Street Life

As I am sure everyone knows now, YUI is my absolute favourite singer song writer and actually maybe my favourite musician.

She comes from a very modest background and a single parent home, and when she was a teenager she did not have any money and so she played music in the street to make money.  She says in interviews that this is where she learned to be a performer.

I love her songs as they really talk to me in a very direct way and she sings in a really natural style that sometimes feels just like she is talking in some ways.

She always shows total integrity and her songs are really direct and honest and very human.  She is very positive and always shows girls as strong and in control in her songs, and even in the sad songs where she is doubting herself, she never acts a victim.  This message coming from someone from such an modest background I find this very inspiring.

She comes from  Fukuoka, which is a city in the industrial area of Fukuoka-Kitakyūshū.  When she became 17 in 2004 she contracted to Sony Music and became one of the most popular artist in Japan.  She has released 5 albums, four have been platinum albums and one double platinum she also has 9 gold singles.  So she is really a major star here in Japan and all Asia actually.

Even if she is being super talented she is also totally cool and natural.  She still plays in the street very often.  She says in interviews that playing in the street she can really get to feel and connect to the people.

I found some you tube videos of her performing in the street that I would like to share.

Of course the sound is really not very good at all as it is captured by the people and there is the background noise also, but I hope you can see something of her personality in the videos. At the end I posted a video of two tracks from this year concert in Hong Kong.

The first video is from 2005 and she playing in the street in Sendai before her concert there when she was first becoming successful.

This video is captured by a fan on a mobile phone so the quality is not so good but I like it ! ! !

She is  singing the song  It’s happy line

This year she toured Japan and Asia to promote her totally wonderful new album Hotel Holiday In The Sun, and played in Hong Kong.

Of course now she is a big star but she still really wants to play in the street next to the people.  So she toured Hong Kong in a bus and just stopped here and there and played some songs in the street, even if the record company and promoters were very worried about it.

Here she is in Hong Kong playing in the street.  I think you can really see her personality in this video ! ! !

(but the sound is very poor)

She is playing the song Good Bye Days

Finally I want to show you a video clip from the concert she played after that.

In this clip she plays two songs. The first is called Again, and second is Rolling Star.

I wish there were more artists with her integrity and humanity ! ! !   I hope one day she will become more known in the West.

Do The Spillers know any really big artist that still play in the streets?

7 thoughts on “Street Life

  1. It’s tricky without knowing the language, but she has some good tunes.

    This guy’s not very famous, but he does play in the street:

  2. I fear language is the big barrier here. Only super intelligent, wise and totally cool people ( such as my goodself) can be bothered to listen to much “foreign” stuff ( it’s better than it used to be thanks to Womad and such like things as that).
    It’s a great shame. As you may know this year has been my “Year of Japanese Music” and I can honestly say I’ve never enjoyed discovering so much great new music.
    It doesn’t bother me if the song is sung in one of them funny languages you have over there in Asia, it’s the over all effect I go for anyway.
    Of course this means I miss the subtle nuances of the song meanings which, I think, is probably vital in an artist like Yui. More so than in the more “punk” artists which I favour, perhaps.

    She is clearly very talented. I do wish she’d tell her band to stop acting like 80s “rock dudes” and stop jiffling about, though.

    I can’t think of anyone who currently busks ( the laws here are a bit tight on that sort of thing) but here’s a song from someone who started out busking.
    Dave Brock of Hawkwind…woooooo…..

    • This is great ! ! ! That is Lemmy from Motorhead right?

      I can not decide which I like most, this or the William Shatner cover you posted in the challenge…..maybe this one from a musical perspective and WS from a comedy perspective ! ! !

      • Sorry, I wanted to say how much I enjoy your Japanese music posts here and on RR.

        Her band has changed. Until a year or two ago she had a different band and they were much more like a backing band and just stayed in the background and accompanied her songs. But with this band she plays much more like a band member and the band are more to the front in the shows, but of course when she is doing the acoustic tracks they go to the background.

        But yes they can be a little distracting ! ! !

      • Yes, that is Lemmy. Amazingly he was sacked from Hawkwind for taking drugs.
        Which is rather like anyone getting sacked from a band for breathing.
        I’m very fond of Hawkwind, I was just old enough to be part of the “hairy” scene in the early 70s. We would grow our hair long and greasy, dress in old army greatcoats and gather in fields where we would chant “Haireee Haireee” and listen to bands like Gong or Hawkwind.
        The audience in this clip are doing “idiot dancing” (Stand there, shake head, look stupid) which is the just about the only dance I can do ( or would want to do).
        Happy days.

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