When we hear the words “international DJ”, the image that most likely comes to mind is that of a fair-haired, tight-shirted Caucasian male lording over the decks as a sea of sweat-drenched clubbers sways below him. The imagined DJ in question would possibly be American, but most likely European.
As his name suggests, Shinichi Osawa is no white boy. But he sure could give his light-skinned, blue-eyed peers a run for their money.
Shinichi Osawa is one of the most prolific electronic superstars to come out of the Eastern hemisphere. This DJ/producer/remixer started out as the leader of the acid-jazz collective Mondo Grosso in Japan. When the group disbanded, he worked as a producer for a number of Japanese pop, jazz and R&B acts. He eventually resurrected the Mondo Grosso name, releasing two albums to worldwide critical acclaim.
But his biggest break came when he dropped the jazz as well as the Mondo Grosso moniker and did an about-face with the electro-house album The One in 2007. It featured his infectious, party-starting cover of The Chemical Brothers’ “Star Guitar” with Au Revoir Simone on vocals.
London-based dance label Southern Fried Records later picked The One up for European release, firmly planting the prodigious Asian on the global electronica map.
Since then, Shinichi has shared the stage with no less than Fatboy Slim, Pete Tong, Erol Alkan, 2manydjs, and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. He has also reworked tracks by Snow Patrol, Jamiroquai, Kings of Convenience, La Roux, Basement Jaxx, Van She, Boys Noize, Felix da Housecat, and Digitalism, stamping their singles with his glitch-infused, guitar-suffused electro-house goodness.
Hit play on the videos below for a Shinichi Osawa original, a cover, and a remix:
See Shinichi Osawa wave the flag for Asian house music at the first-ever Manila Music Festival on May 1 at the Alphaland Bay City, Paranaque City.