Jamaican Music Music Interviews

Reggae Interview Series: Reggae Music In Japan

This month our series “Reggae Around the World” we interview DJ Tokiya from Black Assassin Sound System in Japan. The have been playing reggae at night clubs, dances and on the radio in Japan for over 15 years.

Question: How are you involved in Reggae?

I play reggae music at the various clubs in Japan and select music for the radio station. Also I create MIX CD for sale.

Question: What is the reggae scene like there?

The situation has improved every year. REGGAE becomes popular in Japan . Nowadays, many foreign artists come and perform in Japan . Also many Japanese SOUNDSYSEM, the reggae artists, and the reggae band started to coming out in Japan . If the physical distance between Japan and Jamaica is much closer, reggae music would be much more popular in Japan .

Question: What first drew your attention to Reggae?

It was the reggae RIDDIM. It was undertaken that my impact in SLENG TENG RIDDIM.

Question: What was the first Reggae song you ever heard?

It was the mighty diamonds “ I need a roof”.

Question: Who and what are your influences?
Bob Marley, Stone Love and Killamanjaro,

Question: What style of reggae is played often in your country? [Dancehall, Lovers
Rock, Conscious etc.] What style do the majority of fans seem to prefer?
DANCEHALL is the mainstream. There is a scene for ROOTS ROCK and LOVERS ROCK, too.

Not only Jamaican reggae but also Japanese style reggae often plays at the clubs.

Question: Was the fact that Reggae is English and Patois a barrier?

The language barrier used to be a large one however I find it is not much problem now.

Question: Is Reggae mainstream and is it played on the radio there? Videos on TV?

REGGAE is taken up in media of Japan . DAVILLE is one of the famous REGGAE artists in Japan . Recently the radio stations have been playing, SEAN KINGSTON. Some of the reggae artists show up on cable channels such as MTV Japan, but so much on national networks.

Question: How is Reggae influencing your culture?

I studied the black culture and the history through REGGAE. ( africa ,jah,haile selassie,etc). REGGAE asks when I do what way of life ..good…

Question: If someone traveled to visit your home and wanted to hear reggae music what would they have to do?

They can go to one our dances. Visit my website for dances in Japan: http://www.myspace.com/tokiyas

Question: How would you describe your country’s reggae sound and development?

Japanese reggae sound became far more different from Jamaican style. Reggae music in Japan takes its own way of creating Japanese sound. Many Japanese reggae artists are trying to get more popularity by singing in Japanese and closing the gap between reggae and Pop music.

Question: What are some of the names of the popular local artist? Who would be the
top 5 artists?
Rankin Taxi, Ackee & Saltfish, Pushim, Ryo The Skywalker, Chop Stick

Question: How did you get interested in Reggae?

I first heard the reggae music from the radio. That melody inspired me when I was young.

I’ve been involved in Japanese reggae scene for more than 15 years.

Question: Who is your favorite Reggae Artist?
Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Super Cat, Ninjaman

Question: Where do you think Reggae will be in 10 years time? And in Your country?
I am sure REGGAE will be much popular in Japan .

Question: Do you think there is anything preventing Reggae from flourishing for you
and your fellow artists there?
NO,,,,,but GANJA is illegal in Japan .


Question: In some countries you might see people wearing a Jamaican-style hat

With fake dreadlocks attached when they attend reggae concerts and other events. Do you
see anything that you see in your country?


Question: Have you ever been to Jamaica ?

YES, many times! Love it! I usually go to Jamaica to create dub plate

Question: Do you have many/any Jamaican people living there?
YES, nuff Jamaican deh yah

Question: Do you eat Jamaican food? Like what?
YES, I cook Jerk chicken for myself sometime.
Question: Any final words for the visitors at Jamaicans.com

Nuff Respeck!!!

About the author

Xavier Murphy