Kay Suzuki / Round In Motion / Brilliant Corners
Where are you from?
A typical sleepy suburb just outside of Tokyo.
Where are you based?
Hackney, London for the last 10 years.
What brought you to London?
I was always trying to create my own sound no matter what role I play, but I found it really difficult to find the right scene in Japan and I felt lot of scenes – especially dance music scenes – were driven by information rather than human interactions. As I grew up with lot of conscious music, I just couldn’t see my self expand my consciousness, and for this to be reflected in my music in that environment. I think London (England) has been on the front line of the new music for the last 20 years. Especially around the time I moved to London. I was really fascinated by the sounds from West London also known as Broken Beats which was the latest fusion of all black music at that time and I really wanted experience it with my skin. I saved up money and moved to London in 2004 and I ended up putting out my first record on CO-OP which was run by IG Culture and Afronaut from Bugz In The Attic (Big up both) so I guess I made the right move.
What made you start?
I’d say my family’s love for music. My dad used to be a member of Ray Charles fan club and played lots of Jazz, Country and American 50’s~60’s oldies Pop in our house. My elder brother taught me everything about classic Rock and Soul music from 60’s & 70’s until I was old enough to play the cassettes by myself. They both played guitar and sang at home and my elder sister used to play Electone (Yahama’s home electronic organ) all the time and got me into lot of 80’s Pop music. Being the youngest in the family has been such a blessing in terms of the amount of musical influence I got. Naturally I started to play guitar around 11 and continued learning other instruments, programming and recording my own music in my bedroom throughout my teens. I was working part time at a sushi restaurant during my high school days and opposite the restaurant was one of the biggest record shops in town (Disk Union in Kashiwa, Chiba if you are familiar). All the money I got from the restaurant went straight to the opposite shop for my further musical education.
Can you tell me a little more about the band you were in? I`ve seen some photographs on Facebook, Funk Samurai?
Hahaha. That was my band when I was 18 till 21 or something. We were playing my originals and bit of covers and I was pretty much like JB conducting the band as I sang and played guitar or keys. I used to bring my own mic stand with round bottom base (instead of tripod base) so I could do the JB’s mic tricks. We had such a good time rehearsing, jamming and gigging different places in local town and Tokyo.
What makes you continue?
I think music is the key to understand the universe and I feel like I’m getting closer everyday to unlock the door…
How would you describe your sound?
I’m heavily influenced by all pioneers of music who reflect their own consciousness through music and always create their own grooves that define or share their own time. I call it “Time Art”. I’ve experienced music from lot of different aspects, but when I create music, whatever the style or genre I fall into at that time, I always reflect upon my environment and create my own groove in it. As my label motto says “The space between the beats defines our time”.
Where is your favourite place to play / party / other?
I started a restaurant/bar last November called “Brilliant Corners” in Dalston, East London. I’m the head chef, graphic designer and I co-manage the place with my friends and its owners Amit & Aneesh Patel. We have a pure analogue audiophile sound system including Klipschorn speakers, Bozak mixer and valve amplifiers. We serve organic wines, sake, Mescal, craft beers, and few other selected drinks along side, with my original Japanese menu using free range meat & natural ingredients. We haven’t done much promotion nor press launch, but we’ve been growing very organically through word of mouth and it’s characterising itself as a very unique spot where you can have stripped down raw experiences of quality audio, drink and food all in a very comfortable living room vibe. there’s nothing like it.
It’s been such a magical journey for all of us and I feel really blessed to be a part of it. We are pretty much like the extended family of Beauty & The Beat, setting up an extended living room and expanding our friends’ circle. It’s a very personal and a very special place for everyone got involved.
What are you most proud of?
My friends and family including the extended one. I’m also very proud of lot of my songs, productions, design work and food that I created over the years.
Who are you working with?
I’ve been making music with Leonidas for the last 2~3 years. He’s got some serious analogue gear and generally a great collaborator. I’ve been honoured to be a partner in his infamous audiophile house party Lovetoparty and shared so many great memories. I also make music with fellow London based Japanese DJ Koichi Sakai as Afrobuddha. Koichi is definitely one of the most vital promoters in Afrobeat / World music scene in London and we’ve been working with various African musicians over the years. We host a monthly radio show called Spirits Frequency on our homeland Dalston based NTS Radio.
What are your plans for 2014?
A lot of exciting plans for Brilliant Corners, but personally I’m planning an Asian tour in later autumn, fingers crossed, and I would love to release another record this year. I’ve got few tunes that need to come out.