‘Who is JTP?’: Jessica “Tomoko” Perez

Hey everyone, BCJ is back this month bringing you more top notch events, profiles and cool talent to offset the sweltering summer heat!

Next up we are pleased to present Bronx native, Jessica “Tomoko” Perez, an amazing MC/beat maker, currently in the Kansai music scene. Though we introduced Jessica with her full name, most are likely to be familiar with her stage name, Kimblee and even more recent, ____ihatemilk. With an eclectic music taste and fresh style, just about everyone wants to know what makes this artist tick so let’s dive in:

Black Creatives Japan: Alright, first things first: can you describe for us, your sound or genre of music?

Jessica T. Perez: This kind of question is always difficult for me to answer, in part because I’m probably overthinking, but also because I’m reluctant to put my sound under any labels. I make music as a singer/MC as Kimblee, but these days, I’ve also taken a deep interest in beat-making and production as ___ihatemilk.

Kimblee is probably more familiar across members of BCJ who always come out and show support, (thank you!) and that sound is definitely more R&B/Neo-soul, with a little boom-bap thrown in – I mean you can take the girl out of the Bronx, but….haha.

And ___ihatemilk is a bit darker, percussion driven, hip hop and dance music. There’s definitely some abstract jazz mixed in too and I try to incorporate house elements into my beats as well. I really enjoy blending genres, and people who have heard IHM told me they enjoy the unpredictability and atmospheres of those tracks. It’s totally different and I love it. They’re still both very much me.

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Miles Woodruffe: A Triple Threat (Illustrator, DJ & Designer)

As Japan bids farewell to Golden Week and gets fully settled into the new era of Reiwa, Black Creatives Japan follows suit, featuring a new website design and a whole series of new BCJ member profiles.

Today, we introduce you to Miles Woodruffe, a London-raised illustrator, DJ and now fashion designer, who has been quite busy with the launch of his brand: DLRS. Well known in Kansai, for his striking art style and great taste in music, Miles has now taken his first steps into the world of fashion. And BCJ thought what better way to kick off the shift into Reiwa than to catch up with this triple threat? Let’s get to it!

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Black Creatives Japan: Tell us a little about yourself and how you first got to Japan. I do know that you started out as a student. What made you decide to stay here?

Miles Woodruffe: Like many people who found themselves in Japan, I too, was a kid, who was into Japanese cultural products like video games, anime and manga. I started self teaching myself Japanese at a young age and managed to make my first Japanese friend/pen pal, Mai, a previous guest on the “Kurly in Kansai” podcast. With her help, I was able to practice speaking Japanese throughout my teen years and eventually visited Osaka at the age of 16. That trip turned into many. I had always wanted to study in a Japanese university and study anthropology, a subject I had been madly into in secondary school. I eventually found a program that taught social anthropology at a university in Kyoto and applied for it. I spent 4 years here as an undergraduate, graduated and here I am now 5 years later.

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