Interview / Kashif – By Max Essa

Interview by Max Essa.

Kashif is a Japanese guitarist, arranger, composer, producer, and vocalist. Active in bands, and studio session work, since the early 2000s, he`s developed a unique live act, that he calls “Guitar DJ” – where he spins records and jams over the top. Kashif will be one of our very special guests at the upcoming Zim Zam Zu! event, taking place at Bar Bonobo, in Harajuku, on May 7th. 

Where are you from?


Where are most of your gigs?

Mainly around Tokyo, but there`s also been the odd overseas trip.

How long have you been making music?

On and off, for around 20 years.

Where were your first gigs?

The first place I played was a live house in Tokyo, when I was 15, in my first year of high school.

What kind of music were you playing?

I was in a band doing covers of Guns N’ Roses and Xjapan.

What equipment did you have back then?

I had a Hotei guitar.

Hotei Guitar

What equipment do you have now? Do you have your favourite piece of equipment?

My home set-up is based around Ableton Live, plus some plug-ins, but as far as gigs go, my Boss GT001 might be the thing I use most. 

Are there any artists that have influenced the music that you make?

Prince, Tatsuro Yamashita, Haruomi Hosono.

How long have you been doing your thing, “Guitar DJ”, playing guitar while DJing? 

About 5 or 6 years.

What made you develop “Guitar DJ”?

The friend that I was working with moved to San Francisco, so I had to find a way to perform alone.

Kashif Blue Songs

Which of your recordings are you most proud of?

My album, Blue Songs.

What are your plans for the rest of 2022?

To release another solo album. 


ZIM ZAM ZU! is a new party hosted by myself, Ken Hidaka, and  Dr. Rob. Held at Bar Bonobo, in Harajuku, the first one takes place on Saturday, May 7th. The aim of the party is to help promote interesting, up and coming, Japanese artists, both DJs and live performers.

For the inaugural event, ZIM ZAM ZU has invited two contrasting guitarists, Kashif and Takeshi Nishimoto. Kashif will be doing a wonderfully groovy, guitar & turntable set downstairs, while Takeshi Nishimoto will wow the second-floor tatami lounge with his uber-chilled ambience. Tim Lambourne of The Good Company Broadcast Party, and co-host of the popular Tokyo-based party, Yes Chef! will also be joining us manning the downstairs dance-floor decks. 

Zim Zam Zu may2022Final copy

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