DeeperSoul Interview - Studio Apartment
The Studio Apartment core duo, dj/producer Masanori Morita (Masa) and keyboard player Noboru Abe (Abe), are masters in the combination of Jazz, Soul, Latin, Afro and Brazilian grooves with Electronic Music. The single "Fantasma", from their debut album "Paraiso Terrestre", got a well-deserved attention by Gilles Peterson, which have launched them to the world. “Flight”, from the 2nd album, got a memorable remix by Frankie Feliciano and was a house anthem. In 2005 they have released their 3rd album called "People To People” and definitely got a general acclamation.
(Masa) I was a vocalist in a rock band and later I started djing when I was at the university. I started to produce music naturally, as a logical progression.
What’s your music background? Which artists have influenced you the most?
(Abe) My music background starts from Punk, Blues, Soul and Jazz and goes to House music. The most influential artist is Stevie Wonder… I was impressed by his songs and his greatness.
In your music we can find an amalgamation of genres, from Latin jazz to soul, not to mention the Brazilian grooves. Do you actually think in combining various genres or it just happens naturally?
Basically, it just came naturally. However, we had rough ideas or images before recording.
You have already 3 albums on your belt and many tracks/songs resulted from collaborations with session musicians and an impressive list of vocalists, including Stephanie Cooke, Joi Cardwell, Terrance Downs, Monique Bingham, Kenny Bobien, among others. How grateful are these experiences for you?
We've never expected to be able to collaborate with so great artists a couple years ago, but now we are having fun to work with them. These collaborations made Studio Apartment's tracks change, mixing with each artist's colour. We think it was inspiring to get ideas that we didn't have.
Recently, you have worked with two house music legends, Josh Milan & Kevin Hedge (Blaze). Can you tell us how was the producing process of “The Rising Sun”?
Firstly, we had made the rhythm on the track and when Blaze came to Japan for their gigs, we worked together in studio. Josh and Kevin recorded some vocals and keyboards and we put some sounds and arrangements on it.
Nowadays, we see Electro and 80's sound influencing many House productions. Do you think that, in order to move on in house music, producers have to always look back?
We think it is one of the ways to produce House music. Looking to the past sometimes inspires and gives us new ideas. We hope this is a way to improve our music production.
(Abe) I like 'Flight' which gave us a big step to the world.
If you had the opportunity, with whom would you like to work with?
(Abe) This is one of my dreams - I'll be happy if we could work with Steive Wonder and Raul Midon.
Your favourite tracks of the moment?
If we look into your cd player right now, what kind of music/artists we would see?