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Interview: Tokyo Rose Quits Synthwave!

After the fantastic synth release The Chase: Last Run, and two fiendishly successful darksynth albums (Akuma & Akuma II), Tokyo Rose has decided to depart from retrosynth. He made the announcement last Friday, and released a farewell to synth - a righteous collab with Pylot and Essenger

Tokyo Rose Synthwave

After the fantastic synth release The Chase: Last Run, and two fiendishly successful darksynth albums (Akuma & Akuma II), Tokyo Rose has decided to depart from retrosynth.

He made the announcement last Friday, and released a farewell to synth – a righteous collab with Pylot and Essenger called “Out of Luck.” – Listen Here.

Although this may sadden some fans, Tokyo explained he’s not done making music – just departing the retro sound. We caught up with him for a quick interview to find out what’s next:

…I’m super thankful to my Synth fans for all the love and support that they have and continue to still give me.

Q: You started producing music at 17. Recently, as your music moved into a darker area, you and ALEX charted on billboard with Akuma and Akuma II.  Can you talk about your experiences with AKUMA and NRW?

“Well to start off, my experience with NRW has been great. Ten has been very supportive of me and my music since 2013. So I am incredibly grateful to him for that.

My experience with the AKUMA franchise has also been great. I feel like it has sort of its own cult following which is pretty cool. ALEX & I definitely raised the bar in the scene with those two albums. Once the first AKUMA dropped we notice so many acts turning into the darksynth side of things and borrowing our aesthetics, haha.”

Q: How exactly did your collaborations with ALEX take shape?

“Long story short, I reached out to ALEX to collab on a track. That tracked turned into an EP and that EP turned in AKUMA,” he said with a laugh.

“When we created both albums we had the goal set in mind to stand out with our production and visuals. I think we did a pretty great job along with some other fantastic artists. The production on AKUMA was pretty smooth and fast to be honest. I had my 6 tracks and so did ALEX.

With AKUMA II it proved to be a bit challenging only because ALEX & I wanted to raise the bar even further, and we were perfectionists with every aspect of the album. It was a great thing. You should never settle for less in anything you do. In the production of AKUMA II we wanted to bring in our influences at that time into AK2. We wanted something daring, fresh and new but we wanted to still keep some “Retro” elements.”

(A quick list of AKUMA I & II collaborators: Ariel ZB, STRNGR, Rachel McAlpine, Mecha Maiko, Daniel Deluxe, F.O.O.L, & Power Glove)

Tokyo Rose performing at Ace of Cups Columbus- Photo Credit Tim Evans Photography

Tokyo Rose performing at Ace of Cups Columbus- Photo Credit Tim Evans Photography

Q: After the successes of Akuma and AKUMA II, you’ve now announced that you’re departing from Synthwave….what’s next?

“I’m just heading in a new direction. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a few years now to be completely honest. Just needed to wait till a few contracts ended to finally announce things to the public.”

Q: What was the catalyst behind this decision? Why depart synthwave after the success of Akuma?

“The main reason for my departure of the synthwave scene is mainly because of the lack of creative freedom there is for someone like me. Being committed solely to that 80’s/90’s sound and retro style was beginning to become a great bore to me. I wasn’t even born in the 80’s!” He said again laughing.

“My real childhood was the early 2000’s… so in reality I have no real attachment to the retro eras. That being said, I wasn’t allowed to really create the music I wanted to without receiving great criticism for coloring out the lines. Now that I am no longer tied down to just one music genre, I can have more freedom in creating the music that I really want to produce.

Regardless I’m super thankful to my Synth fans for all the love and support that they have and continue to still give me.”

Tokyo Rose Performing at Ace of Cups Columbus. Photo Credit Tim Evans

Tokyo Rose Performing at Ace of Cups Columbus. Photo Credit Tim Evans

Q: Do you know what your new direction will be?

“There are no limits for me now. My upcoming stuff will be a lot of Midtempo with Dubstep and Hardstyle vibes incorporated. Some retro inspiration in a few tracks but taking things in a heavier and more modern approach. Been bumping a lot of 1788-L, REZZ, & Deathpact so a lot of inspiration for me has been drawing from them.”

Q: ALEX recently moved into DnB/Dubstep/Bass music territory with “Blood City,” are you leaning in this direction too?

“To an extent, yes. But like I stated earlier there are no limits for me now. If I feel like producing a full on R&B track, I will haha.”

Q: So what’s next? Do you have any albums or EP’s lined up? Any tours waiting in the wings?

“No plans on a tour anytime soon… especially with how things are going on in the world presently with the Coronavirus. But its something I am open to once things get better.

“I have some pretty amazing new opportunities that I have been approached with that I am stoked to announce… whenever I’m allowed to. I also have a single coming out this year with a vocalist I’ve been wanting to collab with for about a year now so I’m also excited for that!

Some pretty awesome plans for my stage character as well, maybe a comic and some animation to follow – I know how bad a lot of people want know the origin of my character. Website should be up soon too with some bangin’ new merch.

I’m proud and happy to say that a lot is in store for TOKYO ROSE. I hope that my Synth fans will continue to love and support me regardless of what music I produce. Big shout out to all of the fans that have been messaging me reassuring me of their support for what’s to come. I’m truly grateful!”

Cover Photo Credit: Tim Evans Photography, Courtesy of The Columbus Synth Collective

andrew.zistler@newretrowave.com

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