Hey DJ! Friday Q&A w/ Kento Tanaka (BRAZA!)
We're pretty spoiled, living in this city. There are club nights all over town that focus on different areas of the globe (old Jamaican reggae, new Argentinean techno, the best in UK bass music), mixing traditional selections with the latest beats. Add to that list the hottest tracks from Brazil, thanks to the BRAZA! night at SOM. in the Mission.
The monthly party is cohosted by DJ Kento, a Japanese-Brazilian who grew up in Barcelona and all he got were a couple crappy Julio Iglesias records. Luckily, Kento looked beyond his family for musical influences and has spent the past 9 years both DJing records and designing art for them (for the Plug Label).
Tonight BRAZA! hosts a current Brazilian resident, Marcelinho da Lua, along with a handful of that country's expats and enthusiasts. To help prep for the big event, we talked to Kento about his favorite source for global beats, and DJing with Gillies Peterson.
Name: Kento Tanaka
Club night(s): BRAZA! @ SOM. every first Friday of the month.
Style(s) of music you spin: All things Brazilian.
So what's your story, in 100 words or less? I lived in various countries before moving to the states for college, but San Francisco is where I really found my niche in music and like-minded-friends. I had a crew called Fresco and we threw the illest party in town, bringing in acts from all over the world. I always loved jazz, but I knew the first day at my piano lesson that playing an instrument wasn't for me. I didn't give up until about three lessons.
What was the craziest thing you saw at the recent Winter Music Conference? $15 Heineken.
What can you tell us about the "Braza" party at SOM? I always had a vision of throwing a Brazilian party that plays everything Brazilian. It could be anything from forro (northeastern folky music) to bailefunk to hiphop. I wanted people to hear the amazing diversity of Brazilian music that extends well beyond bossanova and samba. When I met the biggest Brazilian music collector in the Bay Area, a DJ that plays the best Brazilian music, and a Brazilian who can host a party like nobody's business (I needed a Brazilian in the crew to build credibility), I knew I had all the decks in hand. The opening of SOM. could not have come at a better time.