Please introduce yourself to the readers and how you first got into this field of work –and who were some of your influences growing up?
Hi, thanks for asking, hope you’re well! My name is Ross but I go by the name ‘japanic’.
I started making music (properly) when I was around 13, my hometown is home to this amazing building called the tolbooth, and I joined their program. It was an eye-opening experience. The program brought groups of like-minded young musicians together, along with a mentor and we were to write a song or 2 within 8 weeks (one night a week) and we would play a concert in front of our families and friends to show them what we had created. It was insanely fun and taught me that music was my path to follow.
My influences were definitely the great mentors within the tolbooth but of course, I had Nirvana, Led Zep and Queen pretty much surrounding me as well.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
Good question, I taught myself guitar (shoutout to youtube) and to sing, my parents were very supportive and would help push me.
When I stopped making metal music, around 16 years old, I decided to study sound production for a year at college. I’ve been self-taught since then.
What has been your favourite project to work on so far?
I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for the first 3 tracks, they didn't take long to make, but it was what kicked the whole thing off. One of my best friends Pete (the other guitarist in my old band) and I were chilling in his room, in his bedroom studio set up, we were pretty faded. We decided to make some slowed down vaporwave remixes of songs we liked, just to chill to and post for fun. We came up with the name ‘japanic’ by messing about with wordplay on japan and don't panic.
They’re definitely super basic mixes, but it sparked a whole part of my life that I didn't expect to happen.
What sports do you enjoy watching?
I actually don’t really watch sports, my favourite sport, in general, is skateboarding though.
What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?
My biggest highlight has been meeting amazing fans through comments/dm’s and receiving amazing and motivational messages. I couldn't do this without making people happy along the way!
If you had a chance to work alongside anybody who would that be?
I’d really love to work with clairo or doja cat someday, they’re so talented and I would love to see what we could create.
What projects do you have coming up?
At the moment I have so many different projects bouncing about, I’m not planning too many big projects, mainly little pockets of sound.
Who is your inspiration?
I honestly have such a wide taste in music, this is super hard to pinpoint. But I definitely have a lot of inspiration from Robert Plant, Brian May and Kanye.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?
Stormzy’s performance at Glastonbury, what an absolute icon. He’s making waves around the world right now, he deserves it.
What are your favourite venues to perform in?
My favourite venue to perform in (so far) is definitely O2 Academy in Newcastle, I have amazing memories there with my old band and crew. I’d love to perform there again as japanic.