2&6 Journalist: QUAL-E.T
Photos: 2&6 Photo Archive
Dj Toshi, born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, where he has been perfecting his craft as a DJ and producer. He has made a name for himself through his internet radio show “Classic Storm Radio”, broadcast worldwide, garnering die-hard fans from across the globe. DJ Toshi has DJed at parties and done shows at numerous venues in New York, such as Webster Hall, Sob’s, Mercury Lounge, The Delancey and Drom. He is also a founder and resident DJ of “Rock Da House”, one of the most popular underground Hip Hop shows and parties in New York. Rock Da House has featured countless Hip Hop legends over the years, such as Grandmaster Caz, Lord Finesse, Large Professor. Easy Mo Bee, DJ Tony Touch, Immortal Technique, Boot Camp Clik, Organized Konfusion and many more.
1. For those, that do not know you or have never had the pleasure to witness that musical voodoo, that you do: Who is DJ Toshi? What is your story?
I spin at parties and rap showcases and DJ for radio shows as well. I make beats, produce and engineer for various artists. I also put mixtapes out and the list goes on and on. In addition, I have been organizing and hosting my own event “Rock Da House” in New York City for over three years now. I am originally from Tokyo, Japan. At present, I reside in Bushwick, a section of Brooklyn, New York.
2. What got you into DJing, what inspired you to start spinning?
I was first introduced to rap music when I stumbled upon commercial dance battles on Japanese TV. Some of the dancers were dancing to rap music. I was around 13 years old then. Later, I started looking for rap cassette tapes at the public library. That was the beginning of it all. I was more into dancing at first, then, as time went by, I started falling in love with this kind of music. When I heard dope music and mixtapes by DJs, such as DJ Kid Capri, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Chuck Chillout, DJ Premier, DJ Tony Touch, I decided I wanted to spin myself. These artists were a huge inspiration for me to become a DJ.
3. What type of music did you grow up with and still love to this day?
I grew up with Japanese pop music like everybody else in Japan. Later, in my early teens, I got into rap music and started listening to it whenever I could. To this day, I still love rap music big time. Once I started making beats, I inevitably began to listen and dig up all different kinds of music for my own music. Then, I got into a lot of different genres. Good music has always been food for my ears and soul; no matter which genre. I’ve never lost my passion for music. I am still as passionate about it as I was on day one.
4. How would you describe a typical DJ Toshi set? What makes your sound unique/stand out from the rest?
There can only be one aswer to this question: New York Boom Bap!! I think that people, who are in love with this type of authentic and traditional Hip Hop music, will feel and appreciate my set. Occasionally, I throw in some funk, soul, original and breaks, when it feels right. I believe that this recipe is what makes my set and sound unique and stand out from the rest. It would be easier to play current hits and make a crowd dance, but I aspire to be a DJ, who plays something unique or classic tunes, that people haven’t heard in a very long time. I like to surprise my audience and watch them go crazy.
5. Your top five venues in New York are..?
The Delancey, Mercury Lounge, Big Bar, Fat Buddha and The West End Lounge. I HAVE to say that! These venues are where I currently spin. (chuckles)
For business inquiries contact him via his IG @deejay_toshi.