Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tokyo International Music Market



My friend Yuki Nagame whom I went to odaiba with 2 years ago, contacted me out of the blue to introduce me to his friend Takuo who needed a English speaker to explain Sync Music Japan’s concept to foreign guests at the Tokyo International Music Market.

Though I have already found work and am steadily working at night I decided to give this a shot because it seemed very interesting. I spoke with Takuo for a little while on skype about what exactly Is Sync Music Japan. However, my Japanese isn’t very good nor is Takuo’s English so we decided to meet up before hand in person to talk about it.

A couple days later, I met up with Takuo in Shibuya and we talked about it in McDs. The information packet he gave me was in English so I was able to understand it not too badly. We also talked about some other things unrelated to the project. Takuo is a guitarist who is a graduate of Keio University who is going to go for his masters in Law. Currently he is in a band and he likes visual-kei however other bandmates of his who are willing to do visual kei style do not yet have experience in it so he asked me if I would help design the band’s image and help with possibly future graphics such as logos and album covers and so on. (in other words something like a manager or something or another) We talked about this casually for a little while and then got on the topic about singing. I wanted to hear the way he sings so he took me to karaoke for a few hours. His voice was quite good.

Because we both have to wake up early the next day, he left on first train and I tried my best to sleep early. (although quite unsuccessful ) The first day, I met everyone at shingawa. Our leader happened to be the head of Myspace Japan. We hanged up the posters and there was a briefing on what the company is all about.

The day went by pretty quickly and it was quite fun being able to talk to various people in the music industry. (because im writing this almost 6months later I do not remember their names) Two of the most interesting people who came to our counter were a musician producer from france who had a lot to say about marketing Japanese artists for a world market. According to him, which im inclined to agree, Japan has a very particular taste in what becomes pop and if Japan were to want to market themselves to the world they will need some outside ideas. Because of the nature of Japanese culture, way of doing things and way of thinking being so highly monitored its difficult to come up with ideas that can appeal to more than just a Japanese audience and thus outside producers main purpose is to brace Japanese artists for the global market. Another interesting person that I met was a woman from Canada who is doing an anthropology study in Japan focusing particularly in pop culture/youth culture. I had quite a interesting chat with her about various things.

Through-out the 2 days of the TIMM, I was able to experience a different feel of life in Japan. That of one of the day and rather more “normal” culture. (as opposed to the night culture and the youth culture of gyaru/gyaruo, hosts/kyabas) Of course working at night during these days were tiring as hell but I think it was all worth it. It was a nice break with hanging with university students and doing things in the day. I guess this is what I call the “light” life. But all in all I still do prefer the night life more.

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