A Whanganui man who grew up in a bustling music scene in the River City has moved to Japan, where he has made and released a new album.

Brandon Sayring, 30, moved to Tokyo last year, where he works as a coffee roaster and espresso machinery technician to pay the bills while he completes his passion projects.

They include travelling, playing live gigs and making music - some of which formed his album called RM1X201806201807.

Released under Sayring's ROC///OPT/ project, the album title is a lot of letters and numbers with a simple explanation - all of the tracks were made using a Yamaha RM1X.


"An RM1X is what's called a sequencer, which were used to make electronic music before computers got way better software," Sayring said.

"It's basically a small keyboard with the ability to compose music on it. I like older sequencers because they don't have WiFi or social media platforms to distract you from making music, unlike computers."

The 201806201807 component of the album name are dates signifying that the album was made over June and July in 2018.

All of the album track names are also dates that represent when the track was recorded and written in the Japanese format.

Sayring was born and raised in Whanganui, he attended the now defunct Kiwi Street School, followed by Whanganui Intermediate School and then Whanganui City College.

"I got into music in high school, playing in various bands and being part of the City College Brass Band, which I did to help get my head around music theory and composition.

"The tutor at the time was Kevin Jarrett who was incredible, he helped make something which seemed daunting and chaotic to me at the time, become digestible and easier to understand."

Near the end of high school, Sayring began playing at underground music venue The Eye of Night which attracted like-minded bands and artists.


When the venue closed down, Sayring and his wife put together their own venue as a homage to The Eye of Night and to keep the music community engaged.

"Word spread quickly, local and international bands and artists came through on a regular basis," Sayring said.

"Given the size of Whanganui, there were not a lot of bands to choose from to play in support, so I took it upon myself to generate as many new bands and solo acts as I could."

From there, New Zealand promoters caught wind of what Sayring was doing and many of the performers moved away, getting booked for things like parties and festivals.

As he was regularly going down to the capital to play shows, Sayring made the move to Wellington five years ago.

"But I got sick of how sleepy it got in Wellington, so last year my wife and I moved on for bigger and better things in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo.

"I was instantly hooked, my life from there on became about figuring out how to live, work and play here."

But it's not about making music for a living.

"That's not what it's about for me. A successful music career is engaging with people, sharing ideas and generating a sense of community," Sayring said.

"Getting to a point where I would be completely disengaged from an audience and becoming a focal point doesn't really sound very inviting."

His plans for Japan are open-ended, but some things are for sure, Sayring will keep performing, continue writing and always love his music.