Singer Minami Hazuki Comes to Tokyo to Hold Her First Live Concert | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Singer Minami Hazuki Comes to Tokyo to Hold Her First Live Concert

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Minami Hazuki shows a big smile in the interview. She released her major label debut from TEICHIKU Records last June.

Minami Hazuki is an artist from Niigata who made her major label debut with TEICHIKU Records in June this year. Her pleasant “emo” singing voice, which is nostalgic for older people and fresh for young people, and her back voice, called “magical voice,” have become a hot topic and attracted many fans.


The first two songs, “Don’t Forgive Me…Hey” and “Furusato-Bojo,” reached No. 1 on the USEN HIT Enka/Uta-Yokyoku Ranking. The songs have been long-time hits since then.

Originally an enka singer based in her hometown of Niigata, Hazuki moved to Tokyo in January 2008 with a determination to make her major label debut. However, the wave of the pandemic affected her activities soon after.

“I really had no idea what to expect, I just came to Tokyo,” she said. “I thought that if I stayed in Niigata, my current situation as a singer would not change. But when I arrived in Tokyo, the next month the coronavirus broke out, and I lost all the jobs I had lined up. I didn’t know what to do.”

Hazuki came to Tokyo with a dream, but she was deprived of a place to sing. She worked part-time at a music store to make ends meet and spent her days pitching to entertainment production companies, record labels, and music industry people who might take her on.


“When the pandemic broke out, I was clueless as to what I was going to do,” she said. “But I had to live, and I had to eat. I worked part-time at Yamano Music and was looking for opportunities. That was when I met the producer, Mr. Iwao.”

Mr. Sanshiro Iwao learned the producing business as an advisor to the Nagara Group, which produced numerous enka singers such as Kiyoshi Hikawa, Kaori Mizumori, and Yutaka Yamakawa. He later became an independent musician and is well known in the music industry for his efforts in nurturing young singers such as Leong Shinhama.

Hazuki has been learning to play the flute since elementary school. She also shows off her skills at concerts.

“If it had not been for the pandemic, I would have been able to get by on my own, so I would not have worked so hard to market myself. If I had done that, I might not have met Mr. Iwao. I really came to Tokyo just on the spur of the moment (laughs).”

Mr. Iwao has worked with many famous singers.

“She was really young and untainted,” he said.

He was simply taken in by her “freshness,” as he puts it, and her various singing styles, including her back voice, as well as her expressive ability. From there, the two decided to work together to make a major label debut.

She said, “I started voice training from the basics, and I am learning how to sing from the beginning. I have completely improved since my days in Niigata.”

“It was the first time I received praise for my back voice, and I was just trying my best to sing without knowing how to add luster and flavor. But from there, I was able to progress to the next level.”

It has been about a year since she left her hometown. Hazuki made her major label debut with TEICHIKU.

Hazuki is scheduled to perform her second live concert in Tokyo on June 23, and she is also scheduled to record for NHK in July.

“The producer, Mr. Iwao, told me, “You can say anything you like”. I really appreciate that he listened to me as an equal rather than as a mentor and an apprentice.”

“So, we discussed thoroughly how we wanted our debut song to sound. However, I have complete trust in Mr. Iwao, so I had no worries at all.”

In Niigata, she was what is commonly known as a “de enka” singer, but she changed her style. She also changed her costume from a kimono to a dress.

“In fact, I didn’t like wearing dresses at first. I liked kimonos, and I could hide a lot of things (laughs). But when I saw myself in the mirror with a new outfit, I didn’t care about that.”

“Now, I am given a variety of assigned songs, and as I study each one, I can see that I am really growing. My ability to express myself, for example, is 100% different from when I was in Niigata. I want to have a hit song with Mr. Iwao and participate in the Kohaku Uta Gassen. And then I want to conquer the world (laughs).”

Then she received good news. In late July, she was invited to perform in NHK’s “New BS Nihon No Uta” at the newly renovated NHK Hall.

“I am happy to be on the same stage as the Kohaku Uta Gassen, and I feel very proud of myself,” she said with a big smile.

On June 23rd, she will hold her second live concert at Akasaka, Tokyo. She will be challenging herself to sing a piece in a genre she has never sung on stage before.

“I want to make this a live performance that will give me momentum for ‘New BS Nihon no Uta,'” said Hazuki enthusiastically.

Her carefree smile makes it seem as if she can accomplish anything, no matter how difficult.

She has truly embodied the phrase “a pinch is a chance,” and one wonders what great things she will accomplish in the future.

  • Interview and text Norifumi Arakida (FRIDAY Digital Entertainment Desk)

    Born in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture in 1975. Worked for an evening newspaper and a women's weekly before assuming his current position. She also appears on TV and radio

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