LLLL (pronounced 4-L) is the music-making moniker of Kazuto Okawa, 41. Since his first eponymous self-released album in 2012, Okawa’s sparkly, J-pop-inflected brand of shoegaze has attracted the attention of labels such as Maltine Records, Progressive Form and the California-based Zoom Lens. A Fukuoka native, Okawa has written tracks for J-pop acts including Kaela Kimura, Akiko Yano and Yuki from Judy and Mary, scored the music for various commercials and soundtracks, and recently composed and performed the theme song for The Japan Times’ “Recultured” podcast series.

1. What is your earliest musical memory? I remember seeing pop group Hikaru Genji when I was around 8 years old. They were a roller-skating boy band, they looked so glamorous!

2. Why did you decide to start making music yourself? It was my calling. I didn’t decide it, music did.