INTERVIEW with Sayori Wada : Meet the Artist behind the MYC Hip Hop Playing Cards

MYNORITY CLASSICS X SAYORI WADA PRESENT HIP HOP PLAYING CARDS

 

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Dealing a full house of Hip Hop with Artist Sayori Wada

The world’s first hand-drawn hip hop inspired deck of cards.   

Words and Interview by @TokyoTwilighter

Photos courtesy of @DjSarasa

Mynority Classics, the brand that brought tru hip hop lovers the hip hop birthday calendar in 2011 and hip hop subway calendar in 2012 wants its fans to ‘get back to the basics’ with a full set of playing cards inspired by a DJ’s play list.  (Well, DJ Sarasa‘s play list to be exact :))

Tokyo-based artist, Sayori Wada, shows her hand and shares with @TokyoTwilighter a behind the scenes look at creating, drawing and playing with her latest work of art.

Infusing Japanese calligraphy art techniques with American music scene inspiration, whether its a pair of West Coast rappers or a full house of East coast MCs this original ‘daily art’ has made a splash onto both the style and music scene.

The interview is available below in Japanese and English 😉

Like what you see? Pick up your own deck here!  Limited stock available!

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@TokyoTwilighter : How did the collaboration with MYC come about?  /// どうやってMYCとのコラボレションが実現したのですか? 

Sayori Wada : A couple of years ago a friend of mine was working as Sarasa’s assistant, then when we ran into each other again at Crystal Kay’s ‘Delicious Kinyobi’ music video shoot we were like ‘We should totally collaborate soon!’.  She got in touch with me after that and that’s how this all came about.  /// 数年前に友達がSARASAちゃんのアシスタントをしていて、友達のミュージックビデオの撮影の時に再会して(こんな細かく言わなくていいかな?)、その後「なんか一緒にやろう!」って連絡をもらい今回に至りました。
@TokyoTwilighter : Give us your take on the project briefly, what is this latest product out of Sayori Wada and Mynority Classics?  /// Sayori Wada and Mynority Classicsの新作について詳しく教えて!
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Sayori Wada : We created hip hop playing cards.  Basically the concept was to create a deck that was like a DJ playlist which Sarasa selected and I drew.  The cassette tape image on the back was Asami’s idea.  /// HIP HOP Playing cardsをつくりました。DJのプレイリストをつくるみたいにSARASAちゃんに人選をしてもらい、私が絵を描き。裏面のカセットはASAMIさんのアイディアです。

@TokyoTwilighter : Did Sarasa and ASAMI One give you any creative direction or were the drawings 100% yours? /// この絵は100%SAYORIが書いたの?SARASAやA$AMI ONEはクリエイティブな面で参加しているの?

Sayori Wada : Of course they helped check on all the details.  The biggest concern ended up being Eazy-E’s hair.  Sarasa was really stuck on his hair, its texture and thickness and kept messaging me over and over about it, lol.  …細かいチェックはもちろんやってもらいました。中でも一番こだわったのはEazy-Eの髪の毛。SARASAちゃんとなんどもメールでやりとりして、髪の束間、質感をこだわりました笑

@TokyoTwilighter :   What is the inspiration for your drawings? /// あなたのインスピレーションは?

 Sayori Wada : Music.  Music, art, food, lifestyle, my feelings are linked to what is important to me.  I always get so much energy and inspiration from that. /// 音楽。音楽/アート/食べ物/ライフスタイル、感覚で繋がれる仲間からは、いつもすごいいいエナジー/インスピレーションをもらっています。

@TokyoTwilighter :  Why use a calligraphy pen?  Why not another medium?  /// 何で筆ペンなの?

Sayori Wada :  Well, with a normal pen once you draw a line, what comes next is predictable, but with a calligraphy pen it’ll be stronger and weaker, the angles will have depth of color and the hues will change.  That freedom, how it reacts is what I really like so I use it often.  But if I lose my concentration the line will immediately become very thick. ///    普通のペンでラインをひいたら、次になにが来るかって予測がつくけど、筆ペンは強弱、角度で色がついたみたいに見え方が変わるから、その自由さ、答えのなさが好きで、よく使用します。集中してないとすぐ線太くなっちゃうけど。
@TokyoTwilighter :    Any difficulties in transferring your art to such a small canvas? /// 小さいキャンバスに描くのは難しいですか?

Sayori Wada :  Sometimes I use large 3 metre canvases for my artwork and need a ladder to draw on the wall and sometimes my canvas may be the size of fingernail, for me the size is not really the challenge. /// 自分よか大きい3mくらいの絵をはしごにのって壁に描く事もあれば、爪サイズの絵も描くので、大きさは特に問題ないです。

@TokyoTwilighter :  .  What challenges did you face in completing this project? /// このプロジェクトを完成するまでに大変だった事は?

Sayori Wada :  Stamina was my challenge, lol.  To create just one drawing it would take one to two hours, and while drawing I’d listen to the music of the artist.  It was really enjoyable to listen to music while drawing and also I felt like I was learning a lot at the same time.  I am truly thankful to the two founders (DJ Sarasaand Asami One) of Mynority Classics for this opportunity.  ///  根気との勝負でした 笑1枚にだいたい1-2時間かかって、その間はそのアーティストの音楽を聴いて描いていたから、とにかく楽しかったし描きながらも音楽の勉強もしていた感じ。本当にMynority Classicsの二人に感謝しています。

@TokyoTwilighter :  .  How did you choose which hip hop artists to use for the card set? Any personal favorites in the deck?  /// どうやって、どのトランプに誰を描くか決めたの? 一番のお気に入りは?

Sayori Wada : I didn’t choose, the selector was DJ Sarasa.  Me personally I really like Fab 5 Freddy.  /// 選曲じゃなくて、人選はDJ SARASA! お気に入りは、Fab 5 Freddy。

@TokyoTwilighter :    You’ve said as an artist that you aim to have ‘you’ present in the piece, even if the piece is broken up, what part of this art is ‘Sayori’? /// あなたは言いました、「アーティストは自分の作品が分割されても自分のスタイルが現れていないといけない」と。そこで、あなたの「SAYORIさ」は何が一番の特徴だと思いますか?

Sayori Wada : That’s difficult to answer, but I think it’s the feeling of the strength and weakness of the line.  My personality can be revealed in that one line, and I am conscious of that as I am drawing. /// むずかしいけど、ラインの強弱感。線いっぽんでも個性が出るから、それは意識して描きました。

@TokyoTwilighter :    What are your next plans for this hip hop cards project?  How about you in general as an artist? /// ヒップホップのトランプの次は何ですか?あなた自身のアーティストとしての計画を教えて下さい。
Sayori Wada : I really want the music to make an impression on people, when people are going through stuff it’d be great if they can look at these drawings and smile, that’s the kind of art I was aiming to create.  ///  音楽が人に影響を与えるように、辛いときにも絵をみたら笑顔になれるような、そんな絵を描いていきたいです。

@TokyoTwilighter :   Any plans to display the card deck in an exhibition or have a card game event with them? /// 原画を使った展示会やトランプイベントとかやらないのですか?

Sayori Wada :  That sounds like a great idea!  Right now now we don’t have any such plans but of course I still have all the original pieces of art so to have those pieces plus the cards exhibited, I think that’d be a lot of fun. ///  楽しそう!とくにまだ予定はないけど、原画はもちろん全部残してあるから、それとカード一緒に展示。なんていうのも面白いかもしれないですね。

@TokyoTwilighter :   Any final words for your fans about the project? /// 最後にヒップホップトランプについてファンに一言。

 
Sayori Wada : カードで遊んで、HIP HOP talkで是非盛り上がってください!!/// For sure, while playing cards enjoy ‘Hip Hop Talk’!!!
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The cards are available for sale on-line here 

See the ‘Making of’ video below starring Sayori Wada to see how it all came together.  The video was produced,  filmed and edited by Magik Media Japan

 

@Eminem and @DrDre Reunite in Tokyo at the Ginza Apple store

 

Beats by Dre Continues its Global Domination. 

Eminem and Dr. Dre reunite in Tokyo at the Apple store in Ginza on August 15 to talk to fans about the cultural phenomenon, Beats By Dr. Dre.

Photos by Jeremy Deputat

Words by TokyoTwilighter

★★★

While in Tokyo, Luke Wood (president and COO of Beats Electronics) and Dr. Dre were joined by superstar Eminem for a live Q&A session at the Apple Ginza store in Tokyo on Wednesday, August 15.  The popular rapper was in town with opening act Slaughterhouse for his sold-out concerts.  They performed in Osaka and Tokyo.   (See video message below for a few chuckles.)

 

Takeover or Makeover?

To take on an industry as over saturated as the ‘audio visual arena’ takes guts, but more than that it takes a vision that can paint the bigger picture while still being rooted in the reality of legal and financial limitations.  A number of auditory devices have popped up in recent years but none with the global success and pop culture trendiness as ‘Beats by Dre’.

Lead by Dr. Dre. Jimmy Iovine and Wood the brand has captured over 20% of the global market share in just under three years, an accomplishment that many ‘haters’ never thought could or would happen.

Thanks to the generous rolodexes of Iovine and Dre there has been phenomenal brand placement in music videos and tie-ups with top celebrities,  but what’s made their brand consistent increase in profits possible has been the fact that the company has not created a US-centric product as many of it failed American predecessors and contemporaries have.  They’ve gone for world domination.

With strategic partners in the world trend setting markets of Tokyo and Seoul, as well as consumer savvy zones such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei, this global audio brand works with local leaders and icons in every significant market.  And they will not stop there, the brand is recruiting and evolving as it grows to fit, expand and redefine its corner of the auditory sensory technology.

Some may call it a takeover, I see it as a creative makeover to a dull industry that needed an injection of perspective to the previously ‘geeky stereophonic culture’.  Everyone’s ears deserve good sound, not just audio techs and DJs.

Let’s Party!

Tonight (August 17) the brand will host a party at celebrity hotspot Vanity Lounge in Roppongi with special guest Verbal.