Player Profile: Taku Hirano
In the percussion world Taku Hirano is a force to be reckoned with. Having met and interviewed many drummers and percussionists over the years, Taku stands out as one of the most driven players in the business. Taku has worked hard to get to the top and his diverse ability on a range of instruments and knowledge of percussion give him an edge that is hard to match.
Played With: Whitney Huston, John Mayer, Lady Gaga, Fleetwood Mac, Dr Dre, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, and so many more you will need to go here to read the whole list >
10 questions with one of the most driven percussionists in the business
Where are you from?
I was born in Osaka, Japan but raised in California (moved to America at 3 months old) as well as Hong Kong (teenage years)
Who are you currently working with?
I am currently busy doing recording sessions for various projects. These include production with my group Tao Of Sound for an upcoming album with Indian artist Naveen Kumar, as well as writing music for television. As far as live performance, I have been busy playing percussion in the house band with various television projects, including the show “Showtime At The Apollo” (FOX), hosted by comedian Steve Harvey.
What cajon & other percussion do you use?
As far as cajon, I use Meinl Percussion’s Artisan Edition Cantina Line Flamenco Cajon. As far as other percussion, I use an array of instruments (congas, bongos, timbales, taiko, electronic percussion, etc)
Do you have a favorite rhythm right now?
I think my favorite rhythm has always been the Mozambique. It is so funky, yet so festive (since it’s roots are in the Cuban comparsa rhythms of carnaval).
What type of food are you into at the moment?
Living in NYC, I’m able to get a taste of really authentic versions of all of my favorite foods… NY-style pizza; Japanese food like sushi, ramen and yakitori (skewered BBQ teriyaki chicken); Chinese food like Cantonese dim sum and Shanghai soup dumplings.
Hard to say what I’m into at this very moment, as I’m REALLY INTO all types of food and constantly switch it up.
What is a memorable show you have played?
My most memorable show was probably on tour with Whitney Houston. We were playing an open-air summer concert in the castle square of the Mannheim Palace. My setup was directly behind Whitney onstage, and I remember looking out as she sang a portion of the hits song “I Will Always Love You” a capella. The audience was a sea of flames from people holding up lighters and it looked magical. That was my first tour, and the moment that I realized I had come a far way from being in the Berklee College practice rooms a few years prior.
Do you have any fun hobbies or other passion?
I don’t have too much time for hobbies, as I’m constantly busy working on multiple projects. I do have a t-shirt line in addition to my music career, which keeps me very busy. The line is called 3rd Culture and the website is:
Do you have any personal projects are you working on?
Right now, in addition to performing live, I have been working as a solo entity as a producer and remixer. Current projects include writing music for promotional cues for various tv shows on the CW Network (ie- Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, Vampire Diaries, Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, etc)
Words to live by?
Rise to the occasion… That short phrase encompasses a lot to me. It has the attitude of the “Just Do It” Nike motto, but also lets you know that you are capable of attaining a goal that maybe outside of your comfort zone.