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interview

Yuya Saito

Moorworks / Tour Manager

Founder & owner of Japanese label Moorworks since 2005. In the last few years, Moorworks has released recorded music and promoted tours for a number of North American artists.

Yuya Saito

Where are you based?

I’m based in Tokyo, Japan. I’ve been in London since August.

Where do you work? What do you do?

Founder & Owner of Japanese label Moorworks. I’ve been working as a tour manager for foreign artists in South East Asia territory.  Where artists go was where I work before Covid. Now I’m working in Tokyo and London.

What are you listening to?

I’m listening to the music that was sent to me. From artists who want to tour or release in Japan.

How do you discover new music?

Luckily, artists send me their music or their friends. I’ll listen to them. Almost all of them are indie music.  I try not to play the Indie Music channel on Apple radio.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

I use Apple Music and Spotify. It’s easy. As a music label, we still release physical. People still buy CDs at their concerts as their merchandise when our artists tour in Japan. I think they want to get something they can touch as collections.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

I’ll have specific time to listen to music because it’s my work. I’ll sit down and listen to it googling artist’s information. On the other hand, when I do desk-work, I don’t want to listen to any music. It pulls my attention and I can’t concentrate on other tasks . I prefer silence. I always asked my co-workers or my roommate to stop their Spotify playing in the room.

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

Whatever artists send me, I’ll listen to them as much as I can.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

Sometimes suggestions go pretty wrong. My friends and I shazam’d our worst favourite type of songs as a joke. Next day, it kept showing those kinds of songs and I didn’t know how to fix it. I should’ve done it with his smartphone.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

I sometimes use Shazam to remember songs I listen to outside. Also, I use Evernote to write it down. If someone sent me demos, it’s usually attached in emails so it’s easy to track by finding it through my Gmail.

“Sometimes suggestions go pretty wrong. My friends and I shazam’d our worst favourite type of songs as a joke. Next day, it kept showing those kinds of songs and I didn’t know how to fix it. I should’ve done it with his smartphone.”

Discover the #HowWeListen Playlist

Listen to the #HowWeListen 2021 Picks playlist. Curated by this year’s interviewees.

Listen on Spotify

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

My team is using Dropbox to share the music.  I’ll write down the link on Slack to share.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Curazed – Reversed

Laurent Bourque

Patient Hands

"As a music label, we still release physical. People still buy CDs at their concerts as their merchandise when our artists tour in Japan. I think they want to get something they can touch as collections."

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