Name: Dj Jinnai
Talents: Dj, Remixer, Producer
Music Genre: Drum & Bass, J-pop, Electronica, Hip Hop
Location: Originally from Sunnyvale, CA, now living in Las Vegas, NV
DJ Crew: Team AnimE’xcalibur
Label Affiliation: Nemesis Records
Let’s be honest. Most Anime music is embarrassing. No one would be caught dead blasting the theme to Sailor Moon out of their car with the windows down. Despite this, many of us love Anime music anyway. We close the door to our bedrooms, crank up the volume and rock out to the sound of singers whose voices are impossibly high pitched. Dj Jinnai is one of us. With one amazing exception: Jinnai has the ability to take an Anime song and transform it into a bangin’ dance track that you would roll down your car window and blast.
Djing for 5 years and producing music for over a decade, Dj Jinnai interprets J-pop from a western music perspective without losing the sugar that makes J-pop pop. His remixes are a heavy handed blend of J-pop, Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, video game music, Electronica and 80s synth. Djing for years at Anime conventions and spinning sets on popular internet radio stations like Keiichi.net and Japan-A-Radio, Jinnai has built a loyal fan following while making a name for himself as a pioneer remixer.
A chance meeting with Kristine Sa and Nemesis Records CEO Kingmin at 2003’s Fanime convention in Santa Clara dramatically changed the course of Jinnai’s career. The Dj was only interested in remixing Kristine Sa for fun, but when the label heard his CD, he was offered a full contract as an artist, remixer and producer. Jinnai has since remixed many Kristine Sa songs - 3 of which will appear on her new album ‘reBIRTH’. He will also be remixing a number of Japanese pop projects to debut in 2005.
As Dj Jinnai’s fame grows, more and more of us will be able to roll down our car windows and open our bedroom doors as our favorite high pitched singer blasts through our speakers.
(*info taken from DJ Jinnai.com)
Interview conducted by: Alpha
Animesou.com: So, Jinnai, how and when did you started DJing?
Jinnai: 2000, Mostly learning how to produce. I used CD mixers to learn the basics on mixing efficiently.
Animesou.com: What or who inspired you to become THE DJ Jinnai?
Jinnai: My predecessors were Otaku Tribe/S.N.M. Productions in Bay Area California, mainly learning from DJs like DJ, M.O.D., DJ Muteki, and DJ Socket. I got my name from the bad guy in the anime ‘El-Hazard.’ Katsuhiko Jinnai. He always called himself a pure evil genius.
Animesou.com: How did you got acquainted with Nemesis Records, was it Kristine, Kingmin or something else :)?
Jinnai: After Fanimecon 2003, I was able to briefly meet them and I gave them a mix CD. Several months later they found it in a pile of demos, and gave it a listen… and they emailed me shortly after.
Animesou.com: Your latest project with Kristine Sa, AnimeToonz3 was hot man; I’ve checked out a few pieces here and there when Bsyde sent me the email about it. What do you feel was the most challenging part or parts of the project? Were there any fun things that happened during the creation of AT3 that would give us a laugh?
Jinnai: Finishing my part in 3 months. 7 tracks in 3 months. And I had to please more than one boss. Learning new software and introducing MIDI was the challenge. I’ve always used WAV files for my tracks. After the learning curve, it became much more effective using MIDI.
Animesou.com: Now down to the anime business. I know you’re an anime fan at heart when we first chatted a couple of months ago (yes a couple :D). When and what was your first anime experience? Was it good or bad? Is it something you would still pop into the player?
Jinnai: My first was in 1992, reading about it in a gaming magazine… Ys for the
Turbografx-16. It was an anime being turned into a game. I was amazed at the art and I would stare at it for hours. I upgraded with my first VHS copy of Fatal Fury the Movie. I was hooked and I need to replace it with a DVD version!
Animesou.com: What are your favorite series and genres?
Jinnai: I like comedy, sci-fi, romance, adventure and reality anime. My favorite series/movies are Naruto, El-Hazard, Ranma ½, Tenchi Muyo, Any Miyazaki Movie, [Hare +] Guu, Azumanga Daioh, Ah! My Goddess, Vampire Hunter D, Project A-KO, Genshiken, etc.
Animesou.com: Do you read manga? If so, what are you reading now? How is it coming along?
Jinnai: Genshiken, Gals!, Instant Teen, are what I’m currently reading. I wish I had more time to read manga!
Animesou.com: What kind or whose music do you like listening to on your free time?
Jinnai: I like Anime Music, JPop/Jrock/JRap, Latin Freestyle, 70’s 80’s and 90’s music, UK Hardcore, Classic Rap from the 80’s to Mid-90’s, New Jack Swing, House, Trance, Happy Hardcore, Jungle, Drum N’ Bass, Crunk, and some other stuff that I can’t think of right now…
Animesou.com: How’s that white PSP of yours? Cause I’m coming with Aiya to get it :). Anyways, what game(s) are you playing now overall?
Jinnai: PSP… I really haven’t been playing it… LOL. The DS has gained a lot of gaming time of mine… I’ve been getting into Mario Kart DS, and Metroid Prime Hunters.
Animesou.com: If you are not a DJ, what do you see yourself doing?
Jinnai: Computer geeking it for life. Or attempt at being a voice actor.
Animesou.com: What is one thing you cannot live without, other than Pocari Sweat (a Japanese energy drink)?
Animesou.com: Hey man, thanks for your time, would you like to drop a line or two for your fans out there?
Jinnai: I like Anime, and I don’t live in a Casino. LOL.
Closing Statement(s) - Big thanks to Brian “Bsyde” Lee of Nemesis Records for allowing the interview to go through nice and smoothly. Another thank you to Jinnai who has been real cool. If you have yet to check out AnimeToonz3: Kristine Sa, then you really do not know what the hell you are missing. Hit up this website for some previews of it. Welp, hope you enjoyed the interview, time for me to watch some anime. See ya!