I ask this question to a lot of solo artists, but what was your earliest recollection with music?
I guess I would have to say that there’s a couple. I’d say that singing was from church, as a little kid. And then as far as music goes, I’d probably say when I started playing an instrument. I started playing violin at a young age. So my first real introduction was classical music.
Very cool. What kind of classical music did you listen to?
It was just what I was being taught at the time. The Suzuki violin books are usually very popular. That was probably just my first introduction to music.
I read that you immigrated to the U.S. when you were young, and moved around quite a bit, eventually settling down in New Jersey. What drew you to New Jersey over a place like New York, Los Angeles, or Nashville, places that are generally considered entertainment capitals?
Well, my father immigrated to the U.S. in his twenties. I was actually born here, in Manhattan. Maybe the bio is a little unclear, but I was born in Manhattan. My mom is actually a Caucasian mix, and my dad’s Japanese. They met in New York City. I was born there, and then moved to San Diego when I was two. I grew up there until I was about thirteen and then I moved back to the East Coast just because my extended family was all out this way.
It’s an interesting way to go about it. I even lived in Nebraska for about six months. We just moved around a lot. We didn’t have a lot of money. We rented our houses and every year or so, we’d move around. We lived in LA for a year, and then back to New Jersey. Just the struggles of trying to live the American dream of an immigrant.
What would you say that those moving experiences have taught you, and have you been able to apply those experiences to your career?
Well I think that it’s just about… I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of people at a very young age. I moved around a lot. I moved around to a different elementary school almost every year. So I was constantly the new kid, constantly meeting new people. It was that, and I think that’s probably the biggest thing. Realizing the bigger picture, even though we all think we’re so different and there’s these barriers, that they’re all just in our minds, and that we all actually, on a very core level, connect.
Tell me a little bit about the recording and writing process for “In the Inbetween”.
The concept of the EP was after I had gone through a little bit of a writer’s block, and I was at a point in my life where I didn’t really know if I had anything to offer the songwriting world. Just because I hadn’t really gotten to the goals in my life. But I had overcome some battles, and I wasn’t in that place anymore either. So I was in that “inbetween” area. And then, I sort of realized that’s what life is. We’re constantly changing, we’re always trying to improve ourselves, time’s moving forward. That’s the cycle of life. I kind of realized that is something to write about. I was able to touch upon topics that had happened in my past, topics that were current. Once I had the concept down, the songs just kind of came to me. It was about a year and a half process, from starting to write the finished product.
I take my time when I write my songs. I really take my time with lyrics and sort of let them organically create themselves. I don’t write them down. I just keep adlibbing, and then the next day, they change. A month later, that’s the finished product. If it wasn’t memorable enough to stick, that line probably wasn’t that good.
I try to take a different approach to things. The recording process was done with a buddy of mine named Joesph Stasio, who is an excellent jazz guitar player. He did the whole production on the record. He engineered and mixed the record as well. Him and I just sort of came together and figured out what we wanted to do as a full production. I myself am just a solo acoustic artist, so it was just trying to figure out how to fill out the mix and just keep it with the vibe of the core song. I think it turned out very well.
You worked with producer Joseph Stasio on this EP. What did he bring to the table as a producer?
He and I met at a record studio in New Jersey, and he was an assistant engineer there. He eventually grew onto join a band called The Ugly Club where he was a lead guitar player. He just brings this amazing knowledge of theory. He can just go crazy on a guitar. He’s actually playing the banjo on the record. He also plays drums on the record. He did a lot of the synth parts. Some of the synth parts were done by a bandmate who is the keyboardist of the band, Taylor Mendell. His little brother did a little bass on the record as well.
What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
I hope that people feel that music is genuine, that it’s thoughtful and meaningful. But at the same time, it doesn’t have be heavy. It’s a pleasant listening experience. But if you wanna dig in and really listen to the lyrics, there’s some full ideas there.
What does music mean to you?
Music, to me, means expression. I dealt with some mental health issues as a young adult. I went through some serious depression, and ended up dropping out of high school. It was a tough time for me, and music was my way to let all of that out. I think that’s just an amazing thing. Listening to certain bands at that age really helped me out. I guess that’s why I’m doing this now, so people can get some inspiration and get that concept that we’re all in this together. We’re not as different as we think we are. The fact that we all feel alone means that we’re not alone. We’re all in it together. [Music] can definitely transport you, and it can be whatever you want it to be, really. That’s an interesting thing.
What are the future plans for you? Any new music, tours, videos, go for it!
There’s going to be a spring tour. We’re going to be hitting a few major cities. LA, San Francisco, Philly, New York City, so that’s something to look forward to. We’ll be announcing dates soon, and you can check that out on my website, www.seiichidaimomusic.com. I love film, I love photography, and I’m definitely going to try to put out as much content for people as possible. We just had a CD release party at my house. Instead of doing a release show at a venue, asking people to pay to come see me, I hosted everyone at my house. We played in my living room for my friends, and we filmed that, so we’re gonna be releasing that soon, so people can all be a part of that experience.
To me, it’s all about making some connections with people, and just enjoying the ride. Enjoying music for what it can give.
This has been another shameless promotion.