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Debut Interview: Fuki Kitamura, the Yamagata Prodigy Painting Soundscapes

2024.6.19

北村蕗『500mm』

#PR #MUSIC

Delving into the creative world of musician Fuki Kitamura, aged 21, who has garnered attention with performances at the 2023 “ROOKIE A G-GO” of FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL and upcoming at “GYPSY AVALON” in 2024. Hailing from Yamagata, Kitamura has immersed herself in a wide array of musical genres—from nursery rhymes to classical, jazz, and future soul. She channels these influences through various means such as piano ballads and electronic sets featuring synthesizers. Her latest EP “500mm” focuses on dance music, highlighting her prowess as a versatile track maker infused with her distinctive singer-songwriter persona, resulting in truly innovative compositions. Juggling singing, instrumental prowess, track production, and even artwork, her multifaceted approach is undeniably modern, yet rooted in a deep reservoir of imagination. Driven by curiosity and continual growth, our inaugural interview aimed to capture Kitamura’s journey thus far.

Akiko Yano’s Rhythmic Piano: A Catalyst for Kitamura’s Passion

You’re from Yamagata Prefecture, and according to your profile, you’ve been learning piano and nursery rhymes since you were little. What sparked your interest in starting?

Kitamura: When I was in the first grade of elementary school, my piano teacher, who sang nursery rhymes, suggested that I sing with her. I started singing with her when I was in the first grade of elementary school. I didn’t really enjoy playing the piano according to the textbook, but I liked singing, so I thought to myself at the time that if I had to choose between piano and singing, I would be better at singing.

-It seems you also participated as the Tohoku representative in the “National Nursery Rhymes Singing Contest.

Kitamura: That experience made me think, “I want more people to listen to my singing, and I want to be a singer. That is why I started playing and writing my own lyrics when I was in junior high school. I started out playing the guitar, but one day my father introduced me to Akiko Yano, and I fell in love with her. She sang with such joy, and her rhythmic and beautiful piano playing excited me, and I thought, “I want to do it like that, too. Then I went on to study piano in high school, and it was only after I started playing the piano that I began to think, “Piano is fun.

Fuki Kitamura
Born in 2003 in Kamiyama, Yamagata Prefecture. Started learning piano and nursery rhymes from a young age, later representing Tohoku in the “National Nursery Rhymes Singing Contest” national competition. Began playing guitar in junior high school and started music activities focusing on singer-songwriting. In March 2023, released her debut digital single “amaranthus feat. Misaki Umei” and performed at “ROKIE A GO-GO” of “FUJI ROCK FESʼ 23”. Known for blending various genres such as dance music, jazz, folk, and electronica. Other notable activities include remixing “ichigo milk” by tomggg feat. ena mori, contributing to the original soundtrack of the drama “Chikyuu no Arukikata” by Tomita Labo, and DJ activities under the name asak, gaining attention for her multifaceted endeavors. Official website: https://linktr.ee/kitamurafuki

-What kind of music did you listen to when you were in high school?

Kitamura: The music I was most into at the time was Hiatus Kaiyote, and when I first heard it, I thought, “I’ve never heard anything like this! This is definitely something cool,” and I listened to the album all the time. I also probably listened to a lot of singer-songwriters, such as Kaho Nakamura, Natsuko Hishiki, and Higuchi Ai.

-Did you have a single-minded focus on music until you were in high school? Or were you interested in many things?

Kitamura: I was interested in many things other than music, and I was always playing outside when I was in elementary school. My mother’s family owned a pension in Zao, Yamagata. It was full of nature, and I spent all my holidays playing in the mountains with the neighborhood kids. I still have a strong sense of curiosity, and when I get interested in something, I tend to be like, “I want to do it right away! I tend to be like that [laughs]. I also like to draw pictures.

-You also do the artwork yourself, don’t you?

Kitamura: When I write songs, I often come up with ideas from images, scenery, and colors, so I guess I like to create from vague images. I sometimes write from memories of the scenery I used to play in when I was a child. Sometimes it’s not something I actually experienced, but memories from when I was genuinely having fun and playing that suddenly come to me.

-Are there any particular views or landscapes that have left a lasting impression on you?

Kitamura: There is a song called “re:evening,” and I feel like I have been influenced by sunsets. I remember the sunset from a pension in Zao. I think it is a very relaxing time of day, so there are probably a lot of evening songs.

夕日と木々
低い精度で自動的に生成された説明
Courtesy of the person himself

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