At Anime Revolution 2016, APA had the opportunity to interview kz, a producer and DJ known for his Vocaloid work such as "Tell Your World," which was used as a promotional song for Google Chrome in Japan. Since his debut, he has composed numerous songs for well-known singers such as KOTOKO, ClariS, and Maon Kurosaki.
APA: Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is kz of livetune, also known as livetune+ now. I’m a DJ and a sound producer.
APA: How would you describe your musical style?
I make dance music, Jpop, and anime songs. I don’t make live band music, but my genre is pop music.
APA: What is your musical background and how has that influenced your decisions when composing music?
I make dance music, but I actually like rock and roll such as The Beatles and other bands from the UK. I prefer dance musicians such as Justice and electro music from 2007.
APA: Of all the songs that you’ve produced, which is your favorite?
My favorite song out of all the songs I’ve produced is “Tell Your World,” but I also like the first anime song I produced titled “Irony” for ClariS.
APA: Why did you start producing Vocaloid music and what got you into it?
At that time, I really liked Daft Punk and I really liked the sound of electronic voices. I thought it would be interesting to use software to make my own music.
APA: What was the biggest challenge when you produced your first song?
I’m not very good at making melodies, so it’s very hard for me to make an impactful chorus.
APA: What got you interested in making music?
When I was in elementary school, my parents took me to Sakamoto Ryuuichi’s concert. The sound that came out from the speakers had a profound impact on me. That’s how I started to get into music.
APA: Given your musical discography, is there any other kind of music or something else you’d like to explore?
I don’t think I can do anything other than music. But if I could do something other than music, I would like to do design artwork or graphic related work. Or even architecture. But I’m not very good at math, so I don’t think I’ll do a good job in architecture.
APA: What’s a normal day like?
What I do is listen to new music and my friend’s music or the music that my friends recommend me through the internet, which is how I get new ideas.
APA: Where do you see the music industry in Japan heading?
I think it’s going to be an extreme side of music. Idol music, for instance AKB48, and anime songs are very popular amongst Japanese people. Bands with real instruments should be more popular. In Japan, CDs are still sold and live concerts are very important. I think the music industry would shift towards band music.
APA: How do you feel about your international fans compared to your Japanese fans?
In Japan, I find that there’s not a lot of questions asked from the attendees because they’re very shy. But here in Canada like during yesterday’s panel discussion, there were so many questions that I was surprised. It shows that they were very interested in livetune. When I was DJing last night, the attendees’ reaction was very big, so that made DJing even more fun.
APA: Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for young musicians?
I myself had trouble starting as a musician at first. But I’ve been doing it for 10 years now. It gets hard at times, but it’s very important to never give up and to input new genres of music into yourself.