Let’s unveil STUTS, the creator of his masterpiece
“Yoru wo Tsukaihatashite”!
Photo_ Yuki Kumagai 
Interview&Text_ Takashi Inomata

The famed tune which is recently played everywhere in Japanese nightclubs
— “Yoru wo Tsukaihatashite feat. PUNPEE”
This nostalgic piece, which invigorates our soul,
is delivered by a young track-maker from the Millennial generation, STUTS.
Today, we will expose what had inspired him in the creation of the masterpiece
and reveal his visions and projects in the early future.

Hi! Firstly, let me ask you about your roots with music — what was the very first CD you purchased in your early life?
When I was in sixth grade, I bought CHEMISTRY’s first album, The Way We Are, which was the first CD I purchased in my life then. I actually bought it for seeking one particular song, but I unexpectedly encounter the piece called BROTHERHOOD feat. DABO where I listened to the rap music for the first time. I was like “well…not bad” and unconsciously repeated it like a thousand times.
So, did that song awaken you to Hip Hop?
At that time, I was not certain the tune was categorized as hip-hop, yet I spontaneously began listening to popular, trending hip-hoppers such as RIP SLYME, KICK THE CAN CREW, and Eminem. Thereafter, I started to scrutinize the rap world and got gradually into it.
Sounds like you are an obsessive boy with full of curiosity, were you?
Well yeah, when I face something intriguing, I would really be into it. Additionally, I loved creating whatever things by myself during my childhood. For instance, when I was a primary school kid, I really got into a roleplaying game then I invented my original RPG depicted on my note, haha.
Then, were you totally immersed in Hip Hop during middle school?
Exactly. When I was in 9th grade, I found to prefer more underground and minor rappers like BUDDHA BRAND, KAMINARI (KAMINARI-KAZOKU.), and MICROPHONE PAGER. At such time, I found a compilation album of A Tribe Called Quest on the listening station at a CD shop. Thenceforth, I started to appreciate the classical hip-hop music which became the foundation of my current career.
What was a catalyst to start creating a track on your own?
I admired to become a rapper when I was about 15-year-old. Yet, I didn't obtain fancy beats to rap with; thus, the melodies must have been generated by myself.
That resembles your creation of RPG.
Absolutely, haha. Initially, I purchased an inexpensive drum machine under $100, and then I composed rhythmical sequences to rap. However, I wasn’t satisfied with the machine, so I bought MPC-1000, the good-quality kit, when I was a high school sophomore. Accordingly, I got addicted to make beats than rap myself.
What was a catalyst or a particular opportunity to debut?
That is when I began to hold live performances with my MPC, then audiences started to know and recognize me.
Why did you start the MPC performance in front of the audiences?
I worked as a DJ prior to a MPC performer, but I desired to deliver my own tune to people. Thus, when I consider how should I deliver it myself, I discovered HIFANA in Japan and Anticon in the U.S. who played MPC in live performances, and I was deeply impressed with their shows. Hence, I claimed myself “that’s the job”, and I started. It was around 2009 or 2010.
I heard you had a street performance with your MPC in Harlem, NY on 2013. How were audiences and their reactions?
There were a lot of unique audiences that I cannot imagine meeting in Japan; an old lady praised me by “DUDE, that’s THE Harlem music!”, a grandpa who danced with my tunes, and a local rapper who freestyled with my beats. I am so thrilled with their reactions and glad to encounter them.
Was there a shift in your mind after you perform in NY?
I had become a bit more confident of my potential in abroad. I had a short trip to New York when I graduated from a college, but my future path was determined to enroll in a graduate school in Japan. Therefore, I had to endeavor both to the school life and to the activity as a musician, and I wished to become an independent musician if there was a chance. Music had already turned into a big part of me at that time, so I aspired to compose more pieces in the future.
The album you published in last April, Pushin’, obtains some moods of 90’s hip-hop which delivers wonderful, soothing, and comfortable sounds. It was really awesome.
In “Pushin’”, I selected my most stimulating yet relaxed songs into the album where many tunes are imported from my accumulated song list. Thus, there are a lot of old songs that I created while I was in a college or more previously.
In this February, the same track with an analog record is just rpublished. What do you see with the launch?
I’m simply happy. Analog records acquire its distinctive asset such as its warmth which achieves the exceptional atmosphere.
Do you change the mix between the CD and the analog record?
I fluctuated only one song which is “Yoru wo Tsukaihatashite feat. PUNPEE.” I barely shifted the beats, but slightly modified PUNPEE’s voice. Actually, the original piece was completed just a day before the album’s mastering. Eventually, I was satisfied with the original song which obtains somewhat rough yet refined sounds; nevertheless, I pled to modify the original slightly that I finally managed the shift in the analog record.
The song, “Yoru wo Tsukaihatashite”, became so popular among listeners who regard it as your masterpiece, which is on fire again, when its 7-inches analog record was released in last fall. How do you perceive its popularity?
Well, I greatly feel so thrilled and also grateful that I could handle it together with PUNPEE.
In addition to PUNPEE’s reputation and popularity, I believe the tune itself is superb to be highly evaluated.
Thank you. When I composed the beats, I was assured that PUNPEE is the best man to occupy the beats. In my intuition, he was more than the best guy to handle it with its mellow yet catchy melody, and I’m delighted that my insight was accurate. I’m so ecstatic by acquiring many fans!
When did you complete the track and what images you had then?
On the new year’s eve of 2013, I determined to compose the last song of the year and that was the tune. I produced the prototype on that day and modified several times later in the new year.
I see that the tune is somewhat nostalgic and peaceful with slightly an upbeat touch which demonstrates “the end of a year” feeling as you just mentioned it. In retrospect of the whole year, the memories are recalled while a new year is just around the corner; that is exactly the feeling of the song.
Can’t argue with that. Honestly, I didn’t consider about the concept while I was creating the song, but you just raised a good point since I recollect various memories while composing it.
What did you specifically request to PUNPEE for the lyrics?
I pled him to present an overall image of sunset and sunrise to represent both an affection and a compassion. Hence, it was a really broad offer. After PUNPEE brought the first draft up, he and I developed the draft together to wrap it up.
Did PUNPEE tell you his emotion or expression about his lyrics?
He contacted me that he completed a good draft around February of 2016. As hip-hop is getting prevalent in the society because of FREESTYLE DUNGEON, a Japanese TV show on freestyle, he expressed his hope and anxiety of hip-hop and its future whether its trend is favorable or not. When I read the lyrics for the first time, I clearly grasped his direction. The lyrics represent the sunrise after clubbing overnight and also metaphorically represent the sunrise of the future.
When I hear the song, I feel a strong passion gradually awakens from my heart, just like “the world is my oyster.”
Yeah. When I listened to the finalized tune, I also sensed the lyrics are made for me. The song encourages anyone who is working hard and making efforts including me, a beat maker, as well.
Usually, how do you spend your time generating beats?
Recently, I work on it every single day. I wake up early in the morning and sit at desk around 10 a.m. to start working. Thereafter, I spend an hour for my lunch break and continue on the task till 6 or 7 p.m. Then, I either continue to work or to study on coding with a music-related book.
Your schedule sounds exactly like a general employee, haha.
Absolutely! Since I work alone, if I don’t impose my scheduling well, I’d be a lazy ass.
What does your workplace look like?
I constructed a desk on my own; I put a rectangular board on two color boxes as pillars where analog records are contained. Monitor speakers function as plummets, so the desk itself is very robust.
You have a great DIY spirit. That mindset is probably derived from your RPG invention, haha.
Hahaha! I made a keyboard stand by myself as well.
I heard we are going to a record shop later, tell me your efficient approach to spot a good record.
Well, I definitely look at the jacket first. I usually purchase by the look of a jacket; in addition, I either focus on a label, a producer, an arranger, or a year of the publication. I used to prefer the ones from 1976, 1977, and the other mid-end 70’s. Nowadays, I purchase various ages, but 80’s might be my current trend.
What was your recent hit on a record?
“Souvent, Longtemps, Enormement” by Diane Tell. I recently visited Kumamoto and purchased it there. It is an AOR version from 1982, and it’s really awesome.
Is there something you are interested in besides music?
I’m considering to develop a computer programming to automatically control electricity in my room such as lights and air-conditioners with simpler systems.
Programming, seriously!?
Actually, I used to work as a computer programmer. This is a tiny computer called Raspberry Pi (a picture shown below), and this machine enables to manipulate all electric appliances in my room that I’m able to acquire more efficient life.
So, does it automatically activate, for example, lights turn on every 7 a.m. or air-conditioners turn off when you go to bed?
Exactly. I kind of comprehend processes to develop it.
I knew the world is going to plunge into AI era, but I didn’t imagine it to be reminded by an artist.
Thus, I yearn to learn more about AI systems such as machine learning and speech recognition equipment. During leisure time, I read books about it.
Then, why don’t you invent the computer program which will automatically compose a track? Many people rumor that AI will soon be a hit-maker.
Actually, I already considered about it, haha. It’s intriguing to statistically analyze data for the future trend and to extract beneficial information to enhance my sampling. I’m very curious with the technological development to improve music; on the other hand, “too innovative” is not favorable. I personally don't support too much technology to intervene in music; I crave for the conventional methods.
Lastly, what do you plan to do and want to challenge in the early future?
I think this year while running side by side with live activity because I intend to release a sound source to make new music in various ways. I’m not sure if I will handle it, but I want to try composing tunes from a sample in which musicians play diverse instruments in session. I have countless things I want to attempt, but I will compose as many songs as I can as usual and will seek my own ideals.

(Photo Location)
Disk Union (Rare Groove Store, Ochanomizu)
2-1-45 Kanda-surugadai, Chiyoda, Tokyo

Rubbergard Record
1st Floor, 1-38-6 Kanda-Jinbocho, Chiyoda, Tokyo