Miho Tezuka - Vocals
Hometown: Tochigi Prefecture
Yasunari Okano - Keyboard
Hometown: Yamaguchi Prefecture
tight rope song sample
miniature city 2
tight rope (floor mix)
Snow Harp (11-2-2005)
Where to Buy
Order from CD Japan
Order from iTunes
See their MySpace page for more options.
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"When I was a kid I had the chance to perform in front of many people and got applause, so I think I decided to become a musician at that time."
Music got into the blood of Yasunari Okano of the group vividblaze at an early age. Now teamed up with vocalist and lyrist Miho Tezuka, the group are charting their own path in music, combining elements of Jazz, Latin music, Pop and House. Their first three albums "marin," "Snow Harp" and "PERIDOT" reflect this pleasing mixing of styles.With a new album on the way and songs now available on iTunes its time to take a listen to the laidback tunes of Yasunari and Miho and hear about their music, their history, and discover the answer to that most pressing question: exactly how long is Miho's hair?
On July 23, 2009 the members of vividblaze were kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of vividblaze.
How would you describe your band's musical style?
We don't stick to any one genre, we just express what we want to do.
Can you tell us how you first got together?
Yasunari: I was looking for a vocalist and at the same time Miho was looking for a composer and somebody who could arrange songs. Then one of our common friends introduced the two of us.
What other groups had you been in before vividblaze?
Yasunari: Love connections.
What type of music did you want to create and play together?
Jazz, Latin music, Pop, Funk, R&B, House etc... We try many kinds of music. Basically, we think the melody is the most important part of a song, so we look for arrangements that best match each melody.
What were some of the first places you performed at?
"Club Asia" in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Who writes the music and lyrics for the group?
Yasunari Okano: music & arrangement.
Miho Tezuka: lyrics and chorus arrangement.
What was your first original song?
Yasunari: Now by Love connections (thought it was not released). Marin by vividblaze.
Tell us about working on your first album together.
Yasunari: We gave each other ideas about what we wanted to do. Usually, I programmed the song and Miho wrote the lyrics. Recording was limited in time and budget, so we just did the best we could do.
You completed your second album, "Snow Harp," in 2005. Had your music changed from your earlier work?
We unconsciously changed the music at this time. It's natural. We cared more about organizing a melody for only piano.
Can you describe how the music was recorded?
Our music was recorded in a home studio or at our office's studio. We changed up the style of recording songs.
In 2007 you released "PERIDOT." What songs are you most proud of?
Mirage. We composed this song 10 years ago. There are few lyrics in the music, but it's the highlight of our show.
Do you have a favorite song to play live?
Our debut song marin. We always play this at the end of each show.
Do you have any rituals you do to prepare for a show?
We form a circle with the supporting musicians.
Do you have nicknames for each other?
What is your relationship with your fans like? Do you talk to them a lot before or after a show, or do you keep some professional distance?
It depends on the place and atmosphere. Usually we do talk to fans.
Your song tight rope (floor mix) is featured in a video called "miniature city 2". Can you tell us about the video and the song?
This video was created by "mock moon" (a visual creator). We've been good friend for 10 years. The wonderful image is of present Tokyo city, which looks like a miniature. He produced these visual techniques a long time ago and he got into the news here in Japan. He used our band's VJ at the show, and we worked with him. We released the video after a longtime just for fun. So, we were surprised to get No.1 on the music section of "YouTube Japan" but we're very happy!!
Your music is now available internationally on iTunes?
Yes, our first world release of tight rope (floor mix) was released on iTunes on 7-1-2009.
What are the band's plans for the rest of the year?
We will release a new album later this year.
Let's get to know everyone better. Can you each describe the hometown you grew up in?
Yasunari: Yamaguchi Prefecture - Near the ocean, a quiet city.
Miho: Tochigi Prefecture - Its about 2 hours by car from Tokyo. It's a countryside city.
What kind of kids were you growing up?
Yasunari: Very shy kid.
Miho: I loved dressing up and learning my mother's fashion.
How did you first get into music?
Yasunari: My first opportunity was learning to play the electric organ when I was little.
Miho: When I was 3 years old I began learning to play the piano.
Who have been your greatest musical inspirations?
Yasunari: Stevie Wonder, Ivan Lins, etc... and trumpeter "Kuni." He's always joined our show and recordings. He's given me great inspiration.
Miho: My junior high school music teacher.
When and how did you decide to become professional musicians?
Yasunari: When I was a kid I had the chance to perform in front of many people and got applause, so I think I decided to become a musician at that time.
Miho: I have always wanted to be a singer ever since childhood.
What did your friends and family think about your musical career?
Everyone truly supported us.
Miho we have to ask... how long is your hair?
Miho: I don't know exactly, but about 1 meter?? I've been keeping this hairstyle for 10 years.
On the romantic side, do you have a favorite place to go on a date?
Miho: Not especially... I like nature and quiet place, so I like to go round temples and hometown.
Outside of music, what do you do for fun and relaxation?
Miho: Just relaxing at home, watching movies, reading books and enjoying aroma therapy. Also, I love handicraft and making cloth or small articles to sell at my web shop. I think I can truly relax while using my hands.
Do you have anything else you want to bring up or comment on?
We will release a new album this year after a longtime. Also, we collaborated with "mock moon" again at Google's favorite places observation platform for the Tokyo area (new project of Google Japan). You can watch & listen to the video and music, so please check these out!!
Do you have a final message to all your fans?We hope our music will always be everyone's favorite song in their hearts!!
For more info checkout vividblaze's official site and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments