We’re gonna have a conversation.
Okay. So IRADA welcomes you to Thailand. Could you tell us please “who is starRo?”
Who is starRo? So I was born and raised in Tokyo, live in LA now for about 10 years. I do music. Mainly I’m producing and remixing and I deejay. And I also play a few instruments.
So what kind of genre do you play?
When I deejay?
Yeah. When you deejay, is it electronic music?
Yeah. It’s electronic music in general. I like to think that I play music that is in the spirit of what I make as a producer, so anything from R&B, soul music to electronic music, trap or house.
Why do you choose to do this? Electronic music and all these genres of music.
Because I love music. I listen to a lot of music. I just wanna play a lot of music. I wanna mix different elements of music in my deejay set.
Where did this Interest in incorporating these different genres come from? Where did it stem from? How did it start?
So as a producer, I like to think that I’m making something that I would listen to. So again, I listen to many kinds of music and growing up and listening to a lot of music, I’m just combining these different elements, not just in music but life in general. I’m blending everything into my music so when I deejay, it’s in the same spirit.
So how would you think of, as you said, you incorporate different kinds of genre and it becomes this new kind of sound, what do you think of making music without being labelled as a conventional genre?
To me, I don’t really care if it’s conventional. Because at the end of the day, I don’t really intend to be a unique artist.
That’s not your intention?
It’s never been my intention. Just because I’m Japanese, it doesn’t mean that I’ll use some Japanese instrument. That’s because I grew up listening to something else. Still when I make music, a big part of my music...it’s like my Japanese part of myself always oozes out into my music, that’s how it should be. Some people see it as very unique, some people tell me you’re doing soulful music but it’s also very Asian and I take it.
So I guess it’s kind of like a replica of your identity of what you’re composed of, your experiences and your childhood in music form.
So, where do you find your inspiration usually?
Usually? Musically anything that I can nod my head to or vibe with. Music is supposed to be very physical.
You mean it’s supposed to make you want to move?
Not necessarily move. You don’t have to move to the music, but if you feel like you’re moving, that’s actually enough. As supposed to analysing or thinking “what genre is this, how did this artist make it or something like that?” To me, it’s not really about that.
So you kind of make what you feel.
What you vibe to. So would you say that your music has grown with you through your experiences?
Absolutely. I also used to think that, I make different kinds of music, I used to worry about whether there is consistency. Is it cohesive?
Do you worry about that?
I used to worry. I used to worry a lot. But now I don’t have to worry because I feel really good. I listen to myself. For example, when I work on ep or album, I try not to listen to music for the sake of inspiration.
So it’s from other things.
I don’t want music that I hear to dictate what I’m gonna do.
So would you say that you make music according to how you live? Let’s say you experience something and you make a sound out of that. Would it be more like that?
How would you say your music and your lifestyle entwined?
Okay, so for example, what I wear, what I like to wear. Fashion always has a strong connection with music but also sometimes in a bad way. If you are a part of a music community of one genre and a lot of people wearing the same shit and it represents.
Sometimes I like to wear punk rock band t-shirts. It’s not something I listen to. I don’t have to be one genre. So that’s how I view life in general. I don’t stick to one place, even though I live in LA but I travel a lot. I really enjoy it. I love to absorb the different elements of different parts of the world, so the same goes to my music. Does that answer your question?
Yeah. You did, you did. Do you think human life can persevere without music?
Oh why don’t you think so?
Actually let me take it back.
What do you think music is to human life?
It’s a joy. It simply is a joy. But I have a younger brother, and he used to not listen to music at all.
Are you serious? At all?
What does he do?
I don’t know. He just has something else.
Like other hobbies.
Like other hobbies. You don’t have to have music. I’m not
forcing people like “isn’t the music great?”
In general music is one of those things that is genuinely vibrating to people’s mind with a little small exception.
So speaking of human life and music, how would you say music has affected your life in general? Has it made a really strong impact? Did it get you through tough times you had to persevere?
It’s literally my life. There were good times and bad times. Now I do music full time. That is even more obvious. I just love it. For example, two weeks ago, I played one of the most nerve wrecking shows.
Where was it?
those jam sessions and all the line-ups were some of the best musicians in Tokyo. It was nerve wrecking, I wanted to quit.
I never really got that feeling, never really got nervous before I go on. But after I did that, I was like music is just great. It gives you a lot of different experience and emotions whether you like it or not. To me, that’s life itself.
That’s awesome. What would you do if you weren’t creating the music you are creating, what would you create?
When I’m not making music?
If you were not to creating music you are creating, is there something you would do? Some other creative channels? Some other genres? If you were not doing this.
It is really hard to imagine the life without what I’m doing right now. Because like I said it’s all from within so I can’t even imagine.
So speaking of nerve wrecking, obviously since you started this journey, it’s been a long long time, have you ever encountered an experience where “man, maybe music is not for me” or along the way you must have that feeling where everybody goes and encounters a wall or something. Have you ever felt like maybe this isn’t for you. How did you deal with that difficulty? How did you find the energy or the trust to have faith in yourself?
Most of my life, I wasn’t really a musician. Music was like a hobby, hobby. I never see it as a way of making a living. So before I was StarRo, I think what I make is good. But I never had recognition, so it was like whatever. But after I started putting my music on SoundCloud and started getting response and building a fan base. Damn, this is great. Actually a lot of people acknowledged. Ever since I do music full time, part of me, you must have to think that you’re putting out your best. It’s not like me thinking that my music is not good enough. I’m making something that is the best. It doesn’t mean that it translates to a number. It’s never related to popularity. It’s actually a blessing that a lot of people come to my show just to listen to my music. I really feel blessed but I never have to think that just because this guy has more followers than me, it doesn’t mean that my music is...
I think it all comes down to insecurity at the end of the day.
But sometimes it’s an artist’s problem now especially in the Internet era.
Yeah. I don’t think it’s just musicians, but artists and everyone who’s doing creative work. You have Instagram and followers and sometimes when you don’t have these followers, you feel incompetent and you feel that “maybe I’m not doing good enough.”
Exactly and especially in music. If you’re an athlete, for example, there are certain criteria that you can evaluate yourself. If you run a 100 meters in 9 seconds as supposed to me running in 8 seconds, obviously I’m a better runner. But how do you really evaluate yourself as a musician or an artist? So there’s always this constant fighting. Actually it sounds really corny.
We love corny.
Yeah. When I got this Grammy thing, I never thought it would affect me this much. But I have this sense of like whatever I have been doing had been validated. After I got the Grammy I feel much better.
I guess it’s that sense of achievement.
It’s a sense of achievement. Because we never really had a sense of achievement. For a lot of people, maybe living like a superstar could be an achievement for some people. In general it’s not gonna give you any sense of content.
It’s not fulfilling.
It’s not fulfilling. It’s not that Grammy was fulfilling but at least it was a clear milestone. So now I don’t really have to worry about what other people think. It maybe is an Asian part of me. Like my parents used to tell me that don’t ever make music as a way of living. I grew up in that environment. When I decided to make this full time, of course my parents were like worried, not that they were not supportive about it, they were super worried. I feel really relieved that when the Grammy happened, again it is very corny. I care about my parents, I care about my family. It’s just a fact that now they are relieved and it makes me happy.
With that kind of validation, now you can have the whole freedom to create without worrying of the outcome of what people think? Do you ever feel like all this travelling and working hard all the time, do you ever feel unsettled with travelling to all these places and meeting new people all the time?
I mean, it’s all about energy. We are constantly exchanging energy and frequency. Of course if you travel around and meet a lot of people, you absorb all kinds of frequency.
That’s so true.
I’m not gonna lie. Sometimes I meet with people with a little bit of a bad vibe, at the end of the day I have to learn how to deal with it. I have to learn to ground myself. It’s not like I’m super grounded and sometimes I kind of have to let myself, not controlling myself…
Just going with the flow.
Just going with the flow. That happens occasionally. But if you know where your home is, it doesn’t necessary have to be your home but it’s here, it’s here. So as I travel a lot, I keep reminding myself to stay grounded. That makes a lot of difference. Occasionally I’m not grounded but at least you know where to go back at the end of the day. That makes me have a better position. But it’s hard.
It is. Since you were young, you have been conditioned by society, by your parents to be in a certain way. And when you don’t live in that certain way and you come out and do your own thing, you have to come up with your own beliefs.
And sometimes that’s uncomfortable because everyone else and the majority are living a standard way and you’re not. And it’s really difficult.
I think the key is to open up. Because you’re obviously visiting multiple countries and seeing multiple cultures and you have to respect the local cultures and local people. v. I guess now the travelling is part of my life and it definitely affects how I make music, how my music sounds, and all that stuff.
That’s amazing. That’s like listening to your music is like a listening to your journey in life.
When I deejay, I would like the audience to feel like at the end of my deejay set that they have travelled the world.
Going on a trip.
Or time. Time travel.
Would you say you have found comfort in being unsettled? Not being unsettled, but not being settled in one place.
I got used to it. But if I wanted to do this for the next 50 years, I don’t know, I never know. I might still enjoy doing it. If you become an artist you have to take it. It’s not for everybody.
It comes with the job basically.
Being an artist is not for everyone because whatever you make it’s like it’s me. And
sometimes when you get criticized and you get personally offended. You have to deal with that and the same goes to travelling around meeting new people getting exposed to multiple opinions. You have to deal with that stuff. Like I said it’s not for everyone. But if you become an artist you actually have to admit that you signed up for this.
That’s true. That’s true. Let’s talk about, what StarRo song do you think fit the image of IRADA women the most?
Oh. That’s very interesting.
Have you ever met a girl and feel like “this is the song for her”.
Most of my music is about love.
I didn’t know that.
Oh we kinda knew.
We like to think that. Most of my music is from love.
Being in love?
I would like to think it is also very sensible for the ladies even though I have a bunch of guy friends too. I just love it, it means a lot. I would like the ladies to listen to my music too. There are a lot of music on my catalogues that fit in with the IRADA’s aesthetics. Maybe there’s one song, which is from my old ep, old collection, it’s called “In love” I think that’s it.
So there are two more questions, we don’t want to take any more of your time. We know you have a set to play. Are there any new songs or projects that we should keep our eyes peeled for?
Yeah. Now I’m focused on singles. I’m gonna have multiple singles and waiting for the release. I’ll drop the new single every two months. You’ll be hearing a lot of new jams in the next 5-6 months.
We’ll wait. We’ll wait. Are there anything you would like to leave for the Thai fans or
anything you would like to add?
It definitely means a lot. I know that are people here in Bangkok that support my music. That really means a lot. I hope people here keep continue supporting me, I really appreciate that. I love you guys.
Thank you so much for having this interview with us.
Thank you so much. “Korb khun krub”