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Tuff Questions is our series where we ask artists a selection of incredibly difficult questions.


This week DJ, producer and vocalist, YATABE, is in the Tuff Questions hot seat.


The Japanese-English artist became a disciplined musician at a young age. On moving to London she used her musical background to forge a career as a DJ and producer.

Her latest single "Pretty Truth" has just been remixed by Majestic, and was last seen in the mix for Proximity's all-female Alaya festival livestream raising money for the Malala Fund.

She's written tracks for Lost Frequencies, Tujamo and Alok, but what does her music smell like?



MoS: Describe your press shot in five words or less

YATABE: Bored. Of. Lockdown. And. Ready.


House or Techno?



If House is a spiritual thing, who is its prophet?

Terry Francis


What does your music smell like?

Cotton Candy and Oud.


What was the first song/album you bought with your own money

“Don't Wanna Cry" by Namie Amuro




What was your first email address?

[email protected] (Don’t ask


What would you say in your tinder bio?

Notable Life Achievements:

- Can make a good sandwich with creative fillings 

- Semi-professional snow boarder

- Never been to jail before (except when playing monopoly)

- Mother of the coolest Pomeranian ever existed


Best way to cure a hangover?

Miso soup and a good Bloody Mary always works a treat for me.


What song would be your wrestling entrance theme?

“Fight The Power” by Public Enemy.



Who’s the biggest party animal in dance music?

Ricardo Villalobos and Solomun (Perhaps an invite to their next?)


You can only ever DJ B2B with one other person for the rest of your life, who is it?

Richie Hawtin because he’s always been such had influence on my DJing. I love his experimental sounds within his sets, loads of crazy plug ins and modulations. Also he has his own sake brand.


You can only ever play one record again for the rest of your life - what is it?

“Arrival of the Birds” by The Cinematic Orchesta



Who is your celebrity crush?



If you could live in any other place and time, when and where would you pick?

The 80’s in the UK, specifically in London. The Music, the fashion, the club scene.  


Is a hotdog a sandwich?

According to google, it seems to qualify as a sandwich, so the answer to that would be yes.


Teetotal or tearing it up?

Tearing it up ALWAYS (when not locking down for the last 12 months).


Favourite production? (pick one) lazers, disco ball, strobe, Co2, LED screen, confetti, foam, nothing or other.

LED screens. I love making graphics on my tablet and have a clear idea of the sorts of visuals to accompany my original tracks, LED screens are great because every show can be different.


You can only wear one colour for the rest of your life, black is not an option, what colour do you choose?

As black isn’t an option, I suppose Lilac - because I love the scent of lavender and it chills me the fuck out.


What’s the best moment you’ve had on a dancefloor?

When I saw Solomun at Pacha back in 2019 in Ibiza, he played an epic long set, and the crowd wouldn’t let him leave the stage and he was so into it, he kept playing until way past closing. Eventually the club management had to come on stage and unplug the speakers. No one wanted it to end.


What job would you do if you weren’t a musician?

I think if I wasn’t a DJ and producer I’d want to work in animal rescue or with animals in general. They don’t deserve us.


Would you rather all your burps smell of eggs, or have a green cloud appear when you fart?

Eggier the better for me on this one! (Lol)


What’s your biggest non-musical interest?

I spend a lot of time cooking, trying new recipes and lots of traditional Japanese food. I practise yoga in the day time, and drunken Jenga in the evening.


You’re forming a cheesy pop group in the vein of 5ive, Steps, Spice Girls etc. You must all sing and do choreographed dance routines. Which other 3 DJs do you want in your band?

Diplo (Obviously), Fisher and Flume.


6 = 2(x+2) what is x?



What’s your secret weapon to rescue a dancefloor?

Sick bass drops with dirty beats and synths.


Strangest / funniest thing you’ve seen in a club?

Someone taking poppers and not quite making it to the bathroom in time in front of the whole club.


What single thing would make your life better?

More Pomeranian dogs running around my flat.


If you had your own nightclub, what would you call it, and what’s the dress code?

YATADEN (Dress as you please)


Why do lots of DJs wear masks? What’s the deal with that?

Because of them are middle aged men and it creates some diversity.


Most regrettable track you’ve dropped in a set?

I haven’t played too many sets because of the pandemic, so there aren’t any of those yet! I’ll probably look back in a few months and regret some.


What’s the most expensive thing you own?

Probably all of my DJ and production gear all combined, and my dog.


Where is the strangest place you’ve DJed?

In lockdown I’ve been performing lots of live stream and home filmed concerts. So the strangest place out of my living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom must be might bathroom.


One piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.


Where’s the afters?

At my place.



Follow YATABE: SoundCloud | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Nathan Dawe

Route 94


About the author

Matthew Francey

Head of Content

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