“At first, I didn’t think I wanted to be an artist,” he says. I had always loved singing, but I had never been praised for my singing ability. Until a year and a half ago, I was an amateur with zero musical experience (laughs).
Says imase, 21, an artist who enjoys overwhelming support from the Generation Z generation. Imase started his music career in October last year, and “Have a nice day,” for which he wrote the lyrics, has been a big hit. “Nice day” which he wrote and composed, became a huge hit on TikTok. The total number of views of all of his songs together has exceeded 1.2 billion.
In December, he made his major label debut and is currently in charge of music for commercials for “Pocari Sweat” and “JT. “His success story began with a casual comment from a friend.
When I was 19 years old in the fall of ’20, I was influenced by a friend who bought a guitar, so I bought one out of curiosity and started practicing on my own. Little by little, I started playing along and covering various songs, and then I wanted to write original songs, so I wrote a bunch of songs and sent them to my friends. I made a bunch of songs and sent them to my friends, who complimented me, saying, “Wouldn’t they be a hit on TikTok? I was skeptical, but when I posted it, it got a huge response. I thought I was dreaming.”
imase, who attracts young people with his unique music using a high-pitched falsetto voice, began to establish his own style when he appeared on an audition program. The first time he established his own style was when he appeared on an audition program.
“I’m not confident in my voice at all (laughs). In the beginning, I used to submit songs with a mix of low tones sung with my natural voice and high tones sung with my back voice to cover up the fact that I was not very good at singing. But when I was chosen to appear on “Dreamer Z” (TV Tokyo), I was once again in search of my own weapons. When I looked for my weapon, I thought that falsetto was the only way to go, so I practiced it diligently. Because I wasn’t confident in my singing, I was able to create my own unique style that no one else was doing. I’m glad I have a quick turnaround.”
The process of songwriting is also unique.
“I compose music exclusively in my car,” he says. I drive around my neighborhood, humming melodies that come to me while I’m driving. When writing lyrics, I often get inspiration from movies. My favorite movies are “LEON” and “The Shawshank Redemption.” I watch Amazon Prime from one end to the other and refer to words and phrases that interest me.
Although imase is a musical prodigy, when asked about his personal life, he reveals his hobbies as an ordinary young man.
I live in Gifu Prefecture, so I don’t have much to do. I play video games all the time at my parents’ house. I’m good at shooting games, and I especially like “APEX”. I don’t have as much time to play now because of my music career, but when I was at my peak, I used to play for about 16 hours a day (laughs).
Finally, when asked about his dreams for the future, he mentioned the name of a famous artist and spoke of his admiration for him.
My dream is to collaborate with Gen Hoshino (41), whom I use as a reference in songwriting. The groove of his songs is cool, and one day I want to be an artist like Hoshino-san, who is loved by men and women of all ages.
The challenge of the Generation Z hit maker has just begun.
From the July 29 and August 5, 2022 issues of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Sono Aida