Notes From A Conversation
Junya Watanabe x CDG
Tell us more about where you’re from and what you do for work.
I’m from Adelaide in South Australia, and I’m a jazz guitarist. I studied jazz guitar in a South Australian conservatorium, sort of like a Bachelor’s degree. Now, I play gigs and do some compositional work—I write music for an acrobatics company.
What first made you want to pick up jazz?
I’ve always been playing music, and it got to a point where I wanted to be better at my instrument. I chose to study it, and had to choose between classical guitar or jazz guitar. I like the whole conversational aspect of jazz, because it’s more like a group sort of situation. Everyone has their input, and everyone has their own personality when they play.
With jazz, there’s a freedom to express yourself because it’s so improvised. We usually have a theme or a rough idea of what we’re going to play in a group, but every night you perform it’s so different. It’s really sort of how you’re feeling, what you’ve experienced, and what everyone brings into that situation on stage. Even though maybe one person will be soloing, everyone’s sort of there supporting, and improvising around that.
Apart from jazz, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?
I mainly do a lot of music, and I also work a little bit in a café for a couple days a week, just making coffee.
What made you want to visit Singapore?
I’m here with my partner Fuko, and her mum works here. We haven’t seen her in almost three years, so this trip is like a family reunion. Singapore is so nice though. It’s so beautiful and green. I love it! Australia is really dry, so it’s nice to see all the green.
What’s your favourite local dish that you’ve tried?
There’s a really good chicken rice place at Maxwell. Not Tian Tian Chicken Rice, but the one opened by an old chef from there—Ah Tai Chicken Rice. I know there was some drama between them (laughs), but the food was good.
What’s one thing Fuko has taught you in your relationship with her?
Fuko’s taught me to be more spontaneous. I’m a Virgo, so I’m very analytic and like planning everything out, but Fuko’s more spontaneous and has helped me relax a bit.
Finally, tell us more about your style.
I feel like I’m always sort of going back and forth between more streetwear stuff and this. Recently, I’ve been trying to find the highest-waisted black leather pants, or black pants. This is where I’m at so far, but hopefully I can get higher still (laughs).
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