A lot of producers play the age old line of ‘oh I just found music’ or ‘I was just messing around on some keyboards and produced this stadium banger’, and other such shit. This however is not the case for Last Japan. Rather then messing around in his room, he chose a specific path to learn how to produce music, and how to hone his natural talent.
Fast forward a few years, and he’s really finding his feet, both sonically and in himself as Last Japan. For somebody who’s still so relatively young, and who draws so much varied influence into his productions, he has a bright future ahead of him. He’s been prolific this year in releases – his track ‘East’ with Trim was a standout banger, and I’m excited to see where he goes next, especially as I know his head is brimming with track and collab ideas just waiting to be let loose.
How did you get into music production?
Well I started to learn a few instruments (Trumpet, Guitar & Drums) through school life and while I was learning to play them I started to get really into the recording side of music. I suppose it was a natural type of inquisitiveness, so I downloaded a couple of DAW and started learning how to record and produce drum, guitar and bass tracks and I loved the whole process.
With the aim of going to ACM in Guildford by the end of year eleven I decided to first do a BTEC in music production at Kingston Music College to get the necessary experience. The degree at ACM is where I really got into producing music in the box as they say. I had an inspiring music teacher called Chad Jackson who was my first ‘Computer Music’ teacher and he taught me a lot of skills that I put to use now when producing, and it was in his lesson that I first started producing under the alias of ‘Last Japan’.
I saw on your wall you have a gold disc, get that for shifting mad units or what?
Haha, I wish it was a proper gold disc for shifting mad units! I was voted for the ‘Outstanding Music Production Student’ award from ACM, for consuming mad units of alcohol and burgers at the Weatherspoons that was underneath the uni – nah but honestly I worked hard for that one, I made a bloody Serato timecode from scratch and had it put on a dub-plate for part of my degree, that took some effort at least!
You went to college to learn music production, how rewarding was that and what’s your view on producers that haven’t gone the educational route and are still successful?
Well I’ve kind of spoken a bit about my education and I suppose the rewards show from what I’m doing at the moment, but everyone gets into production in different ways, that’s what’s so good about music. Some people know it’s what they want to do from day one, and others either don’t know what they want to do or are made by their parents to study something more “realistic”, and end up spending every bit of their spare time producing music and make a career out of it.
Was house music your first love or did were you into something completely different?
I feel a bit behind some people because I was never into Garage, Grime, House, or Dubstep until I was about 18 or 19 when I started going to a few D’n’B raves at the End and Fabric. Before then I was really into my rock, but I remember it being a breath of fresh air when I discovered more electronic music, because the scene is so much more diverse and attracts a broader range of people which I found exciting and I felt that I fitted in better.
How do you approach production, do you sit there all day bashing out anything, or does it just come naturally?
I never force things, I think maybe it slows my output down, but I’ve never been one of those people that can just smash out track after track. I have to wait for bursts of inspiration, which only seem to come when they want to.
Do you have any burning production ambitions that haven’t yet been fulfilled?
Erm, I really wanna be like the Neptunes in terms of produced tracks for loadsa different people, hopefully have some top10′s in there! I’d also like to get a publishing deal under my other alias N55 which I co produce with Luke Oldham.