Tokimonsta Interview


LA producer/DJ Tokimonsta (Jennifer Lee) is featured in the latest interview/lecture from the 2014 Red Bull Music Academy Tokyo:

Interview Summary:

If there’s one thing TOKiMONSTA taught us since she graduated from the 2010 edition of the Academy, it’s that she’s never one to settle.

Linking up with the mighty Brainfeeder empire the following year, and signing with the Ultra conglomerate to drop off her previous full-length, her latest effort sees the LA-based producer jumpstart her very own Young Art imprint.

in this talk at the 2014 Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo, she goes in-depth about the making of the new album.

43 thoughts on “Tokimonsta Interview

    1. Have you ever listened to her music? She might be attractive, but she’s using her TALENT to get somewhere.

      Shame the kids aren’t on turntables like you think they should be in order to enjoy making music. Damned new-fangled loptaps with their Abletruns and software VTSs! Who do they think they are?! Why, in YOUR day…

      I’ll just show myself off your lawn now.

    2. That’s an extremely misogynist viewpoint. There are plenty of great female DJs and electronic musicians. I’d count TOKiMONSTA among them. I’m not going to dignify your sexism with a long list of female electronic musicians, but I think it’s interesting to note, as pioneers and visionaries go, that electronic music, sound design, and synthesis in general would not be the same without the contributions of women like Suzanne Ciani and Laurie Spiegel (there’s a recent Synthtopia post featuring an interview with her!)

      I agree with you that it’s still a male-dominated industry, as many industries are. Maybe that circumstance would be a little improved if people like yourself weren’t so eager to rip apart new and exciting artists just because they happen to be attractive women. I bet if TOKiMONSTA were not attractive, you would instead call her an ugly bitch and tell her to gtfo.

      BTW, it’s interesting that any time a female artist is attractive, sexists criticize them for using their looks to get to the top, but few attractive male artists are ever diminished or discredited for having good looks. Funny how that works.

      [I’m a male, in case you were wondering, and this kind of misogyny ticks me off. I work with too many lovely and (at the same time!!!) talented women to tolerate this.]

      1. I won’t touch the “sexist” flame you guys started, but the sentiment, although poorly delivered, was fairly accurate. If you don’t believe that physical attractiveness of some level for both genders is required to be highly commercially successful today, do a simple comparison of promo materials from today and the 70s. Back then people looked like who they were. Now everyone is super made up, photoshop edited, and anyone below the “attractiveness bar” isn’t allowed into the machine in the first place, even as a member of the backup band. How far would Rick Ocasek get today? Any why did Tokimonsta get so made-up, going so far as to even draw on fake eyebrows? Like her music or not, she knows what kind of machine she is working in, and is leveraging it to the best of her ability.

        The same goes in movies. Ask highly talented actresses over 40 how many roles they get. And ask the males who aren’t pretty boys but have great acting talent why they do live theater instead of big hollywood block busters. And why do they all get risky plastic surgery?

        If you think this is sexist, point your anger at the people who keep bankrolling and promoting it, not the people who can see the world for what it is. I personally find it all sad, sick and highly inauthentic. But sadder is when good people starting fighting with each other over misinterpretations of the obvious.

        1. Good job not touching the “sexist flame” with three paragraphs devoted to same.

          The point I and others are trying to make is that Tokimonsta is talented. Ugly or beautiful, made-up or not, it’s whether or not she’s working hard and good at her craft that’s getting her ahead. The woman is a leader in instrumental hip hop. So what if she’s drawing on eyebrows or wearing makeup? I’m not sure why that’s a problem. It’s her choice.

          When you go to a business meeting, an interview, or out on the town, do you dress nicely, or do you go out clad in ratty boxers and a concert shirt from 1993? Do you make sure your hair and face are clean? Why is dressing nice and getting made up for an artist interview any different?

        2. Are we going to dismiss Jean Michel Jarre’s music because he’s a gorgeous French guy? Or Mike Oldfield’s music because he’s ruggedly handsome?

          There’s no doubt that good looks can be an advantage in life.

          But this is not a sociology site – this is Synthtopia.

          If you want to criticize someone’s music on this site, that’s fine – but do it with character and intelligence, based the merits of the music, not based on a musician’s gender, race, looks, etc.

    3. gmacdaddy

      Looks like your sexist comments are universally reviled.

      Do you have the balls to share a link to your own work? I’m guessing not.

          1. gmacdaddy

            1) We err on the side of keeping comments, unless they are clearly personal attacks, hate speech, misogynistic, etc.

            “A jerk is a jerk.” is not a direct personal attack on you. ‘gmacdaddy is a jerk’ would be.

            2) Don’t ask us to censor things you don’t like. Our goal is not to protect you or other readers from things that you don’t like, but to keep discussion constructive and on topic.

            3) Don’t waste our admin time. If we have to make a choice between babysitting a comment thread or posting news, posting news is going to win.

  1. My last on this subject cause I didn’t conceive a flame war would start due to my initial comments.

    One question/ challenge- name one prominent lady EDM Dj or producer that is fat or ugly and has a huge following? If you can actually do so then I stand defeated:)

    1. Talk about shifting the burden of proof! Logical fallacy much?

      I don’t think anyone here is interested in singling out some (probably perfectly nice, pleasant, and talented) random female artist and insulting her physical appearance online simply because you launch a trollish challenge. You’re arguing like an elementary school child. Please grow up.

      Work on your own tracks instead of spending your energy tearing others down.

    2. anyone male or female that makes good music becomes attractive.

      i was into what she was making when i heard it way back when w.o knowing anything about the person making it. hell, most of what i listen to could be women for all i know, who cares.

  2. so it’s okay to say the band GWOR are ugly monsters and not get banned on a website? Tell me what the difference is….it’s an observation.

      1. Yes and admin should only post stuff that relates to actual artists who can actually use synths and not bloody cdjs or laptop loops:)

        1. the attractiveness of the women in questions has been the only thing people have agreed on in this thread. I still dont understand why u have to bring GWAR into this… and misspell it. Its 4 letters for christ sake.

  3. worst thread on this site in a long time.
    a few of you have tried to move past some very narrow-minded comments,
    it seems to keep heading into the ditch.

    The swiftness with which this has all come about is a little embarrassing.

    she sounds like a fairly humble and happy artist willing to let you looks over her shoulder and see how she works.
    “i’m sure this isn’t new to many of you” and other statements are nice to hear.


    I’ve never heard of Tokimosta until just now. Her music is cool.

    However, this interview is dead boring. I blame the interviewer, who apparently knows absolutely nothing about making electronic music (she actually looks bored and uncomfortable). So many boring aimless questions that just degenerate into dull chatter.

    1. I first heard of Tokimonsta in a CDM “end of year” post from 2010. I might have heard her well before then, as I think Adult Swim was using some of her music for “bumps”.

    2. Spot on, actually! Music aside, it’s 55 min too long, plain and simple. She’s also presenting something that requires someone with more ‘teaching’ experience in order to make this not seem boring and drag on. This video probably could’ve been omitted here, it’s a gear site, mainly. (?)

  5. 0. I don’t care what she looks like. or if it/she/he has, or is a duck.

    1. It is from LA. which means it most likely has such horrible taste in music that i’m not even going to bother with watching the fracking advertisement/video.

    2. It has snot coming from its nose – oh, some sort of piercing, yuck. frack the details, it looks like snot.

    3. It is getting fame by prostituting itself (or its music, whatever you prefer) for a soft drink.

    4. frack this kind of artist feature, regardless of the artists’ sex. gone are the times when artists used to get famous for quality and perseverance (or good old payola, ha), not some quickie PR feature.

    5. the amount of “duding” in this thread demonstrates that there’s too many doooodz on here. i don’t like doooodz. go listen to some ‘lectronic dood music, dooodz.

  6. Doesn’t matter how she looks like. Her music is ok, its not something extraordinary.
    Pretty average in modern EDM scene and pretty good mixed. To me, it was obvious how her music was made, even before she showed up her tracks insides – but its the not her problem, its the problem with most RBMA lectors: they are average to modern electronic scene. So, i really don’t understand so much flame in this thread.

  7. I do think Redbull is trying to “sex it up” by having her hold that big phallic mic. The whole point of this interview it seems is for her to demo her production techniques so how isn’t an bad idea to give a huge mic to hold? Why not just mic her shirt, or put a boom mic over the couch.

    As for the old fogey who said she was selling out: She signed with Ultra and Brainfeeder the two most commercial labels on the planet. One is the Ibiza Douche King and the other is basically a front for whatever corporate entity owns the Cartoon Channel. Like someone else said Tokimonsta hasn’t really done anything interesting since like 2010 which is now almost 5 years ago. That said, music is a business and people want to get paid, deal with it, I suppose.

  8. This video is a very poor way to present an artists work. Why Is this crap on a respected site like Synthopia? It is not an intelligent way to analyze sound. What a way for the artist to explain her design ideas!

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