KATANA's got beats

If you know the faintest thing about Auckland's DJ scene, you'll have heard of KATANA. Infamous for never having been pinned to a particular genre, KATANA spins tracks to the feeling in the room, giving any party he plays legs to run gleefully into the early morning.

The latest on KATANA's (a.ka. Rui Kamata) project list is a monthly Future Bass, Trap, Rap party, Bassment, hosted at none other than Neck of the Woods.

We chatted haircuts, the internet age, and a criminally underrated local scene.

A photo posted by KATANA (@katanagram) on

First things first - you’ve just cut your hair! Is this a new year, new look thing?

Yes it’s gone! It was a new look thing for sure. And to be honest I was too lazy to go get a haircut before now, haha.


You were born and bred in Japan. What brought you to the shores of the Antipodes?

Antipo… what? I was born in Osaka and grew up in a few different areas. I moved here by myself in 1999 as a international student. I was planning to stay for only a couple years, but loved it here so much I ended up living here permanently.


When did you start making music, and what drew you to it?

About 2-3 years ago. It was a natural transition from DJing to getting interested in producing music. Also people around me started producing at that time too.

If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing with your life?

I probably wouldn’t be in New Zealand. I’d be back in Japan being a salaryman, haha. I’d maybe run a clothing label, own a retail store, or something in fashion. I think I still would like to do that at some point.

You’ve opened for and worked with huge names - the likes of Alison Wonderland, Shlomo, Thugli, Ganz, and many more. How do you feel about the current state of the scene and those leading it in the public eye?

Everyone has an opportunity to be a part of this scene as an artist or as a fan if you have a laptop and wi-fi connection. You can be a big artist in the scene, or you can be a fan and communicate with the artist directly. Alison Wonderland from Australia worked with Ganz from Netherlands to create a track for example.


Our platform is hugely open and equal, and location isn’t an issue. I’m living in New Zealand, but I have awesome opportunities to work and communicate with these amazing artists. I think this scene is a great creation of the new age / internet era.


You’ve said that Bassment was inspired by wanting to do a ‘Soulection’ kind of night in Auckland - what vibes do ‘Soulection’ kind of night calls for?

Soulection isn’t just a record label, radio show or club nights, they give opportunities and put the spotlight on upcoming artists. Soulection educate their followers, communicate with their fans and create a scene which anybody can be a part of.


Culture, movement, opportunity for like-minded people to get together and having a good time; that's what I want to do with this project BASSMENT. New Zealand’s produced artists that have attracted the attention of Mr. Carmack and Diplo. More people should recognise and celebrate the amazing talent we have here.


Party to the tune of Montell2099, Kendrick, KATANA, LMC, and Wayvee at the first installment of BASSMENT, this Friday, at NotW.