I have been listening to Japanese music forever. It probably started during my tween when my mom regularly played Koto music somehow. We were normal middle class family but my mom has somehow aspiration that her kids should be polyglots and culturally aware despite we do not have the mean to travel. Listening to Japanese music was one of ways for her to introduce me to the beauty of culture. I somehow love it then and never really stop. My mom introduce me to Momoe Yamaguchi, Teresa Teng and Kyu Sakamoto (which I still sung on Shinenkai and Bonenkai in my past roles and love very much).
Personally as my own musical journey, I went through then Seiko Matsuda, Hideaki Tokunaga, Hikaru Utada, Kitaro, L’Arc-en-Ciel, these are when I was in my 20s through early 30s era, then I move on pretty much to more of mainstream pop and classics (mostly to help me study and work, as it was that ‘investment’ era for me) until I have my daughter which is pretty much Barney era. Yet, I still listen to Jpop here and there and therefore I still listen to AKB48 (and their wild stories), AyumiHamasaki, Arashi (which to me one of the early idol). And Fujii Kaze.
I discover Fujii Kaze very recently through Netflix where he has his concert documentary for the Love All Serve All. I was‘peeking’ into it but ending up watching from beginning to end and thoroughly enjoy it. It was not one of those concert where you see a lot of things on stage, it is mostly him singing but it was one of those where the music and singing alone can carry the stage. And then I sighted announcement he is coming to Indonesia as part of his Piano Asia Tour, so it is an easy decision to go (although apparently he is very popular in Indonesia and the tickets sold out, luckily I have managed with the help of my dear friends to help secure for me). While I am not yet a Kazetarian, but he has a lot of memorable songs for me to enjoy (my daughter told me that I can only go to concert if I know and like at least 5 songs, which I think a fair criteria).
For those who are not familiar with Fujii Kaze, he is a young Japanese singer (26 yo), song writer and musician (play sax and piano). He started playing piano since 3 years old and heavily influenced by his father. He started uploading his piano playing, covering popular songs in his Youtube account. He has received awards among other Best New Asian Artist Japan from Mnet in 2020. His genre I would think is mostly pop with a hint of R&B and Soul. He has put time into lyrics to ensure there are positive messages which I believe reflect the needs of generation Z but still relevant to any generation like self love, to be self reflective and appreciating what is around you.
The concert stage design is one of the simplest designed. It simply was just a piano with simple but elegant lighting, nearly like a typical classical music stage designed. Designed to showcase fully the performer, his presence and his music, should not be and need not be distracted with anything else.
It was truly an amazing concert of Fujii Kaze without rest for full 1.5 hours singing on piano playing his hit songs. He performed Matsuri, Nan Nan, Grace, Garden, Kirei, Kareu, Shinunoga E Wa and Kirari among others brilliantly. His piano technique was truly amazing and given these are the songs he wrote themselves, he is able to truly lift these songs on piano very brilliantly. Some of his songs he has crafted differently with a lot more beautiful variation in piano compare to what he recorded to make it more entertaining. As an homage to Indonesia, he also performed Summer Time by Niki, very elegantly.
Fujii Kaze despite 1.5 hours singing straight, he is still managed to interact with his audience. He has a comedic side of him that he showed with a lot of humility that the audience responded positively. In respectful gesture to Indonesian audience, just like any other performer, and as well to engage the audience, he spoke quite few Indonesia words haltingly. He spend time also to focus on positive messages about loving oneself and taking time to appreciate and bring the best out of oneself which I think really bring the quality of Fujii Kaze to a different level from mere entertaining to insightful and reflective. Really a feast to my ears and eyes, the times fly so fast until the end of the showand there is no one minute where I feel disengage, looking at my watch nor thinking about something else other than his performance.
On the side, I am surprised that his merchandise is truly high quality and not surprisingly sold real fast. It was not one where there are a lot of SKUs. The only thing is that the food and drink sections run out of food pretty fast.
Overall, it was a real pleasure watching Fujii Kaze and look forward to his next one !