You may or not be familiar with the wildly experimental pop/rock pioneer, Haruomi Hosono from his integral – if not leading role in 70’s/80’s Japanese pop/electronic group, Yellow Magic Orchestra.
Hosono’s music career dates back to the 1960’s, where he’s dabbled, fused and experimented with a range of genres including psychedelic rock, ambient techno, folk-rock and more, ever since. All the while singing bilingually across both Japanese and English.
Check out ‘TECHNOPOLIS’ by Yellow Magic Orchestra.
In a nutshell, you could say that Hosono has always managed to juggle the esoteric with the accessible, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
As a solo artist today, Hosono still continues to grace the ears of the world with his magical creations, taking him to the US in 2019 on tour. Vice had the chance to sit down with Hosono ahead of his gig in LA.
As reported by Vice, during his performance, at one point he ended up saying, “I used to make electronic music…but I came here to show how much I love American music.”
And it’s obviously a mutual love affair. He’s recently been sampled by Vampire Weekend, created a mixtape for MUJI store and longtime fan, Mac Demarco even performed with him on-stage.
When asked by Vice about how he feels about his work being interpreted by younger Western artists, he said that he didn’t really understand it.
He said, “At first, I didn’t understand why anyone would be into the music that I made for MUJI. I created it as in-store background music, and it was just a job that I did a long time ago, so I had since forgotten about it.”
Hosono continued, “But hearing what Vampire Weekend did with the song, how they discovered it and created a great track, it’s extremely fresh. I was like, ‘oh, this is how you create!’ I wish I had done it myself.”
Hosono’s performance of ‘Sports Men’ was also included in America / Hosono Haruomi Live in US 2019, a selection of recordings from the LA performance.