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Taku Takahashi (born March 29, 1974, stylized as ☆Taku Takahashi) is a Japanese DJ and record producer, who debuted in 1998 as a member of the group m-flo. The group rose to prominence in the early 2000s, with hit singles such as "How You Like Me Now?" and "Come Again." Takahashi was also a member of avex's 20th anniversary dance music project ravex, and has produced songs for musicians such as Crystal Kay, Ami Suzuki and Rie fu, and remixes for Utada Hikaru and Ayumi Hamasaki. He has formed the record labels Tachytelic Records and TCY Recording.Read More...
Taku Takahashi grew up in Yokohama, with his father employed in the construction industry. He attended high school in Tokyo, at St. Mary's International School, along with Verbal. In 1992, the pair formed a rap rock band called N.M.D. in 1992, in which Takahashi wrote the music and performed the drums. The band received many offers from major record labels after their live performances, however as Verbal did not see being a rapper as a practical career, these offers were turned down. The pair went their separate ways after high school, with Takahashi traveling to Beverly Hills, Los Angeles in 1994, attending Occidental College, and Verbal to Boston. Takahashi tried majoring in physics, philosophy and Asian Studies with little success. He enrolled in a local music school, beginning his career as a DJ and songwriter.
Takahashi returned to Japan in the mid 1990s, and formed a musical unit with a female vocalist, called Love Soul. Sending a demo tape of this group into Artimage management led Takahashi to meet Masaji Asakawa from the DJ group GTS. Takahashi began producing music full-time, and in 1998 recorded a cover of Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" with Verbal, when he returned to Japan for winter break. This song, followed by "Been So Long," featuring vocals from LISA, were well-received by Asakawa, leading the trio to form a group called m-flo, officially debuting in 1999. The group's first release, "The Tripod EP," debuted in the top 10 on the Japanese singles chart. The group achieved great success in 2000 and 2001 with the songs "How You Like Me Now?" and "Come Again," with the former selling more than 220,000 copies, and the latter approximately 390,000 copies. The band's second album, Expo Expo, debuted at #4 on the charts.
In 2002, Lisa left m-flo to follow a solo career, causing the band to begin releasing albums with a variety of famous vocalists. This lead to Takahashi working on collaborations with a variety of artists. His first notable produced singles were Crystal Kay's "Hard to Say" and "Boyfriend (Part II)" in 2002/2003. At the same time, he created a production label, Tachytelic Records. An audition was held to find vocalists for Takahashi to produce, with the grand winner being songwriter Emi Hinouchi. Between 2002 and 2003, the label produced only six releases: Emi Hinouchi's first four singles and debut album, along with a DJ mix tape created by Takahashi called Tachytelic Night: Welcomes You to the Far East. However, none of the releases were very successful, with all of the releases charting under the #100 mark on Oricon charts. The label continued to promote events, such as the regular Tachytelic Night DJ set events, and Takahashi's production of the Pro Evolution Soccer 6 theme song, Ukatrats FC's "Win and Shine." However, after 2006 the label ceased to exist.
Takahashi continued working full-time with m-flo until mid 2007, when the tour for the group's fifth album Cosmicolor finished and m-flo ceased regular activities. Since then, the group has released a strong of compilation albums, such as greatest hit albums and outside collaborative work compilation albums. Since then, Takahashi has regularly produced songs and remixes for musicians, including several Western musicians (Calvin Harris, Lady Sovereign, The Ting Tings). He has participated in many DJ events, including his self-produced Orthosync events, and many House Nation events. In 2008, Takahashi became a member of ravex, a three DJ group formed for the 20th anniversary of the avex music group. The group's resulting 2009 album, trax, was much like m-flo's later labums, featuring a collection of vocalists from across avex record labels.