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.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fumiya Sashida -- Parallel= (パラレル=)

About a couple of weeks ago, I saw this commercial on YouTube for a Japan-released series of J-AOR/City Pop compilation albums titled "Light Mellow". The commercial showed brief excerpts of every one of the tracks from their "Breeze" album, a couple of which I had already profiled in the blog: Makoto Matsushita's (松下誠)"First Light" and Kirinji's(キリンジ) "Aliens". It was enough for me to send the order in and a couple of days ago, it arrived.

The first track is by someone that I had never heard before by the name of Fumiya Sashida(指田郁也). The Tokyo-born singer-songwriter started classic piano at the tender age of 3 and then decided that he would become a professional artist in the first year of high school. Debuting in 2011 with the single "bird", he has been influenced by singers such as Tatsuro Yamashita, Koji Tamaki and Kazumasa Oda in Japan, as well as David Foster and Bobby Caldwell on the other side of the Pacific. With someone like Bobby Caldwell as Sashida's career hero, I guess it's no surprise when he declared "I'd love to add an AOR essence to any song!"

And boy, did he do this in a big way with his 2nd single, "Parallel=". I mean I couldn't quite believe it when I first heard this and read the liner notes to "Light Mellow -- Breeze" to discover that this had been released in March 2012, and not March 1982. He almost out-Doobie'ed the Doobie Brothers here with that familiar 80s piano riff of his. Sashida took care of everything here with jam helping out on the lyrics. And it makes for a nice launch to my newest CD. 

"Parallel" was also used as one of the ending themes for the anime "Bakuman"(バクマン。), itself an adaptation from the 2008 manga about a couple of teenage boys with dreams of becoming manga artists. There are not too many anime out there that have embraced their inner AOR. Although the single didn't chart, it can be found on Sashida's debut album, "Shiro Kuro"(しろくろ...Black and White).

And for those J-AOR/City Pop fans out there, here is that YouTube ad for "Light Mellow Breeze" that I found. Y'know, thanks to this and Marcos' articles on folks like especia and Hitomitoi, I'm rather reassured that the genre is still hanging in there after 40 years.

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