“Taste takes much longer to develop – that comes from keeping an open mind to music, listening to whole albums rather than just the singles and generally being hungry for music you haven’t heard before.” – Kengo Oshima
The late Jeff Buckley once stated, “Be awake enough to see where you are at any given time and how that is beautiful and has poetry inside.” The man I had an encounter with on his visit to Bali took this adage to heart and has kept his eyes and ears open from his surrounding experiences.
Kengo Oshima’s first musical influence was in the 90s. He had heard a track “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon in the album Graceland firstly from his friend’s father. “The bass riff was most memorable, then the poetry really grew on me,” as he recalls the trigger to his musical sensibility.
Kengo took his first childhood exposure to the piano and guitar. This initial interaction later led to forming bands in high school and exploring the endless possibilities records stores provided. To date, he is part of the entertaining musical group, The Cuban Brothers, where Kengo on his biography is said to be the “a dancer and a fever man.”
The Cuban Brothers are a musical group who pride themselves on giving a full on performance of music, comedy, and a whole lot of dancing. They make sure they challenge themselves and have fun while they do it and this translates very much to Kengo’s outlook in life by wholeheartedly taking on the role of a DJ, dancer, and choreographer.
Although looking very much fluid on the dance floor, Kengo shares his suave for dancing to happen by accident. He explored break dancing when he was 18 before eventually making dancing a lifestyle,”I really got into it straight away because I enjoyed the physical aspect of it, the fusion of body and music and the challenge of training and improvement — trying to do something you can’t do.” He personifies a level of enjoyment which equals the dedication and training in constantly improving his craft.
While his upbringing did not support the idea of exploring music, his art teacher once said Kengo to have the “temperament of an artist” – a restless urge to constantly produce fulfilling work. Although, he states, “I’m not one of those dedicated artists who can priorities their art before paying the rent or eating,” Kengo values balance and realizes the need to make ends meet.
Since leaving school, he quickly understood that to maintain your interest there are times you needed to do anything to support yourself. He was once a chef, an English teacher, and even stockbroker while balancing his musical calling by performing for The Cuban Brothers. It was only during The Cuban Brother’s peak time, where Kengo committed his time to them wholeheartedly.
The key to being as productive as Kengo is to be hungry. His sense of inquisitiveness arrived to him from indulging and sharing his music collection since high school, he would make eclectic mix tapes of anything from Bulgarian choir to Motown to punk to classical which then continued to his current profession as a DJ. “The technical aspect of mixing which you can learn in a short amount of time, taste takes much longer to develop – that comes from keeping an open mind to music, listening to whole albums rather than just the singles and generally being hungry for music you haven’t heard before.”
Like a burning sensation of a fever, Kengo has embraced his itch for music early on and decided to make his mark, “with anything if you are going to do something you should always put your stamp.”
Head to our flagship store in Dharmawangsa to get a taste of Kengo’s music playlist at our store.Leave a Comment