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SIRUP Reflects on Past, Present, and Future: Emphasizes the Importance of Living by Personal Values




SIRUP offers words of encouragement to the younger generation living in the present day: “It’s okay to feel restless, as we, as seniors, will figure things out somehow, so for now, enjoy life!” Rooted in R&B, Hip Hop, and Neo Soul, SIRUP continues to convey his own feelings and straightforward messages to society. In a project initiated by FRISK titled “#Words_I_Want_to_Convey_to_My_Past_Self,” SIRUP participates by writing a letter to his younger self when he first started making music.

Within the letter lie the many struggles and conflicts faced throughout his life, along with the growth experienced amidst numerous changes. He candidly reflects on the ideal form of society we should strive for. While delving into his life experiences that couldn’t be fully expressed in the letter, he shares how he has confronted various struggles and anxieties, offering a message to those living in an unstable society. Embedded within are hints to instill hope and confidence in the future and one’s choices, urging them to move forward.

Navigating Hopeless Childhood

-I have the impression that Mr. Sirup is one of the artists who is constantly expanding the scope of his activities, appearing at numerous music festivals and events, and collaborating with artists and brands in Japan and abroad. He also embodies SIRUP’s message of “leave no one behind” by sending out social messages on social networking sites and on stage. You must have gone through a lot of experiences and changes to reach the SIRUP of today. What kind of things were you hoping for or struggling with before you started your music career in earnest?

SIRUP: I started to remember things very early, and I had a very strong ego from the age of about 5. Because of that, I think I was very observant of my surroundings. I feel that I was most despairing about life when I was in the 6th grade of elementary school. At the time, “Azuki-chan” (*) was popular, and everyone in elementary school was copying it, whether or not to go out with each other. With these changes in my surroundings and many other things, I had no hope for the future at that time.

However, I had always been the type of person who had a tremendous amount of baseless confidence in myself, so I thought that with the energy and communication skills I possessed, I would be able to make it work. So, when I was in high school, as the head of the brass band, I tried to break the bad habits and norms of the people around me and society, and created an environment where “just do what you have to do and have fun the rest of the time. I always had such confidence, but when I turned 20 and started singing in clubs, I began to feel realistic about the serious problems in the music industry and became increasingly conflicted.

*This manga was serialized in the girls’ manga magazine Nakayoshi from the August 1992 issue to the April 1997 issue. Original story by Yasushi Akimoto, illustrations by Chika Kimura.

His versatile vocal style effortlessly transitions between rap and singing, seamlessly blending Neo Soul and R&B with hints of gospel and hip-hop. This fusion results in a sophisticated sound that defies genre boundaries. SIRUP’s music resonates universally, offering a feel-good experience for all listeners.

-How do you feel you have been able to keep your confidence so strong in the midst of all the changes and absurdities in your surroundings?

SIRUP: Being the youngest child, I was spoiled a lot, and I think my natural personality and sociability also played a big part. When I was in elementary school, I had some successes that gave me confidence, such as coming up with the choreography for the class dance and winning a big award for a picture I drew.

-I think everyone has had successes regardless of size, but what would you judge as a success?

SIRUP: I can only speak from my own criteria, but success may be the feeling of having gained something, or having your heart lighten up a little or feeling good. For example, even now I sometimes paint pictures, and I feel refreshed when I paint as I go without being particular about it, and I consider it a success when I finish the painting and it remains as an output. In more mundane things, I feel that doing two loads of laundry is also a success, and if it’s still lunchtime, I feel it’s even more of a success. Even if nothing goes well, doing something will always lead to progress, so it is better to do it than not to do it. If something is left behind or something is learned, I consider that to be a success experience.

Since I was young, I’ve always cherished my own space. Growing up in a single-parent home meant I spent a lot of time alone, and I found solace in solitary activities. Singing was a quiet passion of mine from elementary school, but it wasn’t until around age 16, encouraged by the praise of those close to me, that I felt the urge to share my voice with the world. It wasn’t until I was about 20 that I finally took the plunge onto a stage, performing at a cozy local club. Even now, those memories often flood back to me.

SIRUP’s handwritten preface for the letter will be showcased at FRISK’s “Kotoba Exhibition for Jibun from Those Days” at BONUS TRACK in Shimokitazawa beginning April 11th. (click here for details).



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