Almost Famous: Taisuke Yamamoto

Who are you, really?
I’m a Japanese Ronin with a British accent building a music empire in Asia.
What are you really good at doing?
Being hated for my honesty, drinking too much sake and rapping about my life.
If you were not making music, what would you be doing?
Credit card scams and dope dealing, and writing a novel about it.
You’ve lived in England, Germany and Japan. Why’d you come to Singapore?
To start a new life. I had two credits after two years of university in Japan and there were some other things I needed to escape from and the opportunity came up. So I thought, “a place full of the sun, the beach plus lots of cultures and languages…Why not?”
Do you listen to Asian pop much?
Well, I don’t listen to K-pop. My best friend is Korean and he says the chicks are hot. I also hear they have the same noses. In terms of Singapore, well, the scene is small but is growing well. There’s a young dude, Shigga Shay, who I respect. He’s really young but he’s working his ass off. He’s dope. Dharni the beatboxer is dope. DJ Ko Flow is dope. And the whole Bedsty crew holds great parties that bring real hip hop into Singapore. I respect them because they know it’s about more than just music; it’s an entire movement.
What’s the sneakiest way you’ve ever tried to make your music stand out?
In Japan, I stuck my CD into the sleeves of Britney Spears albums at HMV. I wonder if anybody listened to my shit.
Any starstruck moments?
Just once when I was a little kid. I met Tiger Woods and was like, “Holy shit!” This was way before his sex scandal thing.
What are the perks of making music? Does it really help you get the girls?
I’ve never thought about the perks before but yeah, I’ve gotten free clothes and VIP treatment though I don’t really care about that stuff. I don’t use my music as a reason to pick up chicks either [laughs]. It’s just the satisfaction from making music that keeps me going. I listened to a song of mine I recorded eight years ago the other day and it was totally inspiring. Like it was an experience of a 17-year old me talking to me now and I learnt from it. That’s a perk to me.
You call yourself the Jay-Z of Asian hip hop. Why is that?
I don’t personally call myself that [laughs] but he’s a guy that has built a business empire on top of his music. He was strategic and Napoleon about it. And that’s what I’ll be doing.
Do you have your own Beyonce then?
Not right now and even if I did I’d probably do what Jay-Z did and be all secretive about it.
What are your lyrics mostly about?
My answer could be as long as a book but to simplify it, most of them are about escaping your troubles, moving on, struggling and winning. And doing it all in style. 
Learn more about this star in the making and listen to his original music on