For the last four decades, this man has brought the world a plethora of electronic instruments through his company Roland Corporation. Being played by the likes of Kanye West and Marvin Gaye, Ikutaro’s instruments have become a staple for electronic and hip-hop music.
It all began in the 1950s, when Ikutaro began repairing electric organs in his appliance store. At age 28, he had created prototypes of his very own organs. This led to the realisation that the music business was for him, and in 1972 Roland Corporation was founded.
Throughout his career, Ikutaro has pioneered instruments such as the EP-30 Keyboard. This was the world’s first touch sensitive electric piano, an instrument which today’s music would not be here without.
Aside from all that has been achieved with Roland, Ikutaro Kakehashi is also the founder of BOSS Corporation. BOSS’s effects pedals have been hugely influencing the sounds achieved by guitarists, since 1973. With notable players such as James Hetfield, Kurt Cobain and Slash, it is no surprise that in 2013 Ikutaro was awarded a technical Grammy for his contribution to electronic music.
Throughout his 40 year career with Roland, Ikutaro has engineered ground-breaking musical technologies. These included Keyboards, Synthesisers, and BOSS’s extensive range of guitar effects.
For this, we must pay our respects to this hugely influential man who sadly left us on the 1st April this year.
Tommy Snyder, Ikutaro’s colleague for over 40 years wrote: “He was a super funny, wonderful and gifted human being, and his contributions to the musical instrument world, and music, touched millions of people worldwide. RIP dear Taro.”