Introducing: Japan's RHYME SO on making eclectic "Blank Post Genre" music, joining 88rising, and their latest single 'POSEABLE'

Introducing: Japan's RHYME SO on making eclectic "Blank Post Genre" music, joining 88rising, and their latest single 'POSEABLE'

Bringing together the worlds of techno music and spoken word poetry, RHYME SO are unlike any act you've seen before.

Comprising Australian poet-songwriter RHYME and Japanese producer and DJ Shinichi Osawa or also known as MONDO GROSSO, the duo have a way of relaying important messages and meaningful lessons against the backdrop of eclectic and electrifying dance music. 

Coming from their own successful solo careers in music, RHYME and Shinichi came together after realising a shared love and mission to break down the traditional confines of music. Together as RHYME SO, the pair released their debut single 'Just Used Music Again' in 2019 as part of 88rising's compilation album Head In The Clouds II


Describing their music as "Blank Post Genre", which they shared meant rising above the divisions of genres, RHYME SO have been regularly releasing hit tracks that showcase a new and unique aspect of dance and techno music.

Now, with a collection of energising and meaningful singles behind them, the duo most recently released their latest single 'POSEABLE' under the Asian-American artist collective's new sub-label 88INFINITY.

Bandwagon caught up with RHYME SO to talk about their 'Blank Post Genre' music, the best part of working together, and their latest single 'POSEABLE', all while RHYME (very fittingly) talks in rhyme. 

Tell us how RHYME SO began. How did the two of you meet and what sparked the idea to form a musical duo?

RHYME: We met at a poetry event, Tokyo Tatami style. Then he went, I followed. We talked about music in the dark. Next thing we know, we were in the studio making music with exclamation marks! It’s been an adventure since, trying to create a custom genre wince.

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You describe your music as “Blank Post Genre”, what does this entail? How do you hope your music impacts your listeners?

RHYME: I thought you’d never ask, see what’s blank is rather sparse. And to dip the tail, perhaps in paint, makes the brush rather unconstrained. We are stroking the subconscious and matter all reality with a hit of something new, in the hopes that you might get it too.

Shinichi: I believe music itself is a genre of art, and we defined Blank Post Genre for anything that dares to reject the notion that music must be subdivided into certain genres or categories.

Tell us about your debut single ‘Just Used Music Again’ and how it came together. Two years later, what significance does the song have now?

Shinichi: It was pretty quick to build the song, I like the hypnotic refrain, which is just like us. Now we have a new arrangement for our live set.

RHYME: When everything was almost over, I turned on the radio at full volume. It was then I realised music was what saved and heard my needs. I’d also like to mention Joji at 88rising, thank you for liking our energy.

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Tell us about your latest single ‘POSEABLE’ and what story does it tell?

RHYME: Oh, you are going to love this pose. We had this requested over and over in secret shows. It started with the idea of these typical club sounds being boring and repeating, I couldn’t stand the autotune and mid-EQ bleeding.

I wondered… ‘would my Grandma approve of this song?’, then not long after this song came along. Shout out to the elders who still got the taste and will tell you straight up, not like this modern pretend face.

Shinichi: This is one of the songs from our relatively early days as RHYME SO. I think it's still fresh, it's a punkish 4x4 beat with a comical and ironic message to warn people about social media

RHYME, beyond music, you have an array of creative interests like poetry and performing. How do you maintain your creative spirit amidst difficult times? How do you feel your other passions influence your music?

RHYME: I like poetry, (yeah you don’t say) so I write every day. A lot of my prose I record inside my solo works, which includes experimental rock infused bass booms with deep meanings everywhere. For the spirited…. well, all I can say is question yourself, like at the end of the day ‘would I put this on my shelf?’.

Actually, my grandpa taught me: 'Overnight go to bed with a clear conscious, do right by yourself and others, at the end of the night you will have to sleep with it, so make an effort each day to do your best and good by others’.

Also ice-skating, yoga, and eating clean fuel my passions, but it’s the night filled with fabulous Queens that fulfil my fashions.

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Shinichi, you are one of Japan’s most recognized music producers, having built an impressive portfolio throughout the years. Do you feel any pressure of needing to meet expectations? How do you overcome those while making music?

Shinichi: I'm not pressured but I'm constantly frustrated with my creations. One minute I think I've reached something, and the next it's falling down to hell! That's what it's like to keep making music, but that's why it's so interesting and why I can't stop.

What is your biggest dream for RHYME SO?

RHYME: Perform, not conform the whole world over. My dream 'Psyche' is to have you sing along during the shows, like from your 'Hot' heart pound.

I wanna host an ice-skating summer show so I can cool you down. Yes, 'Bloggers' allowed. But really performing and soundtracking the most OTT venues and art pieces in music and film together would be clever.

Shinichi: We want to be a wedge that changes the typical Japanese music scene.

What is the best part of making music together?

RHYME: Besides almost killing each other and making up, growing up again and learning funk, from totally different sides of the planet, it couldn’t be more interesting, can it?

Communication is definitely broken down so it is constantly re-teaching us to build something of odd structure and hone in our strengths. Our process and relationship definitely are far from the typical, probably what makes us so prototypical.

Shinichi: You can ignore all musical clichés.

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Share with us any upcoming plans you have in terms of music.

RHYME: We been sayin’ an album, and because of the world, we had to hold back because it was in a whirl. So it gave us more time, so we made another. [The] album that is, now we have 2 we can show your grandmother.

Watch the music video for RHYME SO's 'POSEABLE' here.