Shingo Nakamura’s file looks back at the vital musical influences that shaped his current sound, from high school music lessons to the moment he fell in love with electronic music.
Shingo Nakamura is one of the biggest names in contemporary progressive house. The Tokyo-based producer has amassed over 10 million views on YouTube, which places him as one of the most popular names in his genre.
But Nakamura is much more than just a playlist artist. He’s renowned for a particularly euphoric, iridescent brand of house music, and has successfully crafted three full-length solo albums – the styles of which venture beyond progressive house into deep house, trance and progressive trance.
On his debut album Sapporo (2011) and sophomore Days (2014), Nakamura proved a consistent performer intent on developing his active, detailed progressive house – and always unafraid of upbeat melodies, big hooks and crowd-pleasing basslines.
Nakamura’s most recent release, Glow, came out last Friday. Five years in the making, Glow is as illuminating as its title suggests, building upon the atmospheric developments and rhythmic diversity of Days and pushing each element of Nakamura’s sound to new heights. The basslines are groovier, the melodies more enraptured, the complexities of Nakamura’s style and structures more intricate. It’s the kind of release one would expect of an artist currently at such a peak of popularity and recognition.
Following Glow, the Glow got together with Nakamura to get further detail on his musical favourites and outside interests.
First song you learnt to play?
I learned to play the piano when I was in elementary school. I was also a member of a brass band and played the euphonium. I practiced many songs, but the one that remains in my memory is Holst's "First Suite for Military Band". The melody left a great impression on me.
First album you bought?
It was a long time ago, so my memory is a little hazy. But I remember being very happy when I bought "Yuuwaku" [Temptation] by the Japanese rock band GLAY with my own pocket money. Before I discovered club music, I used to listen to Japanese rock and pop music.
Which song defined high school?
When I was in high school, I listened to many songs on my way to school. There were many songs that I loved, but "Cho" [Book] by the Japanese rock band B-DASH left a particularly strong impression on me. I used to sing it a lot when I went to karaoke with my friends. Other rock bands like Going Steady and Hi Standard also symbolize the music of my youth.
What song changed your life?
It's definitely BT's “Flaming June”. It's what made me fall in love with electronic music. If I hadn't encountered the song at that time, I wouldn't be who I am now.
What other kind of music would you like to make?
I would like to produce music for K-Pop artists. Their sound is high quality and their performances are great. I’ve been to see their live shows several times.
What music would people be surprised to hear that you enjoy?
I think songs with attractive melodies are fun to listen to, especially at clubs where people can share one sound. My friend Nhato has a lot of songs with impressive melodies, and I get excited when I listen to them in a club.
Above & Beyond’s gig at ageHa in Tokyo in 2011. When they played “Good For Me”, I was so moved that I cried on the dance floor. I strongly felt the power of trance music.Favourite music venue?As I answered in the question above, Tokyo's ageHa is a place that holds many memories for me. Every time I saw many DJs perform there besides Above & Beyond, I had a great time. The sunrise from the outdoor area is so beautiful.
The book you’re reading right now...
I rarely read books, but sometimes I buy something that interests me at a bookstore. Among the books I have read recently, I found Hans Rosling's Factfulness very interesting.
I love ramen! I eat it several times a week.
The last film you saw in a cinema?
I rarely go to the cinema, and only watch movies on a plane or at home. However, I watched Detective Pikachu at a cinema. I like Pokémon, so it was very interesting!
There are very few movies that I watch over and over again, but I’ve seen Patlabor 2: The Movie many times. The story is good, but the images and music are wonderful.
Tags: Shingo Nakamura