From here to Tokyo

Henry Buckley playing a set in Tokyo.

AMSTERDAM – From Tokyo to Las Vegas. From Las Vegas to Tokyo. From Tokyo to here. From here to Tokyo. At the age of 21, Henry Buckley has probably already lived in more continents than most people will in their entire lifetime. Being brought up with the Japanese and American nationality, and having spent time living in both countries, Buckley has developed a unique taste for music that has made him a well-respected DJ and artist within the community of Amsterdam University College.

From here to Tokyo
Dutch expression used to describe long distances.
“I spent the weekend walking from here to Tokyo.”

It all started in Ayase, a suburb of Tokyo, where Kazune Ehara (meaning “peaceful sound”) was born to a Japanese mother and an American father. His father being American, he was also registered an American citizen under the name of Henry Buckley. “Pronunciation of names in English and Japanese can differ a lot, which is why my parents gave me my English name too,” he said. His parents chose to let his Japanese grandfather give him his Japanese name, Kazune, while using the name of his father, Henry, for his American identity.

His dual citizenship is part of the reason Henry Buckley has spent large portions of his childhood living in parts of the United States. Both first and second grade and a part of the sixth grade, he spent in schools in the city of Las Vegas. It was during this period in middle school that he started playing instruments like the trumpet, piano, violin, and guitar.

Music has always been a defining property of the Buckley family. Henry’s mother, who is the daughter of a Japanese pastor, has dedicated a big part of her life to religious music. Besides having taught singing in choirs, she spends her days researching Protestant music, trying to make sense of the sounds that have been played in churches for centuries. His father was the person who was always playing music at home, and even though his specific style is not necessarily the DJ’s favorite, it did teach him how to appreciate different types of music.

This love for music kept on developing through his high school years when he started experimenting with mixing and making music on his laptop. “At. this point I just kind of started playing at friends’ parties and stuff. Nothing serious yet though,” Buckley said. That was until he moved to Amsterdam in 2015.

Henry Buckley posing for a shoot by AUC photographer Andrew Kambel.

The moment he started taking DJ’ing more seriously was after he joined Amsterdam University College, where he met Plamen Valkov, a Science student from Bulgaria. Valkov, who was raised in South Africa, was already an experienced DJ who had made and released several mixes. He taught Henry many of the technical skills he possesses today and paved the way for future successes.

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine an AUC party that doesn’t have “Young Buckley” (Buckley’s stage name) mentioned in the line-up. Having played at events from big-name committees like Solace and AUC Webradio among others. The latter board described his style as “fast-paced and cool,” and said they would definitely organize an event with him again if possible.

In the future, Buckley would like to focus more on other forms of art besides music. Whereas before he liked to focus more on organizing events and promoting others’ art, he would now like to start creating his own works. Things he’s interested in would be painting, paper cutting and making collages, among others. Either way, his heart will always remain with music. “I will never be able to fully detach music from my art”, Buckley said.

Whatever it is he will pursue in the future, one thing that’s sure is that it will involve art. His unique mix of eastern and western influences will continue to influence him and many others around him. Henry and his works will be seen everywhere, from here to Tokyo.


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