SOMA's Tomo talks to Kirin Works about dream collaborations and his love for the UK audience!

Introduce yourself to us and tell us something interesting about your style of music.

I am Tomo from Nagoya, doing a J-rock/VK project called SOMA mainly active in Europe. My style is quite under influence of UK dance music like Drum'n Bass, Dub Step & Electronica. Mix them with Japanese vocal melody, Hard core, post-rock, world music etc.


How did you enjoy your performance at J-culturecon?

It was great to back to UK to perform. UK audience is always cheerful, I like to perform in front of them. Somehow I feel comfortable because they speak English(in other countries I have to think about how to do MC and communicate with organisers). The venue & sound there was great too. Also J-culturecon was very special to me as I could perform with Rica Minami(who I collaborate on 2 songs of mine), so myself was excited too. Just I had problem at the hotel I stayed, drunk fucking idiot kids were too noisy banging doors, opening fire extinguisher in the corridor, shouting all the night, the hotel receptionist didn't do anything about it even though I went to complain. So I was really sleepy and tired, but audience gave me energy to perform!


You used to live in the UK, how do you think the music scene regarding Japanese music has changed over the past few years?

Nothing really has changed. Because Japanese bands or musicians in UK they don't do activity as Japanese. Many my Japanese friends successed like got contracts with UK label, played at large venues like Koko, Forum etc. but they play as 'musician' not as 'Japanese musician'. If you talk about how Japanese music getting popularity in UK, of course it has been changing a lot. 7 years ago when I moved to UK, people in UK only knew The Mad Capsule Market, Cornelius, Shonen Knife, YMO and DJ Krush. But now, J-rock/VK/J-pop are getting popular, but those artists are always come to UK for just few days to play. I guess I was the only one wanted to do activity as 'Japanese musician' there.


How is your style different to that of other Japanese artists?

You mean different to Japanese musicians in UK? Mixing quite a lot of genre of music. I am a male but do make up. I consider the fact that I am a Japanese not European or American.


It seems to be that you compose, produce and create everything yourself in your music, do you find this to be hard work or do you enjoy it?

I do collaborate with other people, I used to do many projects with many people. Now just...I live in Athens. Greece and no people to relay on. Also about SOMA, members must be Japanese, it is difficult to find Japanese people who want to do Visual kei in Europe. So I make also visuals for screen, CD & T-shirt design, Vocaloid editing, singing, playing guitar, really all now.


Where do you look for inspiration for the music that you create?

From meeting people. From other music. From my life experience.


If you could pick any artist to do a collaboration with you, who would you choose, and why?

Yoshiki(X Japan/Violet UK): Because of his music, I started playing music when I was 12.

Sugizo(Luna Sea/Juno Reactor/X Japan): Because he is the only one VK artist who really into club music and associate with wide variety genre of musicians.

Thom e Yorke(Radiohead): simply his voice and melody are so beautiful.

Bjork: same as Thom Yorke.

Massive Attack. heaviness and quality of their sound system.


You’re given the chance to take Soma anywhere on Earth for just one day, where would you go and why?

To do SOMA gig?mmm everywhere, I can't chose...maybe, Germany? Mexico? Sweden?since I haven't played these countries.

As a person?Many countries I've been in my life but...maybe Africa or North Europe since I never been there. But want to go there when it's not too hot nor cold.


Where do you see Soma going in the future?

I don't know.. I'm seeing just few months ahead plans. Anyway I am moving to Japan very near future, so situation will change a lot.


If you could make a movie about your life as a musician, what would you call it?

Anvil...? lol it will be kind of the same story as Anvil. not getting a success and getting old but still dreaming.



So, do you have any final words for Kirin Works and your fans in the UK?

Please visit

and hope to see you soon!