Within the world of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) expect the jargon to be usually geared around technological advancement and towards “the future”. This genre of music which was pioneered on the back end and power of micro-computers and through the use of synthesizers, subsequently gave life to the synthetic reality of the virtual. This means artists can project the image or sound they wanted into something that can be seen or heard, to a life-like image resembling or even replacing themselves.
Natsumi Miyata is a multi-faceted digital artist who doubles as a DJ, also known as KING//HER when she’s behind the decks. In such befitting fashion she’s a Techno/Minimal/TechHouse music fanatic who sets the paradigm of the digital code that her name represents through Binary, also known as the 1 (Masculine) and 0 (Feminine). While trying to be bold and majestic as a “KING” in the competitive world that historically had battle of the DJs and being the self-starter, she has to do it through “HER” and not lose essence of her maternal being and soul during this re-creation.
KING//HER who just recently launched her Independence Tour, was able to squeeze in some time during her busy schedule to discuss her newly started DJing career, her upcoming projects and other plans. The ambitious half Japanese half Zimbabwean music taste maker is based in Johannesburg, and has mapped out how she plans to “slay” the local and international clubbing scene one dance floor at a time.
Lavatory Records: Please give us a rundown of who KING//HER is as a DJ and Natsumi Miyata as person?
KING//HER: Natsumi Miyata is an extremely talkative individual, still on the path of self discovery, hustler to the max, graphic designer, alternative digital artist and very passionate about everything she puts her mind to – a mom, sister and goofy friend. Funny enough she is sometimes shy and timid…
KING//HER on the other hand has killer confidence, is sexy, willing to take up a challenge, is always on “Beast Mode”, she wants to be the best and is not afraid to show it. #notimeforgames #kingherslayed
LR: How did you discover your love of DJing?
K//H: I have always loved all genres of music, from old school jams like the Beatles to TechHouse and Techno pioneers such as Mark Knight, Richie Hawtin and Carl Cox. For me it was a matter of finding a specific sound that related to who I really am as an individual and what gets me ticking, and that sound was Minimal Techno and TechHouse. Watching the Techno Legends play their sets in Arenas, on Television or listening to them on radio profoundly inspired me. A lot of my colleagues, family and friends never really understood my “taste” in music, which was okay with me. I eventually decided to get into the DJ’ing world because I felt I needed to share my passion for music and also highlight what Techno and TechHouse really was.
LR: You have listed “TechHouse”, “Minimal” and “Techno” as your niches in terms of music. Why did you choose those ahead of other forms of music?
K//H: Minimal TechHouse and Techno literally hit me straight in the heart. I appreciate all genres of music, nothing for me matches up to Techno & TechHouse. That Bass, the progression to each peak blows my mind everytime. In a way if I was to describe myself in the form of music, it would be Minimal Techno/TechHouse.
LR: Most people regard Techno Music as a sub niche of EDM that’s left on behind in the 90’s. Do you believe it still has the potential to reach new listeners and those that didn’t grow up in that era?
K//H: LOL of course, with producers such as Adrian Hour, Adam Bayer, Nina Kraviz, Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers (excuse my French) but why the f*** not, the Techno scene is still huge, maybe not in Africa but in Europe and America.
LR: What has your experience of being a DJ been like so far in the local music industry?
K//H: It has been great! There have been some challenges here and there because my sound is quite intense. The hours though are hectic, I think sleep for me is now a privilege, and I definitely can’t go a day without exercise, standing for more than two hours is quite tiring, but it’s all worth it.
LR: Many DJs also tend to be music producers as well, any plans of going in that lane some time?
K//H: Most definitely!!!! I actually am in the process of learning more about music production and currently messing around with production and have the most patient mentors around me. Hopefully if all goes well I might release an EP soon…lol!
LR: What has been your most memorable place/ gig to play at?
K//H: Currently, Soul Tattoos Vosloorus, the kasi scene was boss! I loved the energy, I was so worried that my crowd wouldn’t understand TechHouse. Suprisingly they jammed to every track. It boosted my confidence levels. I’m not afraid to expose Techno and TechHouse in the township scenes, which is a big deal for me. “I heart the Kasi”.
LR: Name any three artists you’d choose to tour with as their DJ.
K//H: As corny as this sounds Justin Bieber, I love love him to bits, Carl Cox, he is a god in the Techno world I would just melt and Cassper Novest, that man is on FIRE!
LR: What can you tell us about the “KING//HER 2016 Independence Tour”?
K//H: The KING//HER 2016 independence tour is basically KING//HER’s self exploration in the music and DJ’ing scene, I have broken away from many entreprenural projects and my heart is set on DJ’ing and producing, so this year my main focus is to travel around Gauteng spreading the Techno TechHouse gospel, and letting people know who KING//HER is and what she is about.
LR: What are your other interests and what do you do to relax?
K//H: I love painting. I have been working on a couple of pieces over the past two years, and they are still not yet complete…lol. Don’t be surprised when KING//HER starts selling fine art at an exhibition of some sort. My version of relaxing: a glass of wine, good music and awesome company.
LR: Apart from the “King// Her 2016 Independence Tour”, are there any other projects you’re working?
K//H: KING//HER will be releasing a podcast soon entitled BEAST MODE SESSIONS, my podcast has a twisted structure (wink), which will also include guest mixes and KING//HER mash-ups for download.
I am also in the process of launching a clothing label soon; unfortunately I cannot disclose the name as yet. Finally a couple of hair modeling gigs.
LR: Any special mentions you want to shout out?
K//H: To my DJ clique and stable mates thank you guys! Without you I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have so far, AS[ONE], Squash, my best friend Cecilia – she is my pillar, and thank you Lavatory Records for the awesome interview.