Taku Takahashi Brings Cultural Fusion to Hip Hop

Hip hop recording artist and record producer Taku Takihashi, hailed as the #1 DJ for three years in a row by the popular Japanese dance music publication iLoud, is bringing cultural fusion to the music world. He is one of the many artists who are helping combine different genres of music from around the world in a cultural fusion. Takihashi has worked with a number of artists, including but not limited to Calvin Harris, The Ting Tings, Morgan Page, SMAP, Hikaru Utada, and Ayumi Hamasaki. Takihashi has also produced songs for artists Crystal Kay, Ami Suzuki and Rie Fu, making him one of the busiest producers in the business.

Takahashi grew up in Japan with his construction worker father in Yokohama. He attended St. Mary’s International School with fellow music artist Verbal, with whom he later created the rap/rock band N.M.D in 1992. Takahashi played the drums and also wrote the music for the band. Unfortunately, the pair would go their separate ways. Verbal did not see rapping as a viable career and headed to Boston. Takahashi moved to Los Angeles in 1994 to attend Occidental College where he majored in physics, philosophy, and Asian studies. He also went to a local music school and started to DJ.

During this time Takahashi formed a musical group with female vocalist Love Soul upon returning to Japan in the mid-1990s. Soon after he began to produce music full time. Verbal would join Takahashi in Japan and together they would form the trio M-Flo in 1999 with Love Soul. The group’s first release, The Tripod E.P, made the top 10 on the Japanese singles chart. They continued to gain success in the 2000s with their songs “How You Like Me Now?” and “Come Again.” The group has sold over two million copies of their singles to date.

Takahashi has many achievements that include winning Beatport’s “Beatport Music Awards 2011 Top Tracks” and performing all around the world and at culture conventions such as Anime Expo and Kawaii Kon. Takahashi was also a member of Avex’s 20th-anniversary dance music project Ravex. He supervised the soundtrack to the hit anime, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt but one of Takahashi’s crowning achievements is Block.fm.

Block.fm is an online based radio and news show that places emphasis on electronic music. Currently, the station has 40 programs and music podcasts from famous DJs all over the world. Takahashi started Block.fm in response to the lack of stations playing electronic dance music. The project was spearheaded by Takahashi himself after being rejected by several radio stations. Takahashi makes moves on his own and took it upon himself to launch his own record labels, Tachytelic Records and TCY Recordings. Takahashi’s upcoming plans for 2017 include performing at AWA, working on a remix for an artist called VOIA, and working on a new track for his group M-Flo. He shows no signs of blazing new trails and stopping anytime soon.

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