Curiosity. That flight in your chest that’ll leave you stumbling into a new art form, a new habit, and new opportunities. For Kaizen, curiosity did a little more than lead him towards something new. It led him to an entirely different lifestyle. A lifestyle dedicated to producing and living in the midst of music. Searching for something to strive to do, the 19-year-old electronic music producer started out making his own mixes in high school. At the sound of a music creation by his friend, he was compelled to try it on his own. He ran to his Chicago home to download the tools. He never gave up, and kept online tutorials and forums open to help lead the way. “14-year-old me was absolutely amazed that you could make music on just a laptop, and I’ve been completely hooked since,” Kaizen said. 

His inspirations of dreamy landscapes and scenery make a beautiful presence in his music; transient journeys through ambient tones and piano gradients. “Theres just this feeling you get when you see or hear something truly beautiful and it’s really hard to describe, but this inspired me a ton,” he said. They also influence his cover art and social media presence, consistently keeping messages and visual experiences just as vibrantly whimsical as his music. 

Kaizen’s collaboration with Yoe Mase, “Impurity,” is a perfect example of his ability to allow the listener to travel with him through sound. And this was his very first time taking the wheel. The song has over 186,000 listens on Mr. Suicide Sheep’s youtube channel and over 50,000 listens on Kaizen’s Soundcloud. Mr. Suicide Sheep is an electronic music channel showcasing artists to thousands of subscribers, and a home to Kaizen’s work for the past few years. 

“The channel has been a huge part of my life, and when I first started producing, one of my main goals was to get a song uploaded on there. When my debut track, Impurity, under Kaizen came out, it was already doing super well on its own, and I honestly just think it fit the channel very well.” The collaboration not only gave him newfound friendships, it also helped him land his first festival appearance at Insomniac’s Escape event. He didn’t stop there and he doesn’t plan on stopping. From his time producing music, he values the importance of not giving up. Even though he’s given himself a hard time about it, he knows now he’s ready to go all out again. 

One of his newer tracks, “Eternum,” goes down smooth and keeps listeners on their toes with a rising tempo and endearing additions of nature- like bits and voice samples. He is mostly moved by the likes of Blackmill, M83, Porter Robinson, and Odesza and it’s where he draws the majority of his music inspiration from. 

Looking ahead, Kaizen hopes to create visual experiences for his music and play more shows. And of course, make more music. He tells Creer “there’s a reason why I focus on making such emotional music; it's because usually someone, somewhere, finds some sort of special connection with it like I do when writing it.” 

Photos by Sara Mantich.

Story by Makeda Sandford. 

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