10 questions with Yama Warashi

Yoshino Shigihara and her band create dreamy evocative sounds inspired by Japanese folk, electronica & more

‘Yama Warashi’ means a small child-like spirit that lives in the mountains. Formed by Bristol-based Japanese artist Yoshino Shigihara, Yama Warashi create a dreamy evocative sound, inspired by Japanese folk, dance music, free jazz and African music with a slice of electric psychedelia.

Yoshino sings transportive songs in her mother tongue as well as in English, about mycelium, nuclear power stations and the tangled relationships of humans, nature and moon phases.

Catch Yama Warashi at Colston Hall this month, where they will be showcasing their ethereal 2016 album Moon Egg as part of the Bristol Takeover, featuring This Is The Kit and Hot Chip, as well as a host of brilliant Bristol artists including Beth Rowley, China Bowls, Goan Dogs and more. Plus, some of Bristol’s electronic heroes including Smith & Mighty, Om Unit and Pinch at the SWU.FM takeover.


1.       What have you learned today?
My friend Rozi told me how you make plywood. There is a big machine that peels the whole thing to make a giant thin sheet of wood. It’s like a giant horizontal pencil sharpener peeling an entire tree.

2.       Favourite track of all time?
Journey in Satchidananda by Alice Coltrane.

3.       It’s 3am and the party is winding down, what track do you play to get everyone going again?
This is recent discovery and it’s probably good for 3am: Van Doumen 02 – Photay #2.

4.       Who are your top three acts right now?
Three acts that I recently saw and blow my mind are Eric Chenaux, Richard Dawson and Senyawa.

5.       If you couldn’t work in music, what would you be doing instead?
Making shoes, bag or clothes – making something. Living in the countryside, in the woods, by the sea.

6.       What was the last book you read?
How Music Works by David Byrne.

7.       Favourite thing on TV?
I don’t watch TV at home, but some of the internet programs I’ve got into are, obviously, Twin Peaks and Adventure Time. Also any BBC documentary by David Attenborough.

8.       Are you afraid of anything?
Being sick or being unwell physically. I’m ok with insects but not a big fan of centipedes… Too many legs!

9.       Tell us something people don’t know about you…
Too many things… I will tell you in person.

10.   What are you doing tomorrow?
Writing tunes for the new Yama Warashi album.

YAMA WARASHI LIVE:  7 October – Bristol Takeover, Colston Hall

soundcloud.com/yamawarashi // FB.com/yamawarashi // @yamayamamusic

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