DAOKO interviewed with
Porter Robinson & MADEON
The Japan-France-America conference
by the next-electro-prodigies.
Interview & text_Takao Ookubo
DAOKO, who sensationally major-debuted during high school,
is now developed and becoming as one of the world-conspicuous rapper today.
The very first time she encountered club music is when she was fifteen,
and that song was “Spitfire” from Porter Robinson.
Today, DAOKO herself will interview her root, Porter Robinson, and his sworn friend, MADEON,
as they are currently visiting Japan.
They have all been contacting through social media,
but it is her first time to meet them, so let’s deeply dig into their conversation.
- DAOKONice to meet you guys! Glad to see you in person:)
- PorterNice to meet you too, DAOKO. Yeah, it really is!
- DAOKOI actually visited your live in Japan where you guys played the new song “SHELTER”. And, thank you so much for coming to the interview today, which is the right next day of the live.
- MADEONWow, thank you too for coming to our live yesterday!
- DAOKOThe songs in the live were obviously amazing, but I loved the videos as well. The blend of two-dimensional and three-dimensional videos in which the animation was displayed over the real objects was remarkable. Then, its video was splendidly linked with your music. How did you create the film??
- PorterBasically, we both contributed some ideas to shape it. MADEON worked more on gathering materials, and I mainly edited the video.
- DAOKOI see. I also adopt “comprehensive arts” in my live that I like to visualize my music with movies such as animation, so I was really touched with your performance yesterday.
- PorterActually, we are very interested in your live as well. I really crave to visit your live.
- DAOKOPlease visit me! By the way, let me start the interview:) Please tell me you two’s relationship as the world-famous DJ & producer.
- PorterMADEON and I have known each other for almost 10 years since we met online when I was fourteen and he was twelve. At that time, we were one of the youngest music producers on the internet, so we instantly became a good friend yet rival.
- MADEONThe first time we ever really had a conversation was when I completed my album, Adventure, in 2015. I played the completed album to Porter and we talked about the songs for a while. Then, we realized that we really have the similar preference and taste of music, but we couldn’t have collaborated since we were both busy and there was no practical project we could work on together.
- PorterExactly. We really love each other’s music, and I had long been thinking if I could collaborate with MADEON. Through our decade-careers, we have never worked or toured together, but finally we made it with “SHELTER”. As we acquire the homogenous tastes, it was like we talked to each other within our heads without words during the project, haha.
- MADEONIt was just like we two were being a single producer, haha. Mainly, Porter handled the hook of the song, and I managed the rest of the parts.
- DAOKOI was fascinated by the addictive riff of “SHELTER” that stays heavily in my mind. In addition, the music video, which Porter wrote the script and A-1 Pictures created the animation, was just awesome! Moreover, it became such a conspicuous subject among DJs and creators around me.
- PorterThank you! The concept of “SHELTER” was born in 2016 when the American anime streaming service, Crunchyroll, offered me to generate a new, original animation. I became so ecstatic that night and thus immediately started writing scripts for SHELTER. The summarized story is that it is the end of the world, and a single father who loves his daughter invents an escape pod with a Virtual Reality machine inside of it, so he can evacuate his daughter into the space and she can remain surviving at the end of the world with the VR. Beyond that, I’d like everyone to watch it. We’re really proud of it!
- MADEONI was thrilled when Porter asked me if we could collaborate and build a song for SHELTER together. I think the themes of family and love, the script of animation, and our music, everything combined together resulted in finishing up with this greatest creation.
- DAOKOAfter listened to SHELTER for the first time, I opened Twitter right away and tried to follow you two, and I noticed that Porter had already been following me then. I was very surprised, so I instantly sent him a greeting message through DM, haha. How did you actually know me then, Porter?
- PorterI started to recognize you since I had watched “ME!ME!ME! feat. Daoko” from TeddyLoid. It is probably because I’m a big devotee of animation, on top of that, the music video itself was pretty notable in the U.S. The video amazed me, but beyond that, I was deeply touched with DAOKO’s beautiful, haunting voice. I obviously watched the other music videos and listened to her songs, and DAOKO’s united world of digital and fantasy hit the bull’s eye. It really got me.
- DAOKOI also heard TeddyLoid’s “ME!ME!ME! feat. Daoko” was pretty popular abroad, but I wasn’t visiting anywhere to see the reactions, so I actually felt uneasy about the popularity. Thus, I’m so glad to hear the song was as popular as even Porter has listened to it. What a relief!
- PorterBeside that song, “Samishii Kamisama (GIRL Side-A)” is my another favorite. DAOKO’s whispery tone gives me a chill.
- MADEONIn my case, Porter introduced DAOKO to me while we were doing the collaborating project. I personally like “Kakete Ageru”. The combination of that funky yet heavy bass with your soft and sweet vocal is really unique, so I love it.
- DAOKOI’m so honored that Porter even introduced me to MADEON. As I mentioned, the first time I came across Porter’s music was when I encountered his song, Spitfire, in 2011. At the time, I was still a mere middle-schooler and had known nothing about club music, but I gradually started to upload my Vocaloid tunes on a streaming site such as niconico. Simultaneously, dubstep was getting to be a large wave in Japan, so I found Porter by chance. I remember I was so overwhelmed by the beat when I initially listened to it. Yet, it indeed was a catalyst for me to get into this world, so I was tremendously inspired and influenced by Porter and his music then.
- PorterI’m startled that you were a middle-schooler then. Honestly, I feel something in common with you since MADEON and I were also 12 or 13-year-old when we got into music. We were probably one of the youngest generation, so I’m glad to have a mate like you who started the career around the same age.
- DAOKOMe too! By the way, I discovered that you two are following quite many Japanese artists on Twitter. Any favorite that comes up to your mind?
- MADEONI’m massively affected by Yasutaka Nakata. Therefore, I’m a big fan of Perfume, and I watched their new music video, TOKYO GIRL, which was amazing. I like them where they perform uncopiable dance and stimulate audiences visually, not only by their music.
- PorterI really respect Takagi Masakatsu. He is even on my list of top 5 favorite artists in the entire planet. I like him as much as I like Daft Punk or Kanye West.
- DAOKOWow. Your list is very intriguing that Mr. Takagi is among that lineup. Perhaps, you like the Japanese-unique emotional music, don't you? What do you guys think is the specialty of Japanese music?
- MADEONI think Japanese pop music so-called J-POP uses much more elaborate chord progressions than the Western music, so I can learn a lot from J-POP. Furthermore, J-POP acquires a lot of experimental ideas, structures, and tunes that you rarely come across in the other countries. For instance, the mixture of a chorus or an old-fashioned tune with a new, digital chord progression makes it a distinctive melody.
- PorterI’d say there are three things that make J-POP unique and fascinating. First, the chords and melodic sensibilities are exclusive and so beautiful. Additionally, J-POP attains wider emotions, nostalgia, and bitter-sweetness than the Western music. Second, its fantasy vibe with the developed technology touches my emotion. It really is a Japanese strength in music. Third, it is honestly the least important factor for me, but I’d say the Japanese “Kawaii” culture sometimes captures my heart.
- DAOKOIndeed, J-POP must be influenced by the foreign music, but it is somewhat distinctive to it. Apparently, it is a uniqueness of the island-nation culture. Most of the recent J-POP is presumably inspired by Japanese traditional beat used for lullaby and folk music called pentatonic scale. By using this tempo, melodies will be more emotional and touching.
- PorterInitially, I couldn't really understand the Japanese conventional music, but I’m currently studying it such as the process of creating beats for Enka, the Japanese traditional ballad.
- DAOKOI see. I do agree the conventional music in every nation gets more intriguing when you learn more and more. Lastly, I’d like to ask you guys how you get inspirations when working on a new song, and what is your own method for composing a tune if you have a unique process.
- PorterI do get inspirations by anything actually. For example, a chord progression and a drum loop I write, a new instrumental sound I discover, a sample, a movie, and really anything else is objects of my incentives.
- MADEONI agree with Porter. It can truly be anything. Yet, I personally tend to be influenced by visual arts such as certain photos that evoke my emotion, and I feel like to translate that feeling into music.
- PorterAnyway, my greatest goal is to touch people’s emotions through my music.
- MADEONFor me, I wanna create a place where people can go back to their nostalgia when they listen to my songs.
- DAOKOThe audiences, who visited your live yesterday, comprised various types of people including cool nuts, nightlife people, and even anime-type of nerds which were very interesting to see. In general, club and animation seems to be antagonistic, but I think they can be matched and united into one piece, and you two are probably the bridge to connect these antithetical people and the worlds. Additionally, I’m so thrilled to have the similar vision where we are all trying to integrate animation, video, and music into one composite artwork in both music video and live. I really hope if we’re able to work together on a project someday as today is the catalyst to do so!
- MADEONSounds great!
- PorterI agree! Thanks, DAOKO:)