Very little exists about Melbourne-based Gab Strum aka Japanese Wallpaper online. Only sixteen, Gab could easily be written off as just another teen doing weird things in their bedroom but if you've listened to the tunes he's created and remixed, you would agree that he is so much more than that. An emotional producer with a sensitive ear, his melodic work is ambient and understated, communicating a dreamy side of himself that feels tangible from the gentle chords and kooky vocal splicing. With talk that his first EP is soon to be released, you better sit down and take a listen.

What was your initial inspiration to start making music? How long have you been doing it?

I started playing music when I was six. My mum really encouraged me to take up classical piano lessons, and I've been learning it ever since. Japanese Wallpaper was born out of desperation on a long overseas trip, where I didn't have access to a piano for around four months. I needed a creative output that I could take with me. 

What's the music scene like in Melbourne? 

The scene here is so awesome. There are so many amazing and creative people making music here. It feels like everyone is really genuine and supportive and it's a really great thing to be a part of. 

How would you describe the music you make?

I don't really know. I'm not very good with genres. Maybe it's a mix between electronica, chill-wave and folk? It's mainly just a conglomeration of different things that I like or that are happening around me.

Where did the name Japanese Wallpaper come from?

I'm pretty sure it came from a band name generator.

Can you tell us a little about your musical influences? 

I think the Beatles are probably my biggest influences as a musician. I remember hearing Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and finding it absolutely mind-blowing, and feeling a deep urge to understand how they did it. I think more than anything else, that album really inspires me and pushes me to make better music. Lately I've also been drawing a lot of inspiration from people like Shigeto, Baths, XXYYXX and also local producers like The Townhouses, Electric Sea Spider and Thrupence.

Dream collaboration?

James Blake, definitely. 

You're part of a generation that's grown up on the internet. If it didn't exist, do you think your life would be any different?

I think it would. I don't think the whole music thing would've really happened for me without it. I've met so many amazing people just by putting some songs on soundcloud and it's really enabled me to kind of start sharing my music around a bit. Also, the whole thing with how accessible everything is now because of the internet is really amazing, like there are so many things that we wouldn't be exposed to without the internet. It makes finding new bands so easy, and it's also a pretty good time waster for when I need to do homework and stuff.

And finally, what are your hopes for the future?

Uh, I'd really love to get to a point one day where I just write and play music all the time, and kind of to life off my music as opposed to anything else. I guess, mainly just to be happy.

Check out Japanese Wallpaper on soundcloud!


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Anonymous said...

I love Japwalll