Towa Tei

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Towa Tei is one of the most highly visible and sought-after DJ/producers in the world, Born of Korean descent as Doug Wa-Chung in Tokyo, Tei attended Musashino Art School, where he majored in Visual Art. Tei has no formal musical training and plays no instrument beside turntables, samplers and sequencers. He is recognised by many by his thick-framed black glasses.

Tei's interest in music dates when as a teenager he began putting together tapes at home in Kawasaki. In 1987, he relocated to New York to study graphic design and improve his English, where he joined Dee-Lite. His production work was first noticed on the 1989 Jungle Brothers album Done by the Forces of Nature. In 1990, Dee-Lite had an international hit with the single Groove is in the Heart. In 1991, Towa Tei and Super DJ Dmitri collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto on Rap the World.

After Dee-Lite’s less successful Infinity in 1992, Tei left the band to pursue a solo career and returned to Tokyo.

His first album, Future Listening, a mixture of bossa nova, jazz and electronic dance music, was released internationally in 1994. It established Tei as a leading light of the club scene throughout the world.

His second album Sound Museum included a collaboration with Kylie Minogue on the track GBI: German Bold Italic, which reached number 20 in Japan and number 63 in the UK.

Tei has released a string of successful records, organized and deejayed at club events, and remixed and written for numerous collaborators, including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Kahimi Karie, Scha Dara Parr, Shonen Knife, Bjork, Chara, Ua, Bebel Gilberto, Sketch Show, and Maki Nomiya.

He established the label Akashic Records in order to release his own music and introduce his favorite artists. Tei also has a career in Japan as a club DJ.

In 2005, Tei released a new album dubbed Flash and a new single with Minogue, Sometime Samurai, which reached number six in Japan. Five of the songs on Flash had tie-ins with TV commercials.



  • Future Listening! (1995)
  • Sound Museum (1998)
  • Sweet Robots Against the Machine (1999)
  • Last Century Modern (1999)
  • 2002 Towa Tei / Best (2002)
  • 2003 Best Korea (2003)
  • Motivation-Songs for Make Up (2004)
  • 2004 Motivation-Driving Sweets (2004)
  • 2005 Motivation3 (2005)
  • 2005 Motivation4 -Dusty Dance Halls (2005)
  • Flash (2005)

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