Hikaru Utada talks about the Air Studios gig and their musical process

Hikaru Utada talks about the Air Studios gig and their musical process | Random J Pop

People be out of jobs. The US government ain't trying to help nobody on the breadline. Japan don't know what it's doing. Brexit's got delivery lorries stuck at borders, and grocery store shelves looking bare. But Hikaru is out here doing their part to put food on the tables of their fans and keep them FED.

A documentary was shot for Bad Mode, where Hikaru talks about the creative process of putting an album together, how they see themselves as an artist and what spurred them to do the Live Sessions at Air Studios in the first place. Shiseido got dibs on sharing a moment from it, given that Hikaru is currently one of their brand ambassadors, whose song “Find Love” was used in one of their commercials and sent fans into a fucking tailspin between it coming out of nowhere, hitting when there was already a single (“Pink Blood”) on the way, sounding like a bonafide bop AND the song being in English.

Teruzane don't miss a beat, and made sure we got a shot of the Shiseido Ultimune in clear view.

Hikaru Utada's shirt...featuring Shiseido Ultimune | Random J Pop
Teruzane keeps that shit on brand | Instagram @ shiseido

Something random which occurred to me the other day was that Hikaru Utada and Adele both recently put out albums which are similar in terms of their personal realisations, and that both albums feature their sons on a song. Just on paper, there are a bunch of similarities between the two of them. Both are hugely successful. Neither of them are extensive tourers. Both are songwriters. Both are very emotional beings and display this in their music. Both are very ‘matter of factly’ in terms of how they express things. Both live their lives out of the public eye. Neither seems to really grasp or truly get why they’re as big as they are. Neither cares about being a celebrity. And neither of them have released music as regularly as some of their peers.

But this interview made me realise that there are a bunch of under-surface similarities between Hikaru and Adele in terms of how they see themselves. Hikaru says that they find it weird saying that they’re a ‘singer’ when it’s not actually what they do all of the time. Adele had expressed something quite similar; in that she only sings when she’s recording albums and touring, and she doesn’t do either of them frequently. Neither seem to be the type who are always singing and always making music. If there ain’t an album in the works or a performance, or in Hikaru’s case, working with Nariaki Obukuro for his stuff, then they are both just living their lives.

No point to this observation. Just found it interesting, given that I’ve also been listening to Adele’s 30, and she's also an artist who is currently out of hiding and being active at the moment.

Hikaru Utada did a radio show interview which will hit Spotify on January 24th as part of their Liner Voice + series, where artists speak about their albums track-by-track. And as not to disappoint their non Japanese speaking fans, Hikaru's Liner Voice + will be available in both Japanese and English. The sentiment behind the songs on Bad Mode seem pretty clear, but Hikaru's train of thought is pretty unique. So it's going to be interesting hearing how ideas for songs formed, and all of the tidbits that we wouldn't get from just listening to the songs - such as revisions they may have gone through, and how A.G. Cook and Floating Points came into the fold.

💿 Singlekaru Reviewtada: Pink Blood | One Last Kiss | Dare ni mo Iwanai | Time
💿 Albumkaru Reviewtada: Hatsukoi | Fantôme | This is the One | Heart StationUltra Blue | Exodus | Deep River | Distance | First Love

🎧 Spotifykaru Playlistada: Slaykaru Queentada | Hikaru Utada: R&B | Hikaru Utada: Ballads | Hikaru Utada: Bops | Hikaru Utada: Remixes