Eiko Hara Chats With Hyper Animals, and Shares Her New Video!

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I loved the new video! Who helped make the video?

My artist friend Niky Roehreke. She shot it with her handycam, directed and edited the video. I got to contribute my ideas as well.  Niky was my really close friend here in NYC, but now she left. She wanted to try her handy-cam out and make a video to capture the time when we both lived in New York.  My friend Kenta Watanabe helped me to chose the clothes he did make up too actually. Takeo did my hair , Bardia was there helping me out for direction a bit.

What have you been working on lately musically?

I have been working on a lot of things like my new single, music videos, and my live performances. I have been performing with bands and also trying to add a lot to my music with a sampler I just bought.  

How did you get into DJing

I first started DJing with my girlfriends in Tokyo. I was apart of a 5 girl DJ Group. It all started because we were going out all the time. At first I never thought of DJing as a way to make money. After we started it, I thought to myself, okay this is my job from now on. I quit my internships. At that time I had been working as an assistant stylist but I got fired. I remember thinking it was perfect timing and it made me push and start to focus on making it my career and just living for DJing.

Making songs is a lot different than DJing. How did you learn how to make songs?

I remember when I was growing up, I was always singing in the bath or making up songs in my head. I remember thinking, if I can create a catchy melody then why can’t I make songs? I always wished that i had someone to show me how to do it. I happened to be dating a musician and asked if he could help me out. That didn’t feel right though, so I got a Macbook and began trying to figure it out on Garageband. Learning on my own felt right, and I realized that you can’t depend on someone to teach you want you want to learn.

Do you like to collaborate?

I love collaborating and have done a lot of collaborating with other artists. I like it because it gives me an opportunity to see my song in a way that I never would have imagined or expected.

Do you play instruments?

I never really learned to play instruments. I tried but it never lasted, the only thing that lasted was learning to play the keyboard of my laptop. I also am love using my sampler to structure a song. It’s cool that you can make a song more dramatic by just one push of a button.  I’m so into it.

Djing is kind of similar, I love the feeling of mixing songs. You can design unique sounds depending on the songs you mix and the effects buttons, it can be so entertaining. I love pressing buttons, and see what will happen.

I really want to be able to play instruments too, it looks so energizing and must feel amazing to express yourself in that way, through those sounds.

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Where do you DJ?

I DJ at Paul’s Baby Grand, Sel Rrose, Kinfolk, Wisemen, and I also do pop-up events.

Do you get a lot of ideas for your own music when you are DJing? Or do those ideas come from somewhere else, if so where?

Mostly I get my idea for a song by becoming obsessed with another song over the course of a few weeks or a month. When I do that, I only listen to that song on repeat until I get bored of it. That definitely inspires me to want to make my own music feel the same way. I think hearing lots of great songs while DJing has also influenced my musical sense too.

I think the musical atmosphere is very important for creating a good song. While I’m djing I like seeing how we everyone reacts to a certain beat and sound. I also get inspired when you happen to mix two songs that makes an accidently great sound. I don’t listen to music at all while I am at home, except for the song of the month. So definitely DJ life is very important aspect for creating my music.

You have lived a lot of places, Auckland, London, Tokyo, and New York. How do you think that has shaped you as a person?

Auckland : Start of being bilingual

London: Built my outgoing personality and found joy in creativity

Tokyo : The base of my personality. Who I am. Where my Heart is.

NYC: Became strong/tough/growing up

Did you or do you, ever feel pressure to live a “normal/boring” life?

I don’t know if I can say what’s normal and boring. But I definitely can say my life has never  been normal and I am always so busy and this can create pressure. I have never really done the opposite, which is a job that insures my income every month. I feel like that must be an amazing feeling, knowing that you don’t have to worry about how much money you need to make that month and making sure people pay me by the deadline I have in my head. Night life has generous places, and people but not everyone is like that. I have had experiences where people just disappear when it comes time to pay and then it is my responsibility.  But for now, I’m not interested in a job that insures my income. Plus if I had a steady job I couldn’t do what i wanna do, so I’d say it’s worth feeling the pressure. Plus, it also makes me mentally strong for sure.

What motivates you to keep pursuing your dreams?

I’m doing this because I want to do it. I don’t really have a mind to give up. This is my lifestyle and I’m living my life, so it doesn’t even feel like I am motivating myself to pursue my dreams. I just keep doing what I feel is right and what makes me feel alive.

What’s your 3 favourite things about New York?

  1. Soup dumpling at Joe’s Shanghai
  2. Taking a peep into the windows of people’s houses while I’m walking on the street to imagine what someone’s life is like here in NYC
  3. Crossing the Williamsburg bridge in a cab alone from Brooklyn to Manhattan, taking in the view while passing over.

What are 3 things you miss most about Tokyo?

  1. FOOD
  2. 7/11
  3. Of course family and close friends.

Where’s your favourite place to get ramen in New York?

I would say Misoya. There must be more amazing places but i feel so comfortable there. I get white rice when I have ramen. Gyoza taste good too. My favourite ramen rom here is Kyoto style. Fried tofu is so delicious!

Where do you get your personal fashion inspiration from?

I don’t know? I’m interested in dressing up but not interested in fashion brands and trends. Maybe I get it from my own instinct.

What’s cool?

I think coolness comes from inside like beauty. I think being cool is more a matter of having your own attitude, and personality that isn’t shaped by what others think. Also honesty is very important.  One time a guy told me he stop caring how he dressed because he thought that was cooler. I thought that was ridiculous.

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