Tuned 4 Success
Tony Grund, music producer,
artist, gives us a quick snapshot of forging
a career in music in a foreign land.
Looking at the pictures around the page, most
of you who go clubbing in Osaka will probably recognize me. Depending
on how youve met me, that could be good or bad. I tend not
to do things by half measures. I like to play hard and I like to
work hard. During the week I work very hard indeed, so on the flip
side of the coin is a life of intense fun.
Although Ive been in Japan only a short time, Ive done
things that very few people have and Ive met some extraordinary
people who are doing things that I never will. Through hard work,
perseverance, and always keeping sight of my ultimate goals, I have
carved out a unique life here. Its a life that I think few
foreigners experience, and Im proud of that.
As of right now Im working on music for
a Japanese film, putting the finishing touches on my latest album
and music video, working on graphic design art, and organizing an
upcoming event, Seven to Seven. During the time Ive been in
Japan Ive been in six bands/musical projects, organized many
successful rock parties, played at several festivals, and made music
for DVDs, film, and NTT.
How did it all happen? When I first arrived in
Kansai I met a lot of foreigners who had already been here for years
and established themselves in the community. They all gave me wonderful
advice and helped me out immensely. Because I always pushed my music
on whoever would listen, and because these people were the ones
responsible for the scene in Osaka, I got asked to play
at events such as Mukogawa Festival, and several clubs in Kansai
(including Sam & Dave 5) pretty soon after arriving.
Another thing I began doing soon after arriving
was playing outdoors. I dont mean sitting on the street with
an acoustic guitar. Im talking guerrilla concerts:
We would get a generator, some speakers, turntables, keyboards,
whatever, and go set up somewhere and play. Kansai has some beautiful
nature around it, perfect for chilling with a few friends and having
private concerts. This definitely helped me keep my sanity in a
country that was often very trying on my mental health.
I also worked for a major Japanese Pop record
label, GIZA Studio. This lead to me releasing music on several number
one J-pop CDs, a uniquely wonderful and painful experience. Many
of my friends talked about how lucky I was to get that chance. They
were right, but because I dont like J-pop music it was really
difficult to do that job. I learned that to be truly happy, you
have to follow your heart, especially where matters of art are concerned.
I think this is universal, applying to life no matter where you
I look back over my time in Japan, I think the main thing that helped
me and my friends be successful was our willingness to work with
both Japanese and foreign people. When I finally came out of my
studio after two years in Japan, I always tried to push myself into
both worlds. It was tough because of the language and cultural barriers,
but it was worth it. I made a lot of good connections in both of
the music worlds here (the Japanese and the foreign), and have worked
with a lot of talented musicians from those worlds. I realized early
I didnt bring my country with me when I came here. I was and
am a guest in this country, and in order to make the best of my
I had to bring together two very different worlds. I have not always
been successful in doing that, but I feel good that at least I tried.
If you have any questions, feel free to write me
at: [email protected]
My next event is called Seven to Seven. My band, Unknown Frequency
will play on Friday, the 23rd . For more info, please see the advertisement
in this issue of Kansai Scene or go to my web site: www.unkf.net