Japanese dream-pop producer Sapphire Slows has been creating her melancholic and pensive music since 2011. Created over the course of a three year period, her latest, Time, is a seven-track EP that explores the themes of change, pain, growth and development. She spoke with City Weekend about the songs of her youth, the process of creating music solo in her bedroom and of course, her latest project.
City Weekend: You began recording music in your bedroom. What is it about recording in your home that you love so much?
Sapphire Slows: I didn’t have a professional studio or equipment; I had to record with what I had. I didn’t even have a proper microphone and was recording my voice with my MacBook’s built-in mic, as well as using cheap 1980s keyboards and a drum machine, which I got from thrift stores. Now I still love bedroom recording because of the personal creativity and convenience. Recording music for me is very internal, personal and stressful so I like to do it in the place I can relax most.
CW: What was the first album you ever owned?
SS: I think it was Courtney Love’s first solo album. Before that I was renting lots of J-Pop albums and imported music like Bjork from CD rental stores. When I was in high school I was more into garage, punk, psychedelic rock and other alternative rock music. After I moved to Tokyo at age 18, I started digging electronic music and underground experimental music.
CW: Your music has a haunting quality to it. Do you prefer daytime or night?
SS: I used to prefer night time to make music, but in recent years I’m busier than when I was a student, so actually now I make music anytime. Sometimes I record music in the morning, sometimes I edit my songs on the airplane or cafe. I still like nighttime better than daytime personally, but at the same time I really appreciate morning fresh air and sunshine.
CW: Tell us about your album Time?
SS: (The album) was recorded between 2013 and 2016 in my bedroom studio in Tokyo. I didn’t release any music during those years because I was
having a hard time personally and also my view and attitude for music was changing a lot. When I finished recording this album, I felt so refreshed and reborn.
CW: What’s your favorite track?
SS: I think “The Edge of My Land” and “Confession” are highlight singles.
What: Sapphire Slows
When: 10pm, Friday October 13
How Much: TBA
Where: Elevator, 4/F, 218 Xinle Lu (near Donghu Lu) 新乐路218号4楼 (近东湖路)
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