“A Bridge Between My Heart and My Family”: Qrion on His Japanese Cultural Influence and Nostalgic Sound – EDM.com

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Fresh off of her Red Rocks debut and a 2021 breakthrough, Qrion has laid the groundwork that is currently catapulting her to dance music stardom.

Last year she was named EDM.com‘s Class of 2022, joining a prestigious roster of transformative artists including ACRAZE, Anfisa Letyago and ISOxo, among others. Each artist on the list has uniquely positioned themselves within the industry, and Qrion is certainly no exception.

Qrion.

The San Francisco-based DJ and producer has graced major electronic music labels like Anjunadeep, Ultra Records, Last Night On Earth and more, earning her a spot on Forbes Japanthe coveted “30 Under 30” list. Its unique and hypnotic sound blends many different electronic subgenres, often using smooth, exquisite rhythms and nostalgic sound design.

EDM.com spoke with Qrion about her expansive success to date, Sapporo’s music culture, and how she made the decision to move from Japan to San Francisco to pursue her career in music.

EDM.com: You just made your debut with the Red Rocks. Take our readers through your mindset leading up to the whole thing.

Qrion: It was a huge opportunity for me! I still can’t believe I played in one of the most beautiful venues in the United States. My team and my closest friends were there too! I’m just super excited and grateful to Porter Robinson for having me for such a special event.

EDM.com: How did you prepare for such a milestone performance in your career? Did you do anything different from your usual preparation?

Qrion: I started by creating playlists on Rekordbox. I made five versions of it so I could make a change if people are dancing, less dancing or bangers, whatever fits the mood.

I usually do genre-based playlists, but this time I did it more specifically to play in a bigger venue and crowd, just to make sure I wouldn’t feel too nervous on stage.

Qrion performs at Colorado's iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Qrion performs at Colorado’s iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater.

EDM.com: What role does your Japanese culture play in your music?

Qrion: The local nightclub scenes in Tokyo are part of the culture that played a part in my music. DJs always play songs that no one knows yet and songs that go strong. Not just playing “mainstream music”, that’s what I learned from them and incorporating it into some of my tracks.

It’s always nice to spice up my sets with underground music that I enjoy. I have tracks in my catalog that are softer, deep house, but I also have tracks that are club bangers that inspired me being in the club.

EDM.com: Can you paint a picture of electronic music culture in Sapporo? How is it different from the American scene?

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Qrion: We have a small music scene in Sapporo! As the town is small, everyone knows each other and most of the local DJs are friends. I would say it’s very welcoming and has a healthier atmosphere than other cities I’ve been to.

EDM.com: Why did you choose San Francisco as your destination after moving?

Qrion: I played my very first set at Public Works in San Francisco in 2016. I had my first mind-blowing musical experience. It was the first time that I felt I could communicate through music and without words. I didn’t speak English at all at the time!

I immediately decided to move to San Francisco because I had a friend from Tokyo who was an exchange student there.

EDM.com: Your first album is steeped in nostalgia. How did you draw from your past to write I hope it will last forever?

Qrion: I like to recall old happy memories and express them in my music. It gives me a connection like a bridge between my heart and my family who are still in Sapporo. Thinking about my childhood in Sapporo and the times spent with my father.

Ever since I worked on the album during quarantine, my family has been a big part of my inspiration. The separation and being inside reminded me of many fun, loving, and meaningful times with them. I finally got to see them again for the first time since the March pandemic.

EDM.com: Sampling also plays a huge role. Can you describe your creative process when discovering, selecting and implementing samples?

Qrion: I think music sampling is super cool because we can dig deep into moments from past music scenes.

I was browsing through an old vinyl section at Amoeba Records in San Francisco and found a Deniece Williams “I’m So Proud” vinyl for $1 that came out in the 80s. started sampling from my record player, chopped and cut it, played around with copy-paste, and that’s how “Proud” was created. I appreciate early music from another era and am happy to pay tribute to these artists by sampling them in my own music.

EDM.com: What is the next step for Qrion?

Qrion: I hope it will last foreverThe remix album is coming out soon on Anjunadeep! This year I will be working on another album and some remixes. I have a lot of cool festivals to play this year and I’m touring internationally to new cities and countries… more dates will be announced soon.

I look forward to being inspired by all my travels this year so that I can put new feelings, experiences and memories into my next album.

FOLLOW QRION:

Facebook: facebook.com/QrionQrionQrion
Twitter: twitter.com/_Qrion_
Instagram: instagram.com/_qrion_
Spotify: spoti.fi/3M1RPyw

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