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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yo Hitoto -- Morai Naki (もらい泣き)

As much as I enjoyed Yo Hitoto's(一青窈)cover of "Tanin no Kankei"(他人の関係)that I found out about when I did the posting for the song yesterday, I think I would be rather remiss if I didn't profile some of the songs that propelled her to stardom in the first place lickety-split.

So, there is her debut single, "Morai Naki" (Crying in Sympathy) from October 2002. When I first saw her on TV, I thought she looked like an old acquaintance from my university days, and like my friend, Hitoto is also half-Taiwanese and half-Japanese. What also stood out about her was her vocal style which reminded me of Okinawan music and the distinctive way she expressed herself while performing. The song itself also had a certain exotic brio about it.

Hitoto graduated from Keio University from the Department of Environmental Information, but during her time there, she also explored her musical possibilities by attending jazz seminars and participating in the university a capella group K.O.E. There, she met Yoichi Kitayama (北山陽一...later of The Gospellers) who complimented Hitoto on her poetry, something that she had been doing since her elementary school days, and encouraged her to think about a singing career. And the rest is history, as they say.

"Morai Naki" was a home run for Hitoto who wrote the lyrics. Daichi Mizobuchi, Tatsuro Mashiko and Satoshi Takebe(溝渕大智、マシコタツロウ、武部聡志)came up with the music for the song which peaked at No. 4 and became the No. 13 song on the 2003 annual chart. Going Double Platinum, Hitoto also got that invitation to the Kohaku Utagassen and received Best Newcomer Prizes for the various awards shows such as The Japan Record Awards and The Japan Gold Disc Awards. "Morai Naki" is also on her debut album, "Tsuki Tenshin"(月天心...Providence of the Moon)which came out in December 2002 which also went as high as No. 4 on the album charts and became the 17th-ranked album for 2003.

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