QA: Takuya Nakamura


Takuya Nakamura is a multi instrumentalist , composer and producer based in Brooklyn. He also works under the guise of Cosmic BB’s. His work is very eclectic, indeed his style has been evolving from his various trips and collaborations.. 

He is a pioneer of this new “sci-fi dub noir” genre ; which is a mix of lo-fi, jazz analog and Hi-Fi Digital space techno. Innovatively, he is transposing classical music onto new digital realms..

Takuya Nakamura was born in Japan. He started playing music at the age of 7.

In the 90’s, he moved to New York to play with George Russell.

Since then, he made the city his new home and had been composing and collaborating with other musicians such as Coco Rosie, Brooklyn Gypsies, Oyasaba, Lee Perry, GZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Marc Ribot, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Jojo Mayer’s Nerve, Organic Grooves and Brazilian Girls.  He also toured with Arto Lindsay, Vinicius Cantuaria, Quincy Jones, The Streets, and Billy Holiday.

more infos.

Currently, he is working on new collaborative projects with Coco Rosie and as a producer as well. Check our review of Helio Parallax’s last LP.

scents from our discussion:


Who are you ?

Takuya Nakamura

What do you do ?

I play piano, synthesizer and trumpet; write score, compose music and do experimental music.

When did you started making music?

I started piano when I was little; my parents were musicians.

My first approach was toward jazz music, I was trying to copy Tv show’s music..

My mentor was Joe Hassell.

I also played with George Russell, he was my hero at the time. I did his tour.

Then in the 90’s, I played with Organic grooves, Marianne and Nerve.

Are you an autodidact?

I went to school to study jazz music in Boston then I came to NYC.

During the 1990’s, I came to study music composition at the conservatory.

Favorite instrument?

Trumpet/piano {it changes with time}

Analog or digital?


I use Mini-Machine studio, Ableton and Teenage Engineering OP-1.

What is your position on the future of music?

It is always already predicated but compared to the 80’s, where the future was concrete, now it’s just based on a recycling process..

We always hope that maybe It would be better next time but there is never a big shift.

The music changed in America but not really big changes are happening. It’s messed up..

I also remember during the 90’s drum’n’bass and breakbeats were a big influence but now there’s no much changes..

Somehow, the future comes from other places not from this country. Everything we have now was already heard 20 years ago.

“time goes – pitch goes” you can put anything together; everything is a collage.

What influences your work?

Jazz, electric music, old electric soundscapes, bass jungle..

During my Jazz performances, improvisations, all of the influence come from my past. I’m in a constant state of experimentation. When I hear something I like, I say to myself maybe I should play it and here it goes..

What is  your creative process?

I go with intuition. I’m a composer so the process of composing music is different, you have to put a scale..

Why do you make music?

I like it because I feel doing something to the people. I make people happy, people are excited, there is a powerful magic within this correlation. I’m addicted to this magic. I also feel good when I’m playing.. Moreover, when I play every time is different even if its the same song..
Indubitably, playing live is the best!

What is your best souvenir?

Recently with Coco Rosie’s last tour.

What is your life philosophy?

I’m conscious about life. Sometimes, I think too much about it but I’m overall an optimist.

If I’m sad, weather changes.. Of course we are going to change, we are part of the nature process, that is why we are here. Meanwhile, we have to take care of ourselves..

What do you think of the future of mankind?

I have hope but we might have to pay back big time, but we will survive somehow and have to start again. It happened before and It keeps going at least for a while. Maybe we will find way back to living with nature. We are part of this planet.

Do you seek happiness?

Yes. But being happy is not easy, most of the time if we feel depressed, it’s because we have too many choices..

Don’t you find living here in NY is antithetically hard sometimes?

NewYork is a though city. The NewYork exhaustion state comes from too much temptations.
Obviously, It’s hard to be happy with what we have. But we have to be happy. Material is never enough.. However, I must admit music helps a lot. If I have a great show nothing then matters..

Which track defines you?

Charles Mingus and Jimmy Jeffrey’s music.

What is your dream collaboration?

Right now, with Coco Rosie and the Brooklyn gypsies.

If I have to chose though, probably Damo Suzuki from Can but that’s a hard question..

Do you see yourself changing radically your life and going to another city?

Yes I can see  myself going somewhere else. But I have my family here, I lived here for twenty years. I can see myself living somewhere else but I will have to come back often. I belong here, Its a place, not a dream place but I like it here. I also travel a lot.



Any future plans?

This year I started producing so it is different..

Advice ?

Just play something.


Be physical, compassionate and follow your instinct.

For people who want to be professional, I would say find your own sound, find new combinations, have fun but don’t play for fame or money..

What do you think of Brooklyn? Do you feel belonging here?

I like it but it changed so much. I like Queens (sunnyside), Brooklyn used to be like that.. “I’m a rootless root”, I don’t have roots but I have to make them.
The magic of living in NY is that you can be every time more and more creative.

Is it easy to be in a band?

Depends on the band and also how you create.

One thought on “QA: Takuya Nakamura”