1) Please introduce yourself and what you do?
Hey, what’s up? This is green tea I’m a dj/producer representing “soul in the hole” / “plug label” family.
2) Where are you from and how has that influenced how you got into music?
I’m from Milpitas, California. A small town in the middle of Silicon Valley, Bay Area. Growing up in Milpitas influenced me a lot on how I got into music. Milpitas is a small quiet town, but housed a lot of pretty talented and creative people. There always was a big dj scene in Milpitas even back in the early 90′s. I remember in high school there was a lot of people that was either in a dj group or was affiliated with one. The Graffiti scene and B-Boy/dance scene was also prevalent. Whenever there was a house party in town the news quickly spread by word of mouth and would attracts all these different crews from each scene. Collectively, all these crews introduced new music that was considered “underground” and that I would only really hear in these house parties in it’s raw form. I first got introduced to early 90′s rave music like techno, break beats, house and underground hip-hop at these parties. So it was a big ear opener for a kid that was not old enough to go to a rave or club to hear these tunes.
3) What is the major thing in your life that made you start music? Who were the musicians that influenced you?
One major thing in my life that I could remember that made me start music. One, was when I first saw DJ Q-bert on TV cutting it up on this old Bay Area TV show called “Home Turf”. He was the guest dj at the time and I was totally blown away with his skills on the turntables. I’ve heard and seen people scratch but after seeing and hearing him for the first time that day , it totally blew my mind. Right there and then I wanted to get my own turntables and a mixer so I can do what he was doing up there, or at least attempt to. *laugh*. Musicians that have influenced me, I would say first off would be the dj’s like DJ Q-bert and Invisible Skratch Piklz and DJ Dan. Soul artist’s like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Prince. Also early electronic music pioneers in the 90′s like 4hero, Goldie and Liam Howlett of The Prodigy.
4) Did you play instruments on your album or are they just samples?
There’s a lot of instrumentation on this album. I played majority of the keyboard work, composing and arranging. Selected samples we’re used in some of the tracks, but I wanted to really give the album a more live dynamic feel. I had some musician friends of mine play live guitar solos and rhodes solos on some of the track. I don’t sample as much as I use to, now I really want to be able to play sounds and chords on my head and lay them down and if I have a sample that will fit that track then it’s a bonus.
5) The album feels very summery and upbeat. Was that a conscious decision going into it? What was your overall goal with this debut album?
The album does have that summery and upbeat feel to it. There really was no conscious decision going into it and it probably didn’t occur to me until the album was done. One thing about me is that I’m slightly a seasonal producer as I would describe it. The changes in the season and mood of the weather affects what I produce and I tend to harness that feeling and lay it on music. My mind state is usually yearning to be anywhere sunny, warm and tropical *laugh*.It just added to the fact that I was working on Places + Spaces during the spring/summer and while i was out travelling. My travels influenced my music a lot also.You will definitely hear on tracks like “worlds left unspoken”. The flute arrangement on that track occurred to me while in Japan climbing Mt.Fuji .While the chords,congas and the feel on “Jazzy Joint” was when I was out in Brasil listening to the different samba school bands in the Sambadrome.
My overall goal with this debut album is basically create an album that infuses all the different types of genres that I’m into in one . I wan’t to create an album that people will enjoy, create an atmosphere and mood for each track that will transport the listeners to a different place in mind. All the while introducing my skills as a musician and laying down my vision into sound.
6) Who do you listen to now?
What I listen to is different day to day. I still listen to a lot of jazz, soul, house, electronic music, and old school hip-hop. Some current producers I’ve been following from Japan are DJ Mitsu and Grooveman Spot. Those guys are just producing some quality next level tracks. Also, I’ve been getting into early 80′s boogie and post disco music. Currently on rotation for me are my boys from Soul in the Hole with their “Night Shift” 80′s boogie mixes and Maurice Fulton from the U.K with his mixes on his podcast show, which is always a good listen.
7) What do you like to do when you’re not making music?
What I like to do when I’m not making music is probably out in the record shops record digging. I’m always looking for music new/old doesn’t matter music is 24/7. Also, I love to cook, so you might find me at the local farmers market checking out the latest in organic produce. I also like to just chill out and watch TV. I only really watch 3 channels on cable. Which are Food Network, Travel Channel and ESPN.
8) Please share some closing thoughts and shout outs.
First off before we wrap this up I would like to say thanks to the folks that picked up my album. I hope you are enjoying it where it may be in your ipod, club or in the ride. I want to give a shout to the extended Plug Fam, The Tones, King Most and Kero One. Also my homies at Soul in the Hole, Proof, Reja and Ren. Any updates with me they can always go to pluglabel.com for news and events. On Myspace then can go to myspace.com/djgreentea0. They can follow me on twitter, twitter.com/djgreentea . For my nihon-jin tomodachi’s they can add me on Mixi via community or directly at: http://mixi.jp/show_profile.pl?id=2797929. On Facebook they can look for me on fan pages as “dj green tea”. Thanks and I’ll hopefully see you guys at my dj gig’s/shows and keep checking in for free goodies like my free mixes and remix works. Places + Spaces is out now, if you don’t know; now you know! Peace!