Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Nakatomi is a two-piece EDM outfit from Adelaide, South Australia. Em is on the vocals, and Hamish is on the beats. They have played countless festivals, including the Clipsal 500 Festival 2016 on the Mainstage and the Futuresounds Festival as a headliner. They have toured the east coast twice and been nominated for multiple gongs at the SA Music Awards. They have featured as a Rolling Stone Australia - 'Hot 5 for Friday' artist, and recently released a self-titled EP, which is currently doing the rounds. Nakatomi are doing big things. So where do they get their creative inspiration from, and where does the music come from? Hamish from Nakatomi speaks to BEAT CONTEXT.
Always around music
‘..I fell in love with music and love the catharsis of playing live...'
My brother played a huge part in my musicality. He was much older then me and played in bands, so by about 15 my brother was sneaking me into dingy clubs watching bands play and seeing what they did on stage. Then I’d go home and listen to some of the cd’s I managed to steal from his room when he wasn’t looking and sit in the kitchen listening to lots of Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Faith No More on a shitty little Portable CD Player. So I started playing bass in school but sort of let that slip then when I was at Uni borrowed a mates shitty synth that he’d bought from Dick Smiths and started jamming along to tracks. Like a lot of people I fell in love with music and love the catharsis of playing live. The stage is just a great place to get energy out. To let out the work week and connect with an audience that's feeding back that positive vibe. It's always an amazing feeling and it's great afterwards to just come off the stage buzzing.
‘…that active involvement
with the community and local scene…’
I now run a rehearsal studio in Adelaide which allows me to spend most of my days hanging out with bands, listening to music and just being actively involved in the local music scene. Just that active involvement with the community and local scene creates bonds and drives creativity for our music making.
‘…EDM is so malleable…’
We love lots of different genres and EDM allows us to bring in lots of different influences from all over the place due to it’s accessibility. I think EDM is a bit of a crockpot of musical styles. When we’re writing we’re quite happy to lay down a Pumpkins-esque 90’s guitar line or a bit of Spandau Ballet cheese and EDM is so malleable it allows those ideas to work and differentiate our sound. It’s a bit of an open playground that when we’re writing we never sit there and go ‘let’s write an EDM track’. We just write a track and although it often falls into the EDM category it has influences of whatever we’ve been listening to. Whether it’s Depeche Mode, The Faint, Kendrick Lamar, Johnny Cash or Carly Rae Jepsen it allows that stuff to work in it's world.
‘Going for it’
‘…it’s just really exciting watching someone that talented just take control and go for it…’
The track and clip (for Childish Gambino ‘This is America’) are incredible. It’s just a song that I find interesting that stands out from the pack. I try and avoid analysing too much what I love about a song as I think it detracts from the enjoyment of the song and can influence my writing to mimic rather than create. It’s just really exciting watching someone that talented just take control and go for it and by ‘Go for it’ I mean have the confidence in their own ability to create a work that’s uniquely their own voice. It's so exciting to see people do that when in everyday life often that's constricted and you're taught to be part of the flock and not pave your own way. It's what creativity is to me and has taught me to use that confidence to break down walls in my own work as that's the only way to create something different. It's something I hope to focus on more in future releases.
(Making music) is a passion. I think we all have moments of monotony in the real world, which can be frustrating, and writing and performing is an avenue to express yourself creatively. Whether it’s picking up a guitar at home or recording in a studio, music is a little oasis that lets you experience something different creatively that we often don’t have time for in the real world.
I hate velvet with a passion. Like, if I touch it I get goosebumps.