Satoshi Tomiie – the musical prodigy behind the Def Mix sound… [November 1994]

It’s been 29 years since producer Satoshi Tomiie recorded one of THE standout house anthems, alongside the late Frankie Knuckles: Tears.

But I’ve always wondered how the Tokyo-born Tomiie ended up working with Knuckles in the first place, and indeed join the Def Mix stable alongside heavyweights such as David Morales and Hector Romero.

As this DJ Mag interview from November 1994 reveals, Tomiie, an accomplished pianist and jazz musician, was performing alongside composer Ryuchi Sakamoto, when he was approached by a promoter to compose a ‘theme’ for an upcoming tour of Japan by Knuckles and his entourage.

“When I met Frankie, house music was just about to break worldwide,” he told the magazine. “This was 88, it was not like it is today. It was much more underground.”

One year later, Tears was released, and Tomiie was a household name.

As Tomiie put it in a later interview with XLR8R:

“I had already done all the instrumental parts to “Tears” in my bedroom. I had named it that because of the way the one piano line reminded me of tears rolling down. Anyway, that was the one Frankie liked.”

And we know Frankie had good taste…

[Article taken from DJ Mag, November 1994, words by Paul Davies, photos by Benoit]

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