is a Japanese
descent. He moved to New York City in the late 1980s to be an art student, but soon dropped out as he became involved in the New York City club scene. He first earned notice for his remix work on tracks from the Jungle Brothers
' 1989 LP Done by the Forces of Nature
In 1990, he shot to fame as a member of the downtown New York club trio Deee-Lite. The group scored an international hit with "Groove Is In the Heart."
In 1991, Towa Tei and Super DJ Dmitri collaborated with Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto on the song "Rap the World."
After two albums, 1990's World Clique and 1992's Infinity Within, Towa Tei left Deee-Lite to begin working on solo projects; his debut album, Future Listening! a montage of bossa nova, jazz, and electronic dance music, appeared in 1995. His second album was 1998's Sound Museum. On it, he collaborated with Kylie Minogue on the track "GBI: German Bold Italic," which reached number 20 in Japan and number 63 in the UK. Bebel Gilberto also did vocals for the album. This was followed by the album Last Century Modern in 1999.
In 2005, Towa Tei released a new album titleded Flash and a new single with Minogue, "Sometime Samurai", which reached number six in Japan.
- 2004 Motivation-Songs for Make Up
- 2004 Motivation-Driving Sweets
- 2005 Motivation3
- 2005 Motivation4 -Dusty Dance Halls
- 2007 Motivation Five
Singles and EPs
- 1994 Future Recall!
- 1995 Future Recall 2
- 1997 Stupid Fresh
- 2000 Lost Control Mix
- 2000 Lost Control Mix 2
- 2003 Re: Towa Tei Sweet Robots Against the Machine
- 2006 Flasher
- 2002 Towa Tei / Best
- 2003 Best Korea (Korea only)