Bristol

Naoki Iijima: Tributes paid to Bristol music scene champion

Mr Iijima in his record shop in Tokyo Image copyright Naoki Iijima
Image caption Naoki Iijima regularly housed Bristol artists in his family home when he invited them to play at venues in Tokyo

Musicians are raising funds to honour the death of an "extraordinary" man who made music from Bristol big in Japan.

Naoki Iijima, 48, who died on 11 February from cancer, owned a record shop in Tokyo which was home to the biggest archive of music from Bristol outside of the UK.

Artists said Mr Iijima had always championed the city's musical heritage and held a passion for its music scene.

Money raised from any tribute tracks being released will go to his family.

Mr Iijima founded Disk Shop Zero in 1993 and collected records from the Bristol music scene from the 1980s onwards.

His shop became a regular haunt for record hunters looking for rare music and led to Mr Naoki forming strong friendships with musicians and bands such as Massive Attack, Kahn, Rider Shafique and Smith and Mighty.

Artists described him as someone who "knew Bristol better than Bristolians" because of his vast knowledge of the city's culture.

Joe McGann, also known as Kahn, said: "I remember him coming all the way over to London to catch an early Young Echo event at the legendary, but now extinct, Plastic People club where he was filming and documenting it all."

He added: "Our community is truly devastated by this loss."

Image copyright Naoki Iijima
Image caption Bristol musicians Rider Shafique and Sam Binga with Mr Iijima and his family in his Tokyo record shop
Image copyright Naoki Iijima
Image caption The Bristol Post wrote an article about Mr Iijima and his dedication to the city's music scene in 1999

Annie McGann, the founder of Save Bristol Nightlife, said Mr Iijima's passion had brought the two cities together.

She added: "I want Bristol to realise the cultural heritage it has and hope Naoki's passion and life's dedication to Bristol culture expresses that."

Dubstep artist Pinch said: "Naoki is someone who has always paid attention and someone we all admired."

Gloucester MC Rider Shafique also said Mr Iijima was "very important" to Bristol's music scene.

Musicians from Bristol and Japan are due to release a compilation of music later this year in tribute to Mr Iijima.

Image copyright Khali Ackford
Image caption Flynn Ites, Smith and Mighty, Pinch, Stryda, Rider Shafique, Sam Binga, Kahn, Neek are among Bristol artists due to release a compilation in tribute to Mr Iijima

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