I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ryota Mitsunaga -- Always

I'm not sure what the impetus was behind my purchase of Ryota Mitsunaga's(光永亮太)"Always". Either I watched an episode or two from the Fuji-TV drama "Itsumo Futari de" (いつもふたりで...Always The Two of Us)which had the song as the theme or I heard it at a listening post in one of the major CD shops. In any case, I enjoyed listening to it enough that I bought the CD single. At the time, singers like Misia and bird were pretty popular with their brand of R&B/pop with that certain flavour of soul/disco, and I placed Mitsunaga in that category.

Ryota Mitsunaga is a singer-songwriter who hails from Tokyo but spent a good chunk of his childhood in Chicago. Apparently at the age of 4 years, he wanted to become a singer after watching a video of "We Are The World", and has been influenced by a number of the participants in that famous project including Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Hall & Oates. 80s band Anzen Chitai (安全地帯)also had an effect on him...and to be honest, I think there is a bit of Koji Tamaki (玉置浩二)in his voice.

"Always" was his debut with a major label in February 2003. Mitsunaga wrote the lyrics while Sin provided the music and arrangement. The single went Platinum and went all the way up to No. 5 on Oricon, ending the year as the 31st-ranked song. It is also a track on his debut album, "Inside My Heart" which came out in July of that year. Up to now, he has released 8 singles including his first 2002 single with an independent label, and 4 albums.

Ryota Mitsunaga -- Always

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