Daiki - Guest interview
Daiki Sudo is a rapper, singer and producer from Tokyo. He is part of Black Bass, an art collective made up of three MCs and a DJ. He has made Once Joburg his base camp for 6 weeks in search of a quieter and more private space to create in. Thomas Bennie, one of our CEOs at Once Joburg, found out what brought Daiki to Joburg, and what about SA is inspiring his work.
T: You were here in South Africa a year ago - at Once Joburg and Once Cape Town. What brings you back?
D: I wanted a different environment to my own country. It’s packed, it’s busy, there’s always someone around and no private space. I wanted to have a gap here. I love South African films like Niel Blomkamp’s Chappie and District 9. I wanted to see the locations where they were filmed, like Ponte Towers, the CBD and Orlando Towers. He reflects the real society and social problems of the country, like poverty and apartheid, in a sci-fi way - I’m a sci-fi geek.
I’m also a fan of the Ndebele art. I had a South African art teacher who introduced me to it. I would say it was all culture that brought me here.
There is little original culture in Tokyo, people borrow from other worlds to create their own culture. In Japan most people go to a company and will work there for 40 years. Here in Joburg, even though people are working, they have some sort of way to express themselves - they paint, take photos, or make music.
T: So while you’ve been here, you’ve discovered the amaPiano style of South African music. What is it about the amapiano that you like?
D: About half a year ago I started producing. I wanted to go where there were no lyrics just melodies to build up certain rhythms and emotions. The genre I specifically like is House Music - like Calvin Harris, SG Lewis and Mura Masa. I like the consistent rhythm, it’s a heartbeat. Even when we were in the womb we were listening to this consistent beat. I hear this rhythm, this groove, in the amaPiano genre.
T: When you were in South Africa last year, you stayed at Once. Now you’re back, this time for 6 weeks. What is it that you like about Once?
D: The first time I came there was a LGBTQ film festival on at the Once Cinema the day I arrived. Locals joined for the event to. Within a few hours of arriving here I met a bunch of people. The next day I had people showing me around. The connections I have made with people is so quick. Especially creative people.
Also, the location is great, it’s right in the middle of everything. Locals come and go. The people who are working here are cool as well. I can’t say when I’ll be back, but I will be back.