Birthday: December 12
Birthplace: Seattle, WA, USA
Blood type: Hot Blooded!
Chains of Love song sample
DJing at Club Reflection
DJing at Vinyl in Denver
New Single: Chains of Love
Available now at iTunes
Eternity Mix CD (2008)
1. Makin Music
2. Get Ready
3. Incredible Sound
4. We Play House
5. Mind Eraser - DJ Heavygrinder, Davis, Zelma
6. Movin On
7. My Angel - DJ Heavygrinder, Odiase, Blessing
8. Rock It
10. Galaxy Traveler
11. I Say Shut Up
Living a Dream Compilation CD (2007)
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DJ Heavygrinder Interview
DJ Heavygrinder grew up in Japan's Kanagawa Prefecture until the age of 14, when her parents decided they wanted her to receive an American education. While her natural beauty garnered her success in modeling since she was a teen, she discovered the true love of her life at 17: the art of DJing.
With her 2008 mix CD "Eternity" and a brand new single "Chains of Love" just released, DJ Heavygrinder is riding the tide of an internet sensation bent on spinning that magic mix of music to rocket everyone off their butts and onto the rejuvenating world of the dance floor.
On January 21, 2009 DJ Heavygrinder was kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of DJ Heavygrinder with credits to Julian C. Vabi.
Let's start with the news of your latest single. Tell us about "Chains of Love."
"Chains of Love" gave me the opportunity to collaborate again with the amazing singer, Zelma Davis. Zelma had several hits with C&C Music Factory and I'm honored to work with her. We first wrote together on my song, mind eraser which entered the iTunes Top 40 electronic charts. "Chains of Love" is one of my best singles and Zelma has never sounded better. It's my version of the dance floor classic which was originally recorded by Erasure. It's now available worldwide on iTunes and I'm working on several Remixes.
Let's take a trip back into the past, before you became DJ Heavygrinder. Although you were born in Seattle, you were raised in Japan. Can you tell us a little about your hometown neighborhood?
I grew up in Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. The ocean was fairly close. There was so much to do in my neighborhood. Shopping, dining, learning, playing in video arcades, you name it!!
Did you travel between the US and Japan during those early years?
No. I did not travel to the US till I moved back.
What was the school like that you attended?
The school I attended was a 40-minute walking distance from my house. Pretty far if you ask me. We had to be seated by 8:30 every morning. We had 5 or 6 subjects a day and attended school Monday-Friday (and every second Saturday).
My favorite classes were History, Music, and Art. Me and my friends use to go to Karaoke or Arcades after school from time to time.
Do any school memories stand out?
There are quite a few memories that stand out but my favorite one of them all was wearing a school uniform everyday!! I found that to be very neat.
What was your family life like back then? Sisters, brothers?
I lived with my mother and I was a latch-key child. lol.
Did your parents have a musical background?
No. Although my mother didn't pursue music as a profession, she enjoyed many genres and gave me a lot of input since I was very young.
You started modeling at 12 years old. Can you tell us the story of how you got started?
Modeling was something that had always interested me. I thought models looked so cool as they walked down the runway. I was attending an acting school at the time and had landed a few modeling/acting gigs.
You focused on modeling from 12 to 18. What are your fondest memories from those days?
Shooting at beaches was always fun, and meeting Japanese girls working hard to make their way as makeup artists in Hollywood was very inspiring.
How old were you when you moved back to the US?
I was 14. We moved back so I could get an American education.
At the time what did you think about moving back to the US?
I didn't like it at all. I loved the life and friends in Japan.
Did you see yourself as Japanese, American, or something in-between?
I've always viewed myself as "a global citizen."
What kind of teen were you in high school?
I was soft spoken and shy. Had some piercings and wore Metal T-shirts and always liked to sit in the back of the classroom.
When and how did you decide that you wanted music to be the focus of your life?
I had always loved music since I can remember. At some point of my youth I even dreamt of being a singer. hehe
I decided that I wanted music to be the focus of my life when I was 19. It was when I first started playing out. I just knew that this was 'it'!! Music has been my life and lover since.
Were their specific artists that inspired you to that goal?
Derrick Carter, Timo Maas, and Kosheen were some of them.
When did you first get into DJing? How good were you at first?
I got into DJing when I was 17. I immediately fell in love with the art. It took me some time and practice just like everyone else.
You've said that your DJ name was inspired by Corpse Grinder, the vocalist from the Death Metal band Cannibal Corpse. Were there other names you also considered?
I had thought about others but ... Heavygrinder is it for me. =)
Did you ever doubt yourself when you were starting out?
Yes, but my love for the music kept me going.
What did your parents think about your dreams?
My mother didn't approve of it at first but now she is very supportive and I can't thank her enough for it.
Was there a certain moment when you knew you would be a successful DJ?
I knew I wanted to take it to the next level when I saw the crowd's incredible reaction to my set.
What are your favorite types of music to spin?
Anything I'm in the mood for. Mainly Electro House.
Can you describe the feeling you get when you are in the groove DJing, when everyone is dancing and all is right in the world?
Those are the happiest moments of my life. I live to see people dance to my music. I can't stop smiling when they do!!
Now that you are an established name in the DJing world what are your next goals?
I would like to continue to put out more production work for everyone to enjoy around the world.
Tell us about your mix album Eternity.
Eternity is a CD to remember. I thought about my friends and fans while creating it. It's full of love.
Tell us about the song mind eraser.
Mind eraser is a Hot single!! It was in collaboration with Zelma Davis from C+C Music Factory. She is one of the most incredible singers and such a lovely person.
Where do you see your career headed in the next few years?
I would like to continue to entertain people with my music and see more parts of the world.
Can you give us a little peak into the romantic side of DJ Heavygrinder? What type of things do you find romantic?
Definitely, candlelight + dinner!!
Do you have a "most embarrassing moment" to share from a date?
No. Not really.
What type of traits do you most look for in someone you would date?
Intelligent, kind, funny, down-to-earth, genuine, dedicated, faithful, brave, and similar in ethical values.
Do you want the full boat of marriage and children sometime in the future?
Aside from music, what type of things do you do for fun or relaxation?
I love to draw and watch anime.
Do you have three all time favorites anime shows?
That is a tough question since there are so many favorites on my list. At the moment I would have to go with Monster, Tenjou Tenge, and Blood+.
Do you have a personal motto or slogan?
Speak through the music, not through words.
What are your plans for 2009?
I plan on putting out more music, playing in more cities, and taking some classes in college.
Do you have anything else you want to bring up or comment on?
Please be sure to check out my upcoming releases for 2009.
Do you have a final message to all your fans?
I would like to thank my dearest fans and friends for always being supportive and listening to my music. I wouldn't be here without you!!
Sending all my love.
For more info checkout DJ Heavygrinder's official site and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments