Keith Kanashiro is from Toronto, Canada but is known by his Music Producer name Sensei Musica (@senseimusicahl). Sensei’s parents are from Peru and migrated to Canada in 1970. He is a Canadian producer of Peruvian descent who has been establishing a name for himself behind the scenes through such hits as “V.I.P. (Fito Blanko Ft. Fuego & El Cata),” “MAMBO (Fito Blanko Ft. Drake),” and the recent #1 hit on the Billboard Latin Tropical Chart, “Pegadito Suavecito (Elvis Crespo ft. Fito Blanko).”
é: I know you mentioned before your father was a huge influence for your passion of music. How has your Peruvian background influenced who you are as an artist today? For example, Peruvian history reflects that the Japanese came and migrated to Peru and your stage name has the word “sensei” in it. Do you find that growing up with such an eclectic mix of cultures helped shape your sound?
Sensei: Yes my dad is my biggest influence for my passion of music he always had salsa music playing in the back ground like Hector Lavoe, La Sonora Poncena and started me off with piano lessons. The main influence from Peru I can remember is when I use to go visit my family; there was an annual fair “La Feria Del Hogar” and my cousins would take me there to see concerts, a memorable one I saw was the group from Mexico name Mana. I also enjoyed listening to Afro Peruvian music and saw Eva Young perform with her band once; listening to the fusion of African drumming, spanish guitar, and native sounds infused was something that stuck to me. Partly why my producer name became Sensei was that my grandfather was Japanese and during high school I was the band leader for many ensembles and my colleagues would call me Sensei and the name stuck with me throughout the years. Growing up in Toronto enabled me to listen and learn different styles of music from my peers. Most of my influences were from Caribbean, Latin, and American pop music.
é: You hear so many of our youth saying that they want to be music producers, what honest advice can you give them if they really wanted to go in that field?
Sensei: The most honest advice I can give to the youth is to make sure you have another career to fall back on financially. The music business industry is very complex even as complex as trying to go through a maze blindfolded sometimes, you have to have the will power to get right back up if you trip or fall a couple of times. A lot you see on TV is smoke & mirrors. All I can say is make sure you have a grasp for the business side of things for your music. Most important passion and the love for music keeps a producer going and having a positive mind frame. The right opportunities can be around the corner. Being persistence and creating realistic short term goals and long term goals could potentially get you to where you want to get, to accomplish your goals. Keep yourself around positive people, be positive and learn how to adapt quickly to constant changes musically.
é: Can you share with us any exciting projects you have coming up in 2013? Are there any artists you are collaborating with?
Sensei: I’m currently collaborating with Pitbull, Dj Chino (Pits Official DJ), Sensato, El Cata, Actor Laz Alonso, Elvis Crespo and a few other soon to be public. Executive producer of Fito Blanko’s album “ Amor y Dinero “ soon to drop later this year. As well as, currently heading my productions team Hit Legends, with hit record producers Saltone & Mad Mellow. Our team is producing for Enrique Iglesias’s female singer Laura Jane, “Lady” Modjo official remix coming soon, and many more.
é: When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Sensei: When I’m not working I enjoy spending most of my time with my wife Jasmine & my daughter Mia. We enjoy traveling, going to the cottage and outdoor activities, my favorite being fishing.
é: If you had one message to share with your fans, what would it be?
Sensei: Thanks for all the support you have given us throughout the years. Without your positivity we wouldn’t be where we are today. Our company Crown Loyalty Entertainment, based in Toronto, Canada, is committed to supporting our community’s and kids, providing them with outlets for their talents. We are blessed to be doing what we are doing, and representing a world class city like Toronto
To follow Sensei on Twitter go to @senseimusicahl