A DJ without an audience

A DJ without an audience

I uploaded a JPOP ONLY DJ MIX “Rehabilitation” Short Ver. on YouTube.

Hello and welcome to a sunny afternoon by the beach, accompanied by the soothing sound of waves. The DJ mix “Rehabilitation” is a poetic journey through timeless JPOP and city pop classics.

This mix features a diverse range of songs, from beloved hits to hidden gems, each telling its own unique story. As you listen, you’ll be transported to a world of music that awakens deep memories and stirs new emotions.

Take a moment to relax and enjoy this mix. It’s the perfect companion for a peaceful afternoon or a journey of musical discovery. We hope to share this special moment with you.

I wrote this kind of article on the Japanese blog service “note”.


Translate into English.

About a quarter century ago, when I first started DJing, I remember being drawn to deep house and somewhat pretentious, stylish house music.

(These sounds have now seamlessly blended into JPOP and other genres.)

Despite the dire job market, international dance music artists were flocking to Japan, and the weekends in major cities were alive with energy.

Meanwhile, I had no events or clubs where a beginner could DJ, nor did I have the communication skills to find opportunities. So, I just frequented clubs as a listener and dancer.

I might have occasionally been given the chance to open for some event, but I hardly remember any of it, honestly.

I did meet someone who would help me a lot over the next several years. They organized a large circuit event in Shibuya, using many venues, and were looking for DJs.

I probably sent or brought an MD recording of a house DJ mix to a super stylish office for an interview.

Despite my lack of communication skills, I sometimes impulsively did things like this. While I usually failed, my youthful spirit occasionally paid off and led to valuable connections.

Have you completely forgotten the passion and momentum you had back then?

During the interview, the person was direct and a bit intimidating, and I thought we might not get along. However, they told me, “If you distribute the flyers well, I’ll let you DJ,” so I distributed them with all my energy. Those were the days! (I miss that tradition.)

I also fondly remember that Yoshihiro Sawasaki, who I later became acquainted with through a completely different connection, was listed as a performer.

My first DJ gig was next to the bar counter at the entrance of the venue. When I asked, “Is this a lounge vibe?” the organizer shouted, “Idiot! Play as if you’re the highlight of the night!” I still love that kind of attitude.

With nothing to lose, I distributed the flyers like crazy and called on the few acquaintances I had.

Some people came and danced quite a bit, as I recall.

For my second gig, I think I played in a fairly populated venue, but it was the closing act after the peak.

Everyone left, and I ended up playing to an empty room. However, my friend and partner who taught me about house music and various aspects of music (they later got married) came to check on me.

Apparently, the performance they saw just before wasn’t great, so they jokingly said, “You were better than Basement Jaxx.” Even if it was a lie, it made me happy, and I still remember it.

… Now, it’s the same as back then.

Even though it was my choice, I left the scene, cut off all social media, distanced myself from music, and found that almost no one was interested in me anymore.

Now, as a man in his mid-40s, trying to get back into music and DJing, my situation is worse than it was back then.

I still have energy, I know more about music, and I can create it.

But giving up the benefits of social media and the community, which used to provide reactions and offers when I did something, has its price.

People around me say it’s enough if I enjoy doing it. Indeed, just that is something to be thankful for.

DJing without an audience, enjoying it even at the venue, is great, but I feel lonely. It reminds me of those days. If anything, I want to surpass those days.