Photo credit to Joe Tirado.
Music is a big part of many people’s stories; it’s been their therapy, the thing that kept them going when nothing else could. There’s a story behind every song, whether it’s the one that inspired it’s creator, or the one that it reminds people of when it comes on over their speakers. That’s the beauty of music; everyone takes something from it. For Seiichi Daimo, he used music as an escape. When he was younger, he transitioned from violin to guitar, finally bringing to life the thoughts and emotions he had through song. On February 25th, Seiichi will release his debut EP, In The Inbetween. “I’m most excited to share. Music is awesome! There is a thing that happens, a relationship between the song and the listener, and indirectly the writer and the listener,” He says candidly. “I feel I have something to offer with my music; whether it be a different perspective of what pop music can be, or just me an honest guy singing from the heart. I’m here to share my story and I look forward to watching the development of a community of like minded people!”
The self-described soulful acoustic-pop artist is filled with pure heart and energy, with songs crafted with genuine intention. “I’ve been writing for many years now, so the process is always evolving. For the most part, I start on guitar. I just play until I find a chord progression I really like. I don’t really like to use common chords so I just try different things till something resonates with me,” Seiichi explains. “What’s probably most unique about my process is that I don’t write lyrics down. I just start singing whatever comes out in the moment.
“Usually these phrases and melodies are subconsciously what I feel the song should be about so I just play the song over and over again each time ad-libbing a new line here or there until it’s finished.”
This method seems to have led Seiichi to a fool-proof way to pour his heart out without putting himself in a box, from a creative standpoint. “It’s not the most time efficient way,” he admits honestly. “Lyrics will usually take me about a month to finish. Most of it comes together on the initial sit down but then I let it marinate in my head and let it come together over time. If I didn’t give myself that time I’d have some filler line that I’d say that I’d change eventually but never would.”
The work that has gone into In The Inbetween is evident just by listening to the title track, which was premiered on ArtistDIRECT, and its creation as an outlet for Seiichi is unmistakable. “This work came about because I was at a point in my life where I felt stuck. I was frustrated. In The Inbetween is about being in a state of transition. For me I knew what I wanted out of life and had been working so hard for it but wasn’t at the point of “success” yet,” Seiichi states. “I had grown so much but still wasn’t the person I was striving to become. I actually had the title “In The Inbetween” before I had the song.
“In fact, it wasn’t even the first song I wrote after having the concept for the EP. Later on, I realized that this topic was universally relatable. We are all going through some kind of change in our lives. Time is always changing. So the concept took on a larger meaning, the cycle of life. Through this concept, I was able to touch upon revisiting the past, what’s going on in the world around us today, and what has yet to come.”
With each track being carefully crafted to express a very human emotion, Seiichi seems to struggle to pick a favorite. “I have to think about [it],” he says. “I like them all for different reasons. [But], if I had to pick, I’d say “Moon”. It’s what I like most about music; it takes you places. For me, “Moon” does that best.”
His music won’t just take listeners somewhere, but it’s also taking Seiichi on a coast-to-coast tour. “I plan to do a solo tour to promote the record, which will be a lot of fun,” he says happily. “I’ll be going coast to coast, playing in a few major cities, like Austin, LA, San Francisco, Philly, and New York.”
Tour dates will be announced soon. Head to seiichidaimomusic.com for updates!
Touring is something Seiichi won’t find new. As a child, Seiichi did his fair share of moving, including a coast-to-coast relocation from Manhattan to San Diego, before finally settling in New Jersey. “[The most difficult thing about being an artist in New York City,] for me, is probably that I’m based out of New Jersey. There is a stigma that New Yorkers have about people from New Jersey, which is whatever,” he says, almost optimistically dismissive. “I was born in Manhattan, and spent my childhood growing up in San Diego, so, to me, it’s just geography. But there is a competitive feeling in New York City. You realize how big this world is being in this city. [There are] so many people; so many artists.
“[It’s easy to think,] ‘how can we all survive, or am I even good enough to be here?’ At the end of the day, we are all people. We tend to forget that when faced with masses of people, but deep down, there are things that we can all connect on.”
For Seiichi, his love of music has helped him connect to people, something he has once expressed was difficult for him in his younger days. “My parents didn’t listen to much music; they were very religious. We weren’t allowed to listen to the radio when we were little, so my sisters and I sang Church songs and Disney songs in the car on long drives. Then one day, I saw a guitar. It was like this magnetic force. I wanted to be a songwriter and I knew that’s what I needed to do that. This was all when I was super young, by the way,” Seiichi regales. “Eventually, I moved to New Jersey to be closer to my relatives. I joined a garage band and have been writing ever since.”
Inspired by an eclectic combination of artists, Seiichi soon found his way around the music scene. “[Dallas Green of City and Colour] really sings from his soul, and I felt a kindred spirit in his writing. I’ve studied all types of songwriting, so I hear a little bit of everything in my writing from current top 40 pop artists like P!nk, and The Lumineers, to the stuff I listened to in the old NJ garage band days like Brand New, Thrice, Taking Back Sunday and Fall Out Boy, and then the good stuff from a better time; Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Cat Stevens, James Taylor.
“Even though I love these artists, I hope my sound is something unique to me,” he expresses. “…although I’m sure every songwriter hopes that. Writing, to me, is a much more internal organic experience than sourced inspiration from other artists. I think other aspects or my life impact my writing more than the music I listen to.”
He isn’t shy about owning up to his past, stating, “I‘m a high school drop out who dealt with mental health issues as young person, but I’m also guy who wakes up everyday and smiles about how lucky I am that I made it through that, and how blessed I am to have so many amazing people in my life who truly care.
“It still amazes me how awesome human connection is. I don’t resent the painful things, because they made me strong and shaped so much of my identity today. I have kept my positivity and open heart.”
“Make this life your art.”
Seiichi’s optimist shines through, no matter what the subject. “…Even tho this interview would seem otherwise, I really do to take myself too seriously. Well, as not serious as a Japanese perfectionist can anyway,” Seiichi jokes.
For more on Seiichi’s music, please click HERE.