It was the mid-nineties, Yukimi was 14, Fredrik and Erik were 16 when they met for the first time at high-school in Gothenburg, Sweden.
They started hanging out together and very soon all 3 began playing in a band called “Ava“. After graduating from high-school each one tried to survive as musicians with side jobs in cafes, liquor stores, videostores, music shops, truck driving, selling strawberries, taxi driving and much much more.
Around the same time, Håkan had moved to Gothenburg from the deep dark woods of Småland. After several failed attempts to get into the music university Håkan changed direction and began to study enviromental issues but was also playing in different bands one of them being a reggae band that Erik was drumming with and Fredrik playing bass. Together Håkan, Fredrik and Erik toured with the “Nazereenes” and also with Ugandan reggae star Maddox in Ethiopia and Uganda.
As with Håkan, Yukimi also tried and failed several times to be accepted into music school. Whilst being rejected she accepted the invitation to record as guest vocalist with Koop on their Waltz for Koop album and eventually travelled the world touring with them. Yukimi guest vocalled on a variety of other stuff but in the end had to start making her own music.
Yukimi moved in with Håkan, Fredrik and Erik in a collective near Gothenburg Central Station. It was a big space called The Seal Colonie. The myth goes that the people who moved in would eventually turn into seals. The money Yukimi was earning from playing with Koop became the foundation of the soon to be studio of Little Dragon, which at the time was also their home.
In the early days Yukimi and Erik were deeply influenced by American R’n’B, so the first songs they made were copies of styles they liked mostly in that slow sluggish tempo. After a year or so of infinite numbers of covers of those slow sluggish songs they got tired of the sound and decided to start afresh.
Erik would start with some drum beats and Yukimi would sing melodies to them and that process gave birth to songs like Test and Forever. Håkan then used his very big grey computer to make beats and songs in his bedroom and eventually Fredrik started making music aswell. Yukimi started writing lyrics and recording vocal ideas on all the guys tracks. There were no deadlines, no money and no pressure. Soon there was a mountain of half-finished songs. Finally a close friend Christoffer Berg (aka Hird) got a hold of the songs and was interested in releasing a special edition single on vinyl on his and Daniel Nords label Off The Wall. This came as a big surprise and joy.
Yukimi would easily loose her temper in the studio out of pure creative frustration for various reasons, she therefore earned the name Little Dragon.
When the opportunity to release a single came by the group decided to choose Little Dragon as the band name. The single got good reviews and became Rough Trade single of the week. Yukimi and Erik were also singing backup vocals and percussion with singer songwriter José Gonzalez.
Peacefrog who also released José’s music got a hold of the Off The Wall single and proposed an album deal.
In 2007, Little Dragon released their first debute album on Peacefrog Recordings full of songs made at the Seal Colonie. Artwork for the cover was made by Yukimi’s father Yusuke Nagano.
The album was well recieved in many corners of the world and got a lot of support from the radio station Kcrw in Los Angeles.
Little Dragon still had a mountain of songs and were ready with their second album already in 2007. Yet after playing live around the world the band decided to change things around a bit for there second release. They decided to make some more uptempo songs that people would dance to.
Machine Dreams became a album of olds songs and new ones reshaped into a more electronic soul/pop blend and was released on Aug 31 2009. Artwork created by Hideyuki Katsumata, a japanese artist the band met through myspace.
In-between making albums Little Dragon made remixes for their own tracks, some film music and lots of touring. Now the Little Dragons no longer live in their studio but their third album is currently in the making.