How does music shape you as a person?
Music is such an important influence in our lives. It can have a profound effect on us as it can shape our memories and character. This is absolutely true for musicians as music from their past can shape a musician’s future.
This is one of the many talking points that I discussed with TOKYO MARRY, a Japanese musician residing in Tokyo, Japan, over Skype recently. We talked about his influences, his career, and also his recent release entitled “Kawaii Yes”. Check out what he had said about himself and his music while listening to “Kawaii Yes”, which is found at the end of this post.
About TOKYO MARRY
Tokyo Marry is a Japanese musician who grew up in Hiroshima Prefecture in Southern Japan. When he was younger, he would listen to Japanese musicians a lot. However, when he got to high school, his musical taste buds shifted as he was more into other countries’ bands and artists like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Junior, Steely Dan, and Prince.
For his artistry, TOKYO MARRY talked about how the music of his youth had helped to set up the future of his musical career. For him, Jpop and Jrock were the foundation for his music, while Alt Rock, Grunge, and Shibuya Kei gave him the wings to fly. They gave him more opportunities, new sounds, and more freedom to make the music he always wanted to make.
Western music has further my artistry. It has deepened my taste buds towards musicTOKYO MARRY
As for the artist’s name, there are two reasons why the artist chose the name TOKYO MARRY. One reason was that it was easy to pronounce in English and Japanese. MARRY sounds like the name `Marie`, which Japanese people love. But also, TOKYO MARRY chose his name because he felt like he was “married” to Tokyo. Since he was a young boy, TOKYO MARRY dreamt of moving to Tokyo: a city full of opportunities, experiences, fun, and life. Once he got there, he fell in love with Tokyo and thus got “married” to it. He continues to enjoy living in Tokyo.
Finally, TOKYO MARRY had this to say when asked the question “What do you want people to listen to in your music?”:
I would like many people from all over the world to listen to my music. For example, American people don’t listen to music from different countries, I would like a foreign country people to listen to foreign country music. Listen to music from around the world in various languages.TOKYO MARRY
For my songs, I want people to listen to them to hear the beauty of the Japanese language.
About TOKYO MARRY’s Latest: “Kawaii Yes”
“KAWAII YES” is a mixture of folk, Shibuya Kei, and alternative music. Taken from the name of the Shibuya district in Tokyo, Shibuya Kei is something akin to indie pop. A genre that stems back to 80s city-pop, Shibuya Kei was popular in the 90s but still enjoyed today by many indie-pop enthusiasts.
I really like “KAWAII YES” as it is a perfect song for me as a Jpop/rock fan but also an indie pop and rock fan. For me, the tune sounds like a mixture of past musical genres and/or artists (Folk and Tatsuro Yamashita) with modern Western genres like an alternative rock (Green Day). But, though the tune has been influenced by past and present musical genres and artists, you can hear how TOKYO MARRY made the song unique with its unique melodies and instrumentation.
Don’t mistake “KAWAII YES” as a soft rock song. It does seem like that with the soft vocals and acoustic guitar in the beginning. But, by the chorus, the energy is ramped up as the acoustic guitar is exchanged for a blazing electric guitar and the drums pounding each downbeat. The chorus then ends with a little diddle that has the singer sing the title of the song. I really love the melody here as TOKYO MARRY composed it in such a way where he brilliantly ties folk, Shibuya-kei, and alternative together.
You can check out “Kawaii Yes” below. Let me know what you think about the song in the comments below!
Also, check out his newest song “100% Cuticle”:
You can check out more about TOKYO MARRY and his latest releases/lives at the following: