February 7, 1974|
Nishi-Azabu, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
February 26, 2010 (aged 36)|
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
|Genres||Hip hop, jazz rap, breakbeat, trip hop, nu jazz, left-field hip hop|
|Record producer, DJ, composer, arranger|
|Instruments||Turntables, sampler, drum machine, flute|
|Substantial, Uyama Hiroto, Shing02, Five Deez, Terry Callier, FunkyDL, Cise Starr|
Jun Seba ( ? Seba Jun, February 7, 1974 - February 26, 2010), better known by his stage name Nujabes (, was a Nujabesu)Japanese record producer, DJ, composer and arranger who produced atmospheric instrumental mixes sampling from hip hop and jazz and released three solo studio albums: Metaphorical Music (2003), Modal Soul (2005) and Spiritual State (released posthumously in 2011). Seba was founder of the independent label Hydeout Productions and released two collection compilations: Hydeout Productions 1st Collection (2003) and 2nd Collection (2007). Additionally, Seba produced the soundtrack for Shinichir? Watanabe's anime series Samurai Champloo (Music Record: Departure and Impression) in 2004.
Jun Seba ( ? Seba Jun) was born on February 7, 1974, in the Nishi-Azabu district of Minato in central Tokyo, Japan. Seba was the owner of two Shibuya record stores, T Records and Guinness Records, and in 1998 founded the independent record label Hydeout Productions.
Seba adopted the stage name Nujabes (his name spelled backwards) and became notable for his approach to producing hip hop beats, often blending jazz influences into his songs creating a mellow, nostalgic and atmospheric sound. Seba collaborated with Japanese artists like Uyama Hiroto, Shing02, L-Universe, and Minmi, and with various underground American hip hop acts such as CYNE, Cise Starr (as a solo apart from the hip-hop collective CYNE), Apani B, Five Deez, Substantial, CL Smooth, Fat Jon, Terry Callier as well as British rapper Funky DL. Seba was also a member of the production duo Urbanforest, an experimental collaboration with Nao T. Seba collaborated with Shing02 on the critically acclaimed Luv(sic) hexalogy, making the parts 1-3 together, but after Seba died unexpectedly many doubted that the series could ever be completed. However, parts 4 and 5 had already been completed, which were released shortly after Seba's death. Part 6 was not among the previously completed tracks, but it was released on February 26, 2013, on the third anniversary of Seba's death. According to Shing02's official Facebook page, the instrumental to what would eventually be part 6 was discovered on Seba's cell phone a few weeks after his death.
Seba was one of the most prolific contributors to the soundtrack of the critically acclaimed anime series Samurai Champloo, which blends a feudal Japanese setting with modern anachronisms, especially in regard to hip hop culture such as graffiti and rapping.
On February 26, 2010, Seba was involved in a traffic collision upon exiting the Shuto Expressway at 10:14 PM. He was pronounced dead at a hospital in Shibuya Ward after efforts to revive him failed. His grave is located within the Japanese section of Tama Cemetery.
Seba's death has elicited many tributes from other artists around the world. On Bandcamp, the New York-based Digi Crates records have released a series of tribute albums performed by various artists in a style reminiscent of Seba's. In addition, Seba's label Hydeout Productions released a tribute album titled Modal Soul Classics II featuring a number of former collaborators and with lyrics and song titles referencing select tracks from both Modal Soul and Metaphorical Music, such as the track "Music is Ours", which directly references "Music is Mine", the 5th track of Modal Soul.
Frequent collaborator Shing02 has performed at many tribute concerts for Seba, and has remarked that "Through his soulful music, Nujabes has touched so many people around the world, even beyond his dreams", and "[I] deeply regret the loss of a unique talent and a close friend."
Daniel Hodgman, founder of hip hop culture website BonusCut, in a 2014 highlight of Modal Soul said that, "Nujabes may not be physically with us anymore, but through his music, his legacy and lust for life lives on." Co-founder Gus Navarro remarked that, "The music of the late producer Nujabes is something to hold onto and never let go."
His work has often been regarded as seminal to the emerging microgenre of Lo-Fi Hip Hop, characterized by its laid-back atmosphere and consistent coupling with images featuring anime on sites like YouTube, with some referring to him as the "Father of Lo-Fi Hip Hop".
|Hydeout Productions 1st Collection
|Hydeout Productions 2nd Collection
|Modal Soul Classics
|Mellow Beats, Friends & Lovers
|Modal Soul Classics II
|Samurai Champloo Music Record: Departure
|Samurai Champloo Music Record: Impression