Interviews

Published on September 9th, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Awich On Her New EP “Partition,” Okinawan Hip-Hop, Influences, Goals, Future Plans & More

Last month Japanese rapper Awich released her major label debut EP Partition via the Universal Music Group. Prior to the release of Partition, the second single and video from the EP was released, “Bad Bad.” “Bad Bad” showcases a slower vibey side of the rapper, a true multi-faceted artist. First single “Shook Shook” made waves the prior month, leading Awich to participate in FADER’s Digital Fort to speak on the Black Lives Matter movement in Japan; she was later chosen as Consequence Of Sound’s “Artist Of The Month” for August 2020, also premiering a video via that site.

In just a few short years Awich has established herself as one of Japan’s top hip-hop artists and is actively working to redefine the hierarchy of the community in Japan, both in regards to women in hip-hop, as well as around the Black Lives Matter movement. The Japanese rapper has also been attracting growing attention and acclaim internationally. Awich was featured within Red Bull and 88rising’s long-form documentary Asia Rising: The Next Generation Of Hip-Hop as one of the leading rappers in Asia. She has also done collabs with the likes of Polish rapper Tymek and Brazilian MC Krawk.

On September 8, 2020, I had the pleasure of speaking with Awich via Zoom. We talked about Partition, her success as an entrepreneur before finding success in hip-hop, Okinawan hip-hop, long-term career plans and plenty more; a few quotes from that chat are transcribed below. More info on Awich can be found via www.universal-music.co.jp/awich, www.instagram.com/awich098 and www.awich.jp.

On whether she got to see a lot of great concerts while growing up in Okinawa:

Awich: “I didn’t really grow up going to concerts, but just because all the entertainers I really liked were from Okinawa, they did special events in Okinawa and they did special shows, meet & greets and all that. I felt proud to be an Okinawan just because of that.”

On whether she writes all of her lyrics before recording them or if anything is freestyled:

Awich: “I’m a writer, I’m a poet before I’m a rapper. I started writing poetry when I was 9… I do spoken word as well. I don’t need music.”

On how much writing she does, and if she is creating art on a daily basis:

Awich: “I write every day. Any moment that I feel like I’ve got a line, a very unique thought, I write it down.”


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of the bi-weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with V13 (formerly PureGrainAudio.com). He has also co-authored two published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), with a second podcast set for a June 2020 launch.


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