TokyoPro
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TokyoPro

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

New York City, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Hip Hop Trip-hop

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Music

Press


"Black Liquids' Mixtape Triple feature"

Its an odd concept to release a EP based on the Tokyo and NYC nightlife scenes, but with that in mind, much of this project makes a bit more sense. Described as "a sound that encompasses Synthpop, Hip-Hop, Downtempo, and Bass Music," I knew immediately upon pressing play that, like a bite of sushi, this shit wasn't for me. That doesn't mean it's not for you, or that anything here is necessarily bad, I just didn't like anything on here beyond the first track, "ShunRise," and the title of the second track, "40's and Chinese Food" (that was my lifestyle for a bit right there!). The production definitely sounds as described, and the lyrics, all use of the word "swag" aside, are... there, just not my cup of ocha. Give it a shot though, I guarantee upon first taste, you'll know. - RVA Magazine


"TokyoPro-#WhoIsTokyoProEP"

This mixtape has been in my phone, not my iCloud or Google Play. Lack of wifi will not allow me to not bump joints like ShunRise and Small Town. Though its a short listen, TokyoPro delivers the charisma and wit needed in the game today. And plus the Japanese influence... How could I pass up?

#CulturedApproved - Cultured Approved


Discography

2011 - Bosscoffee/Tommy2x Single

2014 - #WhoIsTokyoPro EP

2015 - Work/ASL Single

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Bio

                TokyoPro is the artistic brainchild of two American producers, looking for a way to connect New York City street culture to Tokyo youth culture through both audio and visual arts. The duo is composed of Bronx, NY producer/songwriter and frontman PROTA, and Richmond, VA based producer/video artist DGYGZR (the Dodgy Geezer).

TokyoPro started without a name in 2007, when the pair met in the city’s historic Greenwich Village neighborhood, while working various jobs. They began working together in a small studio in midtown Manhattan as engineers and video editors to pay for the downtime to make music. “We decided to fly to Tokyo for a month to write an album in complete solitude.” , says PROTA, which he explains as an acronym for Put Rhythm On The Authority. “We still had no clue what direction we were going with this, I was just writing what I was feeling, and he was playing the chords”.

That resulted in their first single, “Raw (Like Sashimi)” being released via SoundCloud in 2009. The song was done as a tribute to the late Japanese hip-hop producer Nujabes, even sampling the track he made as the theme song to the anime Samurai Champloo. They promoted the song mostly at a word of mouth level, performing at small NYC venues such as Gallery Bar, and sometimes even taking to the streets, harkening to PROTA’s beginnings as a battle rapper. “I used to sit out in Union Square and wait for the ciphers to start, and I would walk on the set quietly. The minute I got an open lane, I’d kick like…40 bars, and just walk off.”

The group took a break from the project, DGYGZR getting deeper into film and video, while PROTA became a stronger writer, and not just on the musical front. He wrote articles for small blogs, and opinion pieces on his own personal blog. After some time apart, TokyoPro went back for another month in the land of the rising sun. They returned with another single and b-side, which they released independently on iTunes in 2012, called “Bosscoffee/Tommy2x”. The pair went back to their street level marketing roots, distributing the song to different bars in the Lower East Side. They began to shift gears dramatically in sound, adopting a more electronic fusion to their original sample heavy hip-hop sound.

In 2014, TokyoPro released their first official EP WhoIsTokyoPro via their self-hosted website. They received very positive feedback, following up the release with a run of guerilla-style music videos, and a debut performance at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

They are more than just performers, however. After releasing a handful of new songs, the pair flew back to Tokyo for 7 days for what they described as a “documentary art film”, only known at the moment as Sumimasen Boyz. The soundtrack will be released this year, with the film being released in early 2017. In addition, PROTA is writing a memoir on the project, which is also slated for next year.

 

You can find TokyoPro on Instagram @TokyoPro, or contact them through their website, WhoIsTokyoPro.com.