Tag Archives: Shugo Tokumaru

Shugo Tokumaru’s Bedroom Pop Goes Global

Shugo Tokumaru

Shugo Tokumaru catches me off guard when he says that his life today is basically the same as it was in 2004. “Not much has changed really,” the singer-songwriter says. “I still do what I want to do, in the same style.” That’s not exactly convincing; just over a decade ago, Tokumaru was performing on stage alone with a few loop pedals in tiny Tokyo spaces to small audiences. When we meet in mid April, on the eighth floor of Tower Records Shibuya, he’s only a few weeks away from a nationwide tour of Japan, playing larger venues with a full backing band. A few posters advertising his latest release are hanging around the store.

“I think it’s like comparing different types of runs,” Tokumaru says, acknowledging he’s busier than before, but that it doesn’t necessarily impact his work. “Interviews like this, for example, I do them now and though I might not like them, it isn’t like I dislike them either. It’s OK to do it.”

With his sixth album Toss getting an international release this month (it came out in Japan last fall), Tokumaru’s schedule has shifted into overdrive. He has another interview immediately after ours, and more in the near future. He’s organizing the Tonofon Festival this June, which is named after the Japanese label he co-founded.

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