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, August 31, 2020

Ryuichiro Akamatsu -- Hello/Stay At Home

After listening to Tomoyo Harada's(原田知世)2019 contribution to NHK's "Minna no Uta"(みんなのうた), the fun-loving "Kotoba Dori"(コトバドリ), I became interested in the works of the singer-songwriter Ryuichiro Akamatsu(赤松隆一郎)so I checked out YouTube along with his own official website "Faint Light". He's got a pretty snazzy setup there.

I came across two of his songs that I wanted to spotlight briefly. One is his 2016 "Hello" which seems to be aimed at those folks who are going through some tough times and may have even ended up as shut-ins from the world. It's a little over 7 minutes long and it's an encouraging song about coming to terms over who one is and accepting any faults and darkness within oneself. The video reflects this as a young girl goes on the run of her life and it certainly looks like the lass who's been identified (and praised) as Yu Aikawa(相川結)in Akamatsu's own description did the whole thing without any editing cuts whatsoever.

The other Akamatsu song here is the succinct "Stay At Home", and it was uploaded onto YouTube in April of this year. Certainly from the title, it's about what we've all been enduring for the past several months due to COVID-19. Akamatsu basically gives his own PSA on asking folks to stay home and keep everyone safe but at the same time, he's also encouraging them to keep tabs on each other and addressing everyone's concerns and fears of the present and future.

Akamatsu only has a brief profile of himself at "Faint Light" in which he says that he started his music career while in university when he helped put together a band, LAB, in 1998. The group managed to release one album and three maxi-singles until their breakup in 2004. Later in 2013, he joined up with another group, Antimon(アンチモン...Antimony), and he's still involved with them while also keeping up his solo career.

Speaking of the COVID-19 situation, my province of Ontario is undergoing its usual basketball slow dribble in terms of the daily infection rates. We've been going up and down in the low 100s for the past several days, but after a month in Stage III, it looks like that we haven't suffered any major surge (knocking hard on wood right now) thankfully and hopefully it'll stay that way although we're not sure what the autumn will bring. In any case, with the slow re-opening of things economically and in other ways, I'm happy to say that I personally took a further step forward and had my first haircut at my local barber shop for the first time since January. Maybe sometime this weekend, I might even get out of my neighbourhood for the first time in nearly 6 months and meet a couple of friends for coffee.☕

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