INTERVIEW: Yasuyuki Okamura
Yasuyuki Okamura is one of the rare singer-songwriters who has had a long career but still continues to work at the cutting edge. In addition to his stunning performances on stage as a singer and dancer, his own music and its unique sound are major attractions.
In his own music and production work, he plays nearly all of the instruments himself, and now he has added the ARP Odyssey to his production setup. The powerful sound of the ARP Odyssey can be heard on the B-side of his new single, entitled "Hair." We've asked Okamura himself to comment on the attraction of this instrument.
"When I think of the original ARP Odyssey, I think of the YMO members Hosono and Sakamoto, and also of the thick, funky bass used by Herbie Hancock. Its design is simple yet refined, and I've been wanting to try using it. Although I had always imagined that it would be difficult to take advantage of in my current recording environment, I recently heard that a new ARP ODYSSEY would be appearing, and along with Shiraishi, the synthesizer programmer whom I work with (*1), I've been looking forward to it.
Now that I've actually been using it, I've been surprised in many ways. The size and new functionality are wonderful, but most important has been a feeling of freshness and enjoyment as if I were tweaking a synth in depth for the first time. It's full of primitive power, and I feel as though I want to keep playing with it forever. I was able to get funky sounds and ferocious sounds that don't exist on recent synths with their countless presets. The B-side of the single I released recently has a synth solo using the ARP ODYSSEY. I don't include synth solos very often, but it sounded so cool that I included this one anyway. I'm looking forward to using it live. (*2)."*1 Motohisa Shiraishi, who provides synthesizer programming for live performances as well as productions.
*2 Tour member Fujiko Taiko (keyboards) used the ARP ODYSSEY on the 2015 Fall tour, "The Meaning of Love."
Singer, songwriter, and dancer from Hyogo prefecture, born in 1965. After being involved as a composer with the productions of numerous artists, he debuted in 1986 with "Out of Blue." Absorbing the essence of a wide variety of music, including black music, rock, pop, and Japanese popular music, his developed melodies and arrangements span a diverse range from groovy to thoughtful.
In addition, his enormous popularity is based on his fresh and unique lyrics that are unmatched for portraying the subtleties of youth and love. He is also a player of uncommon ability who has mastered numerous instruments. He has released six original albums. In 2011 he simultaneously released two discs containing cover versions of his own songs. These up-to-date versions of his songs drew a strong response. His latest single is "Love Message," the theme song of "All Esper Dayo!," a television program produced by Shion Sono. Incidentally, his nickname is "Okamura-chan."