We caught up with Tokyo-based artist Dugo following the excellent release of ‘Recluse’. Read the full interview now!
How did you first get into music?
I started playing the guitar when I heard Gary Moore’s ‘Corridor’s Of Power’ and Van Halen’s first, self-titled album. I decided to write a track myself because I heard Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’.
What’s the music scene like in Tokyo?
Unfortunately, the electronic music scene isn’t booming in Tokyo at all. Many artists are looking for places to work outside of Japan. Also, some music creators are trying to find somewhere they can work in by being involved in the anime and game music industry.
If you want to work in the music industry in Japan today, you have to be involved in either anime, games or idol pop music.
Who influenced your latest EP, ‘Recluse’?
Dugo originally made music based on the concept of blending Spanish flamenco music and electronic music, which I was strongly influenced by.
However, when I visited a friend who lives in San Diego, in 2017, I was impressed with the beautiful sea and nature of the place.
Also, when I visited Byron Bay in Australia in 2019, I was influenced by the beautiful and rugged seascape, which has led to the musicality of Dugo today. The cover photo of Recluse was taken by me on the beach in Byron Bay.
What is ‘Recluse’ about?
Recluse symbolizes an artist who goes his own way, avoiding the tides of the world. It’s about myself. This song is a statement of my determination that I will continue to do original music activities without belonging to the flock and following the trends.
Your music has been used in various video games, how do you compose for a video game? Is it different from your usual process?
The job of making video game music is now a craftsman’s job where ‘appropriate’ music is required rather than something new or unique. The production methods of movie soundtrack and video game music have become homogenous year by year, and the characteristics of each composer are no longer differentiated.
I resumed my activities as Dugo by releasing the ‘Recluse’ EP, because I wanted to focus on original creative activities that are separate from the work of video game music.
What motivates you to make music?
I’ve listened to a huge amount of music, but I still can’t find the music I like that is 100% satisfying. The desire to create 100% satisfying music with my musical personality, inspired by a lot of great music, is driving me into music production.
What are your other passions aside from music?
It is English learning and physical training. I couldn’t speak English at all until a few years ago, but I had to go on a European tour of my band to at that time called Happy Family, and inevitably I had to speak English, and I’ve been learning since then.
Also, I’ve started training as a daily habit since I got sick two years ago. By moving and training the body daily, the activity of the brain became active, the motivation for production increased, and it became easier to come up with good ideas.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Though I thought it for a while, there was nothing I want to change; nowadays, there is a lot of opportunities for artists to be known to the world, thanks to a wide range of services on the internet. And now that the music industry and the rules and mechanisms of music copyright are changing at a tremendous speed, the question of changing something may not make much sense. In such an era, I think there is an opportunity for those who can see the flow of change and come up with new ideas.
What new music are you listening to at the moment?
I listened to Son Lux’s latest album ‘Tomorrows I’ and Wood Kid’s latest single ‘A Color Show’.
What musical plans do you have for the next two years?
Dugo will release EPs and singles regularly from now on. And I hope to release a new album since the first album ‘Lingua Franca’ in 2017 by the end of next year. In addition to the songs included in these songs, I will also upload short music works and works that combine videos on social media such as Instagram and Facebook and YouTube, so please follow me. I’ll definitely live up to your expectations.
FV Music Blog October 2020
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