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TENDRE’s Words to His 19-Year-Old Self: “Regret Isn’t a Step Backward; It’s a Nudge Forward”




FRISK collaborates with the project “#WordsIWantToSendToMyselfFromBackThen” to support working professionals and students embarking on new challenges, alongside the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” in the collaboration segment “FRISK DEAR ME.”

The first guest to appear was TENDRE, a solo project by Taro Kawahara, a multi-instrumentalist who plays bass, guitar, keyboard, saxophone, and more. Based on a letter addressed to his 19-year-old self, when he decided to transfer from a technical school to a music college, Kawahara shared how he dealt with his uncertainties and navigated through them.

※NiEW has also compiled an article including content not broadcasted during the program.

Turning Anxiety into an Adventure of Discovery

Takano (MC): “To me back then, when I was 19 years old and decided to transfer from a technical school to a music college. The title is wonderful, isn’t it?

Celeina (MC): I felt that the word sense you used was linked to the lyrics you spun into the song, and I felt as if I was listening to a song.

TENDRE: As an adult, I felt it would be presumptuous of me to say something to my old self, but I thought that if I were to dare to say something, it would be with these words, so I wrote this letter.

Takano: Once again, when was your first encounter with music?

TENDRE: I have been surrounded by music since I was born. My parents have been active jazz musicians for a long time, so from the time I was born, I had lessons at home or was taken to live performances, and when I was in elementary school, I started performing in front of people.

Takano: From that early age. And this letter is addressed to yourself at the time when you made a very big decision to transfer from a vocational school to a music college.

TENDRE: I originally attended a technical school where my father was an instructor. My father is a bassist, so I went to school with him in his car at the technical school where he taught bass, and took lessons from him, but he never said anything to me. But on the way home, we would ride home together in the same car.

At that time, I had a strong desire to be a bassist, but as I studied, I became more interested in learning about a wider range of music, so I decided to study for a year and go to a music college at that time. That was probably a big turning point for me.

Takano: Let me read the beginning of your letter on your behalf.

To My 19-Year-Old Self

I know deciding to switch from vocational school to a music university probably made you feel anxious about the depth of music, the vastness of the world, and the countless unknown encounters ahead.
But maybe it’s that stubborn confidence you’ve had since childhood that guided your heart to embrace this new path.

Preface to the letter. The handwritten letter in its entirety by TENDRE will be exhibited at the FRISK “Words I Want to Send to Myself from Back Then” exhibition at BONUS TRACK in Shimokitazawa starting April 11th (Thursday) (see here for details).

TENDRE: It’s embarrassing [laughs].

TAKANO: It’s a very big decision, and there is definitely a lot of anxiety.

Celeina: Did you have any hesitation or confusion?

TENDRE: Maybe not so much. It was a time when I was thinking of myself as a small person, so of course I was anxious and confused, but in the end, if you trace back to where I came from, I didn’t have much choice but to continue with music. Really, all I could think about was making a living doing music. In the end, I was 19 years old when I decided that it was no use being anxious and that this was the only time I could study.

TAKANO: Is there anything you do to switch your mentality when you feel anxious?

TENDRE: I am sure that anxiety will be with me for the rest of my life, so I guess it depends on how I deal with it. So I think it is a moderate conversion. In the end, anxiety can also be a chance to learn things you don’t know yet, and I think it is similar to the process of finding a way to open yourself up to new things.



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