Storytelling with afrobeat artist Takuya Kuroda

Storytelling isn’t easy. To capture an audience word by word is a craft that many try to perfect. Being able to do this through the medium of music is another story. This is how Japanese born, Brooklyn based musician Takuya Kuroda makes music. With Takuya’s music each beat, represents a chapter, each melody represents pages of your favourite novel unravelling before your eyes.  He does this by adding a taste of funky afrobeat. Having established himself as part of José James band, Takuya is beginning his own narrative with his latest Blue Note debut ‘Rising Son’ produced by José James.

We chat to Takuya about his latest release ‘Rising Son,’ if José James cared that he stole most of his band to create his music and why afrobeat is one of the funkiest kind of music on the earth. Margaret Tra writes.

You're in Japan now, what are you doing there? Do you have a big fan base there?

When I’m in Japan, I mostly perform. This time it’s with Jose James. I do have a fan base who comes to my show, not huge but not small 

Your music is proper storytelling; we can feel every movement/beat as a chapter that takes us onto each journey. Would you consider yourself a story teller?

Specially for this album, the producer, José James and I put importance on how album should flow from beginning to the end. And I always believed that music is alive and would change all the time, so I’m always aware of where music goes next.

Having work with José James, what was it like? And did he mind you taking most of his band to record to stuff on your new album?

It’s been great working with him. He is great leader, producer and he is the one wanted to use his band for my stuff because he likes how I play in his band.

Tell us about the afrobeat influence on your track ‘Rising Son.’

I have belonged to this afrobeat band in NY called “Akoya” and I got so much influence from the music. I believe the afrobeat is one of the funkiest kind of music on the earth.

What's next for you?

I’m still a new artist and I’m so excited to spread this music to all over the world now. And I would love to do a lot of collaboration with more musicians and DJs.

Was it tough building a music career in Brooklyn? 

Yes, but it’s so fresh to be in Brooklyn because there are so many amazing musicians, artists to keep me motivated to create new things.

What can we expect now that you're signed with Blue Note?

Blue Note has been creating new wave so much and it’s an honour to be part of it. Blue note will be still significant landmark for giving fresh music to the world.

What stimulates your soul?

It’s always music; I mean good music that has a lot of soul, groove and melody.

Want to hear more?

Jump onto Takuya's website or purchase the album here.