Mahal (Japan, RHR/ Deep Explorer/ Inner Shift) Interview
@SK: Hi Mahal hope you well, welcome to In Sequence Series. We are very privileged to have you here and a great honor to have and hear from you about your music. Firstly could you tell us about yourself and the music, because you produce some great deep house.. when and how did you realize you have this love for production?
@Mahal: My name is Tetsuharu Shimohira a.k.a MAHAL, my artist name which came from my nickname MAHAL. ( I used to use this name on SoundCloud because it looks like a little sequret and interesting. no deep reason, I come from a Japanese old city NARA and lived in KOUENJI TOKYO and moved to YOKOHAMA where I now reside at. I have had a special feeling in music from childhood. I used to escape from reality by music. I think it saved me and made me. My childhood dream was being a DJ. My dream is coming true. In my school days I was member of the noise band “MU” That was first time my music release out from my head.
@SK: From where you’re from in Japan, there’s quite some good deep house producers like your Kez YM, Kuniyuki Takahashi and so on. How have you ensured you keep up the quality standards of such production?
@Mahal: I think Japanese people are good at delicate work but almost a lot of people don’t make music. There are many DJs in Japan but producer not so many. In Tokyo especially 90s there were so many DJs. Now the scene is shortened. So there were so many second-hand cheap good records in Tokyo before nowadays vinyl revival, But I think that Japanese club scene is not mature and there are many problems.
@SK: You’ve released with some big names like Lady Blacktronika, HVL and now recently Brad Peterson, Dubbyman & Rai Scott. How has it been like to work with such people?
@Mahal: It was much of a very dreamy time for me… 15 years ago I dropped out noise band and started to DJ. And soon I found Dubbyman’s record and played it many times. This Great Japanese senior DJ I like often played Dubbymans tracks. At that time I couldn’t imagine that in the future my record release would be from his label. Also it is interesting that there is common point on Spanish and Japanese roots music.
@SK: Your new EP release on Inner shift music and Deep explorer, how did it work to release with 2 great names on a joint venture?
@Mahal: I’ve received Many messages, reactions and props from world wide. Especially from South Africa. I have a big interest in South Africa. I believe that music can change people and world better. They proved that, And the messages from legendary artists. Original followers of these labels are very cool and kind. I’m very happy to join in these great labels.
@SK: With record sales, would you say artists get any kind of value from their contributions and efforts in terms of sustaining themselves going forward and even making more music for us?
@Mahal: Yes. I really appreciate props from worldwide. Before pandemic, I received some DJ offers from EU also.
@SK: How do you think the current generation is keeping up with the culture of collecting records and producers releasing on vinyl compared to the new digital world, are the young ones moving away or they’re still keeping it together and better nowadays?
@Mahal: Current generation can choose both degital and vinyl. I used to choose vinyls for usability and it’s sound especially dance music, kick and bass is different. But when I listen ambient music at home, sometimes I choose degital. For ambient music, it is good for me that has no record noise. The current generation will choose by contents.
@SK: With the current Pandemic going on, how are you and other artists affected?
@Mahal: We will realize something really important. Power of love is getting strong around me. I really thank my beautiful people. Beautiful people around me always treat me right. I think that now is the turning point for humans. Human race is going to be polarized. What matters is love.
@SK: Do you think that since most countries world wide have undergone lockdown, this has gotten you and other artists to reflect on how to approach the industry or perhaps given you more time to produce some good sounds to release after lockdown?
@Mahal: I think that this lockdown is one of the positive side.
@SK: What can we expect from you in the coming years in terms of production, and also will we be hearing of some tours from you.. especially maybe see you in SA?
@Mahal: Yes. I listen many kind of music with my family. My 3 year old daughter loves D’angelo and Yamashita Tatsuro. When she caught a cold, she told me that please put D’angelos Voodoo by her pillow lol
@SK: Lastly, what are you working on at the moment, what should we be expecting from you in the near future?
@Mahal: I made an album and have over 100 demos for EP. In the future I will build my own label but now is too early. So hopefully there’s plenty to come in future. DOUMO ARIGATOU (Thank you very much)
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