much has it had on your exposure?
Kristine: I consider myself an internet baby. I mean my exposure began online so I have strong faith in the power of the internet. I mean, I am such an internet-junky myself. I love to go online and find out tons of info about my favourite artists, so it feels nice to know that I can be a part of that.
HKClubbing: What do you do besides your busy schedule of promoting your album, poetry, singing and writing?
Kristine: Just everyday stuff: go for bubble tea with friends, hang out with my family, etc. Lately Iâve been addicted to buying shoes. I finally fell into the âshoeâ trap! Itâs so hard to stop buying shoes once you start. You can never get enough! LOL.
HKClubbing: What should we expect in the future form Kristine Sa?
Kristine: I believe you can expect the same honesty from me, and I guess (thinking...) expect what you wonât be expecting. =)