Well, my friends, the time has come, to raise the roof and have some fun. Throw away the work to be done — let the music play on. With apologies to Lionel, here’s some musical material to play us out — and into the weekend:
- Fuji Rock has announced an all-local lineup for this year’s festival. If done well, it could introduce a wide audience to up-and-coming Japanese talent, writes Patrick St. Michel.
- What will music festivals look like in the wake of the pandemic? Naoki Shimizu, the man behind Japan’s massive Summer Sonic festival, talks with St. Michel about COVID-19 precautions and where we go from here.
- Japanese-British singer Rina Sawayama recently worked with Elton John on “Chosen Family,” a song that delves into her background and identity. She speaks with Shaun Curran about her ties with John, Japan, Britain — and that non-nomination.
- When Leo Konno first encountered the koto, he was struggling to communicate with his fourth-grade classmates at Yokohama International School. As he explains to Yukari Tanaka, his biracial identity informs his cross-cultural approach to the instrument.
- Warp Records’ Flying Lotus drew inspiration from the likes of Vangelis and Isao Tomita in creating the music for “Yasuke,” the anime about Japan’s only Black samurai. But it was seeing Yasuke on screen that lit the spark. “It was just flowing magically after that,” he tells James Hadfield.