Two new stories in The Japan Times this week. In the bigger of the two, I talked to electronic producer Toyomu about imagining Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo and moving on from that.
American rapper Kanye West’s seventh album, “The Life Of Pablo,” felt inescapable when it emerged this past February. But that wasn’t the case in Japan. Streaming music service Tidal — which initially had exclusive rights to “Pablo” — isn’t available here.
This gave Toyomu Hayashi an idea. Unable to hear West’s latest, he decided to splice together his own version instead. The result was “Imagining ‘The Life Of Pablo,’ ” which the Kyoto trackmaker created based off a list of the samples used in West’s “Pablo,” by typing the rapper’s lyrics into his computer’s text-to-speech function, and by going on a gut feeling as to how West would’ve put it all together. He then uploaded his Frankenstein album onto his Bandcamp website, where it sat pretty much unnoticed for a month.
“Then one day I woke up and discovered I was featured on Complex, The Fader and Fact,” Hayashi, 26, says in his first in-person English interview. “I was going viral.”
I also talked to the ambient artist Ex Confusion, read that one here.