Led by Hiroaki Watanabe and Kohei Sato, Re:plus is a breakbeat, house, jazz, hip hop and electronic music mix project from Japan. Their first hit single “Everlasting Truth” was a smash on iTunes, while the music video of their follow-up track “Time Goes By” has been viewed more than a million times online. Fresh on the heels of tours in Japan and South Korea, Re:plus were recently in Shanghai, where they delivered their first ever performance in China last Saturday. Before taking the stage at Mao Live House, Hiroaki Watanabe spoke with Shanghai Daily.
Shanghai Daily: Many reviewers define your sound as “Jazzy hip hop.” How do you define it?
Re:plus: We don’t think our works are limited to “Jazzy hip hop.” If we had to give it a label, “mellow hip hop” would be more appropriate. We like to explore new things instead of being confined to a fixed style. That is why I am going to work with Ai Ninomiya from Fly Coast and saxophonist WaKaNa to try new possibility.
SD: Do you want to say anything to your fans here in China?
Re:plus: For us, strangers who have never been here before, having so many fans in Shanghai is a miracle! All we want to say is “thank you for your support and please stay tuned for our new album coming soon!”
SD: How did you get inspiration for producing music? Any suggestions?
Re:plus: keep being curious and always write down the melody that occurs to mind. Actually, all the music-making techniques and theories can be learned systematically, what is more important is to capture your feeling at the moment and record it in musical form, time can never go back, don’t miss the invaluable sensation when you are young.
SD: What’s your impression of Shanghai?
Re:plus: Shanghai is much more modern than we thought. But we’ve found the pop-music cultures among youngsters here not as thriving as those in Japan and South Korea. When we walk around the city, we seldom hear music along the streets. It will take more time to figure out what kind of music Chinese youngsters like.