Simon Yu Production

New releases

Happy Fall!

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Pre-release - Sep 2, Release - Oct 9 (US) & Oct 16 (Europe) on JazzVillage - harmonia mundi

In this video:
Last Train Home by Pat Metheny
Gilad Hekselman - Guitar & Roof-gardening
Sam Anning - Guitar & Bass
Rogerio Boccato - Percussion
Kush Abadey - Drums

Videography - Simon Yu

Album Featuring:
Gilad Hekselman - guitar, Joe Martin - bass, Marcus Gilmore - drums & special guest Jeff Ballard - drums
Facebook artist page:
Twitter : @giladhekselman

Michael League
Bill Laurance
Brian Dunne

Funding by the Lord Mayor's Young & Emerging Artists Fellowship (Brisbane City Council)
Recording at Atlantic Sound Studios (Brooklyn, NYC)
Filming by Simon Yu

The official EPK for the Adam Larson Quintet's upcoming debut release on the Inner Circle Music Label. "Selective Amnesia" will be available worldwide on November 3rd, 2015.

To purchase a copy ahead of the release date, check out for a full calendar of live appearances!

The Quintet features Matthew Stevens (guitar), Fabian Almazan (piano/rhodes), Matt Penman (bass) and Jimmy Macbride (drums).

For more about Inner Circle Music, visit

Check back in the coming weeks for two full length videos to be released featuring audio from the upcoming record!

World Premiere and Forthcoming CD Entitled "More Than Meets The Ear".

Miho Hazama and m_unit's 2nd album "Time River"

【USA, Canada and Europe】
Release date: October 16th, 2015
Sunnyside Records
CD No. SSC 1420

Release date: September 23rd, 2015
Universal Music Japan
CD No. UCCJ-2130

Miho Hazama (Composer, Conductor)
Joshua Redman (Tenor sax, Soprano sax)
Gil Goldstein (Accordion)
Cam Collins (Clarinet), Ryoji Ihara (Soprano sax. and Flute), Andrew Gutauskas (Baritone sax.), Matthew Jodrell (Trumpet), Adam Unsworth (French horn), Joyce Hammann (Violin1), Sara Caswell (Violin2), Lois Martin (Viola), Meaghan Burke (Cello), James Shipp (Vibraphone), Alex Brown (Piano), Sam Harris (Piano), Sam Anning (Upright Bass), Jake Goldbas (Drums)

Video: Simon Yu

Wake Up Claire is a track off of "Brazen Heart," the new release by the Dave Douglas Quintet on Greenleaf Music. Get your copy here:

Dave Douglas - trumpet
Jon Irabagon - tenor saxophone
Matt Mitchell - piano
Linda Oh - bass
Rudy Royston - drums

Carlos MENA's version of the classic Meters' tune "Cissy Strut". Produced by Emilio D. Miler and Recorded by Ari Lavigna
Video directed by Simon C.F. Yu

Carlos Mena Electric Bass
Brian Charette Organ and Rhodes
Antonio Sanchez Drums

Be part of MENA's new album:

* "Cissy Strut", written by The Meters (Leo Nocentelli, Arthur Neville, George Joseph Porter Jr., and Joseph Modeliste)

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More 360 VR videos out!

Minesweeper - r.O.T.i. (360 Degree Virtual Reality)

A 360 degree virtual reality experience, live performance of "Minesweeper" at Riro Muzik Brooklyn. Shot with 6x GOPRO Hero 4 Black Edition on Freedom 360 Rig, stitched with KOLOR Autopano Video Pro 2, edited in FCPX Graded with Film Convert.

Simon C.F. Yu - Guitar
Isamu McGregor - Keys/Bass
Devin Collins - Drums

Recorded at Riro Muzik Brooklyn NY
Engineered/Mixed by Rozhan Razman

Download the full track here:

What about me? - Snarky Puppy (Acoustic Cover) 360 virtual reality

Simon: I've been cameraman for Snarky Puppy for years, this song is the from the album "We Like It Here" which I didn't participate but I like this song so much so I decided to do an acoustic cover with members from my 2 bands Tomoko Omura from The Exotic Experiment and Devin Collins from r.O.T.i.! Hope you enjoy the music and the 360 Virtual Reality experience.

r.O,T.i. x The Exotic Experiment

Simon C.F. Yu - Guitar
Tomoko Omura - Violin
Devin Collins - Drums

Recorded in Central Park NYC. Shot with 6x GOPRO Hero 4 Black Edition on Freedom 360 Rig, stitched with KOLOR Autopano Video Pro 2, edited in FCPX Graded with Film Convert.

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Simon shoots Virtual Reality

Im Happy to announce that I start providing Virtual Reality Video Service!
Here's a taste of it

FastFastGo - Evan Marien (360 virtual reality)
A 360 degree virtual reality experience, FastFastGo is taken from the upcoming album Artifacts by Evan Marien.
For a more indepth viewing experience watch on the Kolor Eyes app:

shot on location in Times Square by director Simon C.F. Yu
Song mixed by Evan Marien and Elliot Moss

Artifacts Preorder-

Special thanks to Danielle Turano, Elliot Moss and Bjork

Hit me up if you are interested in shooting 360 ° videos. more info coming soon!

Here are some other new stuff:

Laila Biali & The Radiance Project - Upside Down (live at SubCulture)
From her album House of Many Rooms, Canadian pianist & singer Laila Biali performs Little Bird. Filmed live at SubCulture in NYC on June 1, 2015. Album link:

Laila Biali: piano, vocals, song. Jo Lawry: vocals. Sara Caswell: violin 1. Zach Brock: violin 2, vocals. Christina Courtin: viola, vocals. Laura Metcalf: cello. Alex Foote: guitars. Chris Tarry: bass. Ben Wittman: drums, percussion.

Video by Simon C.F. Yu 2nd camera by Yusuke Suzuki. Tracking by Craig Bundy. Mix by Ben Wittman. Lighting by William Hansen. Hair & Makeup by Pascale Poma.

Visit for tour dates and more music!


Special thanks to Imago Arts and SubCulture.


Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Yusuke Suzuki
Makeup by Mika Mitamura

Andréa Wood- "Call Me Maybe" (cover)
"Call Me Maybe"- by Carly Rae Jepsen. Arrangement by Andréa Wood. (c) 2015

Off Andréa Wood's sophomore record, KALEIDOSCOPE.

Released July 14, 2015.
Biophilia Records

Andréa Wood- vocals/producer
Angelo Di Loreto- piano
Olli Hirvonen- guitar
Ethan O'Reilly- bass
Philippe Lemm- drums

Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Andrea Matorin
Recorded by Dan Cherouny at Flux Studios, NYC
Mixed by Andrew Sheron- Popachi Studio, NYC and Dave Darlington- Bass Hit Studios, NYC
Mastered by Dave Darlington- Bass Hit Studios, NYC

'Call Me Maybe' originally by Carly Rae Jepsen
Written by: Josh Ramsay, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tavish Crowe
Published by: 604 Records / Simkin Artist Management

Recorded with permission

Joyce Kwon - Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)
by Antonio Carlos Jobim

Joyce Kwon, voice & arrangement
Richard Miller, guitar

Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Yusuke Suzuki
Makeup by Mika Mitamura
Audio by Myers Recording Studio

Recorded Live in New York City 2015.06.16

Nolan Byrd - "NMG" Feat. Remy Le Boeuf, Addison Frei, & Perrin Grace
Nolan Byrd - Drums
Remy Le Boeuf - Alto
Addison Frei - Piano
Perrin Grace - Bass

Recorded and mixed at Bunker Studios by Nolan Thies
Mastering by Nate Wood of Kerseboom Mastering

Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Yusuke Suzuki

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Happy Summer time!

Tons of exciting new projects coming out!

Official trailer for FORQ's 2015 album "Batch" on GroundUP Music.

Henry Hey - keyboards & khan
Chris McQueen - electric, baritone, & Hammertone guitars
Michael League - electric bass, Moog keybass, & celeste
Jason “JT” Thomas - drums, percussion, & celeste

Recorded by Nic Hard at the Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, New York.
Mixed by Nic Hard at Limebeat Studios in New York, New York.
Mastered by Scott Hull at Masterdisk in New York, New York.

Video directed by Andy LaViolette for Mr. Magic Carpet Ride Productions.

Filmed by Andy LaViolette, Simon "C.F." Yu, and Yusuke Suzuki.

Dave Douglas High RISK EPK
The exciting new album from the mind of trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas. Featuring Shigeto on electronics, Jonathan Maron on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums. Album release on 6/23/15. Preorder your copy here:
Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Pete O'Hare

Preview and EPK for vocalist Andréa Wood's forthcoming record "Kaleidoscope".

Release Date: July 14, 2015
Biophilia Records

Andréa Wood- vocals/producer
Angelo Di Loreto- piano, keys
Olli Hirvonen- guitar
Ethan O'Reilly- bass, vocals
Philippe Lemm- drums, vocals

Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Yusuke Suzuki
Recorded by Dan Cherouny at Flux Studios, NYC
Mixed by Andrew Sheron- Popachi Studio, NYC and Dave Darlington- Bass Hit Studios, NYC
Mastered by Dave Darlington- Bass Hit Studios, NYC

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New Releases

Happy Spring time everyone!

Here are some recent releases:

Allan Harris, a new music video from Black Bar Jukebox

Lenburu - Bob Lanzetti, Chris McQueen, Michael League, Jonathan Maron, & Louis Cato
Demo for Supro Amps USA

Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera Yusuke Suzuki


Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera Andrei Matorin

Video by Simon C.F. Yu
Camera Operators: Caroline Mariko Stucky, Andrei Matorin

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Hope you all enjoy the snow in NYC! (just kidding)

I got couple exciting shows coming up!

March 19 8pm @ Asia Society NY
Performing with Mr.Wu-Tong (Members of Yoyo Ma's Silk road Ensemble)
Wu Tong - Sheng
Shane Shanahan - Percussion
Simon C.F. Yu - Guitar

April 3rd Midnight @ Bluenote NYC
Performing with my band r.O.T.i.!
Simon C.F. Yu - Guitar
Isamu McGregor - Keys/Bass
Devin Collins - Drums
Special Guest LIKWUID - MC
roti_4up_single (1)

Have been grateful this year working on a bunch of exciting projects cant wait to share with you! Here are some pics from the Snarky Puppy Family Dinner Vol.2 feat. Becca Stevens, KNOWER, Laura Mvula, Väsen, David Crosby, Jeff Coffin, Charlie Hunter, Susana Bacca Shoot in NOLA!








Some other new videos:

All Love Is Divine Campaign

John Raymond "Foreign Territory" EPK

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New Stuff

Louis Cato with CANOPUS Drums
Video by Simon C.F. Yu
Filmed at Riro Muzik

Oli Rockberger Live at Rockwood Music Hall
Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Yusuke Suzuki

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Happy New Year! (I know its a bit late lol)

So far it has been a Great start on 2015 lining up with a bunch of exciting projects cant wait to share with you!

Here are some releases recently:

The making of the new Allan Harris CD, Black Bar Jukebox
Singer, song-writer, guitarist Allan Harris has a new CD, Black Bar Jukebox, was produced by Grammy award winning producer Brian Bacchus.
Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Andrei Matorin

Art Hirahara - Libations & Meditations
Album Cover Photo and Video by Simon C.F. Yu

Buy it here

Gene Ess - Eternal Monomyth
NYC jazz guitarist, Gene Ess' new album "Eternal Monomyth" will be released Spring 2015. With Thana Alexa on voice, John Escreet on piano, Thomson Kneeland on bass, and Clarence Penn on drums. SIMP Records release. Produced by Gene Ess.
Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Yusuke Suzuki (Click to view video)

Eleanor Dubinsky - Wait For You (NPR Tiny Desk Contest)
Video by Simon C.F. Yu



Kana Dehara - Burning Steps
Video by Simon C.F. Yu
2nd Camera by Yusuke Suzuki

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A Portrait of The Artist – Rie Tsuji ENG


This project is a part of Yusuke Suzuki & Simon Yu Production's, "A Portrait of The Artist." We welcome keyboardist Rie Tsuji in this series which contrasts her two identities: the front line performer as a member of Beyonce's band and the off stage persona, away from the spotlight. This feature documents the creation of a photo collection produced by an eclectic group of six Japanese artists based in New York. The session ran for sixteen consecutive hours at RIRO MUZIK studio, owned by Rie and her husband Rozhan in Bushwick of Brooklyn, New York. After viewing some of the finished product, I felt a sense of excitement and inspiration that I had never felt before. The following interview highlights artist, Rie Tsuji's life, both on stage and off.


Rie Tsuji - - Model
Simon C.F. Yu - - “White” Photographer/Videographer/Editor
Yusuke Suzuki - - “Black” Photographer/Videographer
Mika Mitamura - - Make-Up Artist
Yuko Nakao - - Stylist
Yasutaké Kosaka - - Hair Stylist
Kentaro Kennyy-Meltrick Kojima - - Interviewer/Japanese text writer
Tomoko Akaboshi - - English Translator
Studio: Riro Muzik


Part 1:

Kennyy: How was this shoot for you?

Rie: It was SO MUCH fun! Okay, I sound like an elementary school kid saying this (laughs out loud).

Kennyy: Well, it's important to be able to say that something was enjoyable from the start.

Rie: Again, I truly enjoyed it. It was purely a project that was created by everyone's efforts. Our team of six took about sixteen hours on the day of the photo shoot, but even prior to the shoot, I rehearsed with our make-up artist Mika and hair dresser Mr. Kosaka. We discussed what I had in mind as I absorbed the opinions of the professionals. 

As for Mika, she would present ideas for accessories to use in the shoot, and even come shopping for the items with me. As for Kosaka, we sat down together and researched for tons of images. Not to mention the wardrobe for this shoot; these costumes from renowned designers were all pieces that I would not have been able to access myself, but Yuko's influence proved to be invaluable in obtaining them.Obviously these were clothes I wouldn't find in my closet, so Yuko accompanied me to a variety of showrooms. Everyone lent me their talent; this was how we worked together. The same goes for photography: Yusuke and Simon's professional perspectives formed the foundation, but they would consider my creative opinion as well. This process wasn't something that could happen in just one day; it would require more creativity overall, and I enjoyed that aspect of it. This was my first project collaborating with artists from diverse fields outside of music, which may be why it was so inspiring and enjoyable. 


Kennyy: What does it feel like working with a world-renowned artist like Beyonce, especially as the only Japanese member of the band? Please share with us what you enjoy, and what about being in her band inspires you.

Rie: During my eight years with this band, there haven't been too many moments that made me conscious about being Japanese. It demonstrates how natural everything feels now. When you asked this question, it evoked memories of eight years ago. Rather than the fact that I was Japanese, it was more that I was the only non-U.S citizen (non-American?). So I would recognize small things from time to time like, "oh, I am the only one who has a different passport." 

Inspiration-wise, world-class professionals from different industries gather--as they did with this photo shoot--such as the video crew, lighting crew, dancers, stage designers, etc. During rehearsals, the band members would get off stage to check the footage made by the video crew, and we would be completely blown away! Every little thing is impressive, so I am constantly inspired by a number of people surrounding us!

Kennyy: It appears that you have been a member of Beyonce's tour band for eight years. Were there any memorable performances or moments you'd like to share with us?

Rie: During our most recent tour, after my piano solo, at the beginning of the next song, Beyonce climbs on top of my piano and performs the whole song. This is a very special moment when I connect closely and touch her soulful spirit. We stimulate each other, and it's a feeling I can't quite express in words. 


Kennyy: Are there times you try to inspire or uplift yourself?

Rie: At times when there are accidents, like my sound not coming out on stage, I try to encourage myself. These moments are what make you stronger. 


Kennyy: You have spent fifteen years in the United States now, not only performing with Beyonce, but surviving the rough music scene here in America. For someone like you who grew up dedicating her life to music, what is it that pulls you towards music and your keyboard?

Rie: Hmm… that is a very difficult one to answer… but first of all, music had been something that was naturally a part of me because I started at such a young age. It's similar to the way a child learns the alphabet and language. "I'm probably going to continue playing music," I pondered as an elementary school student. It wasn't a clear vision or anything, but I always had this sense of understanding which hasn't changed. After that, it just gets deeper and deeper as you pursue your studies. 


Kennyy: Right, I guess you can say that for anything.

Rie: Exactly. It goes for everything else. The more you get into it, the more you feel like you aren't good enough, or even adequate. So this [pursuing music or performing] is a never ending spiral. There will never be a real sense of "complete satisfaction" since the deeper you involve yourself, the higher and farther your ambitions and goals move away from where you stand. To me, as I explained before, voicings or chords are my words. Music acts as a tool for me to communicate, just like speaking. It's more that music is the only thing I know how to do… hahaha! It's a little different from devoting 100% of your life to music, as it feels music is just a part of me that never leaves. I always aim to reach higher and educate myself.

Kennyy: That sounds ideal; music was a natural part of you first, and with that as a foundation you made music your profession.


Kennyy: Once you relocated to the United States and started performing for larger productions, did you notice a change in your mindset towards music?

Rie: Hmm… that's difficult. I'm not sure. I don't think there was much of a change in my musical perspective. Of course I have to prepare to be in the right mind frame for each production I am a part of. I learn something new in each environment, and it's all kind of a continuation of what I've been doing. There are definitely different things that were required in the larger productions like Beyonce's shows. A good example is the details that went into staging or stage presentation as a performer. I acquired these new concepts in addition to my musical background. 

Kennyy: The more I learn about you, the more I can sense that your core values towards music are well-defined, perhaps since music is a natural part of you.

Rie: I wonder what it is (giggles)!


Kennyy:  As a keyboardist, composer, and arranger in one of the world's hottest spots for the arts (Brooklyn, New York), what are your goals and dreams? I've read up on your ambitions to produce your own album, but what do you envision your original work being like?

Rie: This is another difficult question…! There is no doubt that having dreams and goals is invaluable, but I personally cherish living in the moment while accepting any changes through experiences. Recently, I have been working on maintaining an even balance of these two. 

     But to talk to you about my dreams in detail, I would love to hold a monthly showcase at our studio! I want it to be a place where new music gets introduced. Obviously, there are a lot of goals but I find myself valuing the saying "let nature take it's course!" It's important to enjoy everyday life and be fulfilled without getting too caught up in achieving your goals, and the results should come to you. At least that's how I have been feeling lately. 

Kennyy: Can you let us hear about your original work?

Rie: I'm still at the stage of exploring the possibilities…! But the one thing I can say for sure is that it will be a compilation of many musical backgrounds that I have taken in. I will mainly be utilizing the keyboard instruments but I'm considering some collaborations as well! 



Now we move on to the second half of this interview by revealing Rie's "Yang" side, away from the spotlight.  I have been looking forward to hearing more about Rie's personal life. As a music journalist, I have the honor to ask artists about their musical roots. What I find out has led me to believe that music plays a large role in our daily lives, especially for musicians.


Kennyy: What do you do during your time off? Do you have hobbies or things that you enjoy outside of music?

Rie: I really enjoy reading books and zoning out at cafes on my time off; pretty simple, haha! I just love interior design, so when I get to spend time in a charming interior shop, I get excited. 


Kennyy: Are there any cafés you recommend in New York City?

Rie: The coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee and Cafe Grumpy's is delicious! I like House of Small Wonder in Williamsburg for its atmosphere. It is SO adorable that any girl would fall in love with the store at first sight, just like I did. I tried Kinfolk Studio for the first time at a gig, and that café is SO Brooklyn! 

Kennyy: What kind of books do you like to read?

Rie: When I have time, "The Secret," by Rhonda Byrne, is a book that I pick up when I have time as a life-coaching book for myself. I enjoy novels too. A recent novel that I read is "Monster," (Original novel written by Naoki Hyakuta, movie directed by Akiko Ohku in 2013) which has been made into a film. That, I borrowed from a friend. 


Kennyy: So you are really into interior design, and I see you do the decoration for your studio. Are there specific shops in New York or any favorite brands/designers that you would recommend?

Rie: I do, I really love interior design! The decorating inside the studio is not yet 100% complete--I have a lot of makeovers in mind, like repainting the studio room myself. I enjoy going to West Elm or ABC Design in Manhattan, as well as craft and vintage shops in Bedford, Brooklyn. I generally like mixing modern and vintage, combining both the shiny, minimal simplicity from modern design with warmer rustic elements from wooden furniture and vintage items that have a story or history behind them.


Kennyy: I saw some photos and footage of your striking smile during the famous part of the performance during which Beyonce crawls on top of your grand piano. As a member of a band consisting of only females, and being the only Asian musician in the band, is there anything special about your sense of beauty?

(Videographer Simon says here, "maybe put on a ton of SK2?" and the room bursts into laughter)

Rie: Wow, Simon how did you know!? I actually use SK2! Hmm.. what else? During tours I drink a lot of water. When it gets dry I get headaches, but I can't perform with a headache! So I try my best to consciously drink more water.

Other than that, I try to be careful about my health in general. One thing I do every day is to drink homemade vegetable juice. I haven't used a microwave for two years now, because I had heard from somewhere that the the electromagnetic rays from microwaves were harmful to your body. Therefore, I defrost my frozen rice naturally by letting it sit or reheating it in a pot. A solution as simple as making just enough for one serving also helps. I try to eat and live my life in the most organic way possible, and luckily my tour members are all organic freaks! Hahaha. Thanks to them, I am able to collect a lot of useful information, as we enjoy talking about our newest finds.

Makeup is something I have a lot of fun with, so every time I try to explore my favorite styles. 


Kennyy: Do you think putting on makeup motivates you at all? I hear that for some people, makeup acts as an ON/OFF switch for going on stage.


Rie: Yes, I would say so! When I start putting make-up on, I can feel that the show is starting soon! If we are talking about beauty tips, I would steer these questions to women in Japan! When I go back and visit Japan, I am in awe at their high standards towards beauty. Every time I go back home, it straightens my back.


Kennyy: Since we are on the topic of beauty, here is my last question for you: do you hold yourself to certain personal standards when it comes to fashion?


Rie: When it comes to fashion, I think I mix a lot of things. I probably wear casual street clothes the most, but what I like to do recently is to add in a little rock. British fashion is also on top of the list. I will wear vintage clothing from time to time, but I would say I tended towards less feminine clothes since I was a kid. There are times I feel like dressing super girly, though. Hats have a pretty high rate of appearance in my outfits. 



Kennyy: Thank you so much for a wonderful, lengthy interview, and for honestly answering all of my questions! I really enjoyed our meaningful conversation!


Rie: Of course! It was my pleasure, and I am really grateful for this opportunity. Through this project, it was made clear to me that I have two opposite sides to my life: the Ying and the Yang. I hope everyone who is viewing this interview will get a glimpse of my two opposite worlds. 


There is much to learn from Rie; a Japanese immigrant creating new opportunities and living abroad in one of the most diverse cities of the world: New York. She focuses on creation, expression and serving others.

Once art becomes your profession, you tend to be blinded by the importance of being compensated for your work, which is not a bad thing. As long as you don't get lost in this crazy world, and try not to forget your fundamental values; the joy of creating something new, or the excitement of collaboration.

Thanks to this project "A Portrait of The Artist featuring Rie Tsuji”, I was constantly inspired by all of the members and artists involved. I hope everyone reading this interview will be inspired as much as I was.

Studio: Riro Muzik

Rie's Blog:

Rie's Instantgram: Rietsuji0730








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A Portrait of The Artist – Rie Tsuji 日本語

A Portrait of The Artist - Rie Tsuji

今回のインタビューのイントロダクションとして、Simon C.F. YuとYusuke Suzukiのプロジェクト”A Portrait of The Artist” のシリーズで、今回はRie Tsujiさんに登場して頂きました。今回の唯一のテーマ・コンセプトとして「ビヨンセのバンド等での最前線のエンターテイメントステージで活躍するRieさん(写真作品でのイメージとして黒)と、普段のオフ時のナチュラルなRieさん(白)」 というのをまずお伺いしました。Rieさんと彼女の旦那さん所有のブルックリンはBushwickにある音楽スタジオ「RIRO MUZIK」にRieさん含めNYCをベースに活動する日本人で各々に才能豊かな仲間6名が集まり、16時間ぶっ通しでの撮影で作り上げた今回の写真作品。私も実際に出来上がってきたその作品群を拝見させて頂き、これまでに味わったことがない程の興奮を覚え、とてもインスパイアされました。プロジェクトの締めくくりとしてこのコンセプトに沿った視点で、この度Rieさんにインタビューという形でスポットを当てさせて頂きたいと思います。

Rie Tsuji - - model

Simon C.F. Yu. - - “White” Photographer/Videographer/Editor

Yusuke Suzuki - - “Black” Photographer/Videographer

Mika Mitamura - - Make-Up Artist

Yuko Nakao - - Stylist

Yasutake Kosaka - - Hair Stylist

Kentaro “Kennyy” Kojima - - Interviewer/Japanese text writer

Tomoko Akaboshi - -  English Translator

1). 手前味噌ではございますが、今回の撮影はRieさんにとっていかがでしたか? 



Rie「やっぱりとっても楽しかったですね。本当に”みんなで作り上げる”というプロジェクトだったの。撮影の日も6人で16時間位かけたけど、その前から、例えばヘアのKosakaさんとメイクのMikaちゃんとリハーサルをやったりとか。”こういう感じがいい~”って話はするんだけど、でもやはりお二人のプロとしての意見も聞いたりね。Mikaちゃんに関しては、撮影で使う小物のアイディアを出してくれて一緒に買い物に付き合ってくれたり。Kosakaさんは一緒にネットでイメージをつかむリサーチ作業をしてくれたり。そして今回の衣装は全て自分の力ではアクセスできないような名だたるデザイナーさんの衣装なのだけれど、それもこれもYukoちゃんのおかげですね。もちろん自分の私服のクローゼットにはない無いような物だしね。彼女も一緒にショールームを廻ってくれて、本当にみんなが力を貸してくれたの。こんな風に、本当に自分たちの中で作り上げていく感じだった。写真にしてもそうで、Yusuke君とSimon、二人のプロフェッショナルな視点というのが前提というか基本にあって、でもやっぱり”こういうのが好き~”って言うと取り入れてくれたりとか。だから撮影の日で終わるんじゃなくて、全体的に時間を掛けて作っていく過程がすごく楽しくて。やっぱり音楽だけじゃなく、異なったフィールドから色んな人が集まって、違うフィールドの人と何かを一緒に作り上げていくって経験は、初めてだったからかな? うん。だから本当にとても刺激を受けたし、楽しかったです。」

- - -それでは今回の”黒 & 白”という写真作品のコンセプトに沿いまして。まずアメリカの最前線の音楽シーン、それも世界中をツアーして回り活躍されている一人の日本人キーボディスト・演奏家・パフォーマーとしての”Rie Tsuji”、言わばステージ上での「黒」モードのRieさんについてからお伺いしたいと思います。


2). ビヨンセという世界的なビッグアーティストと一緒に(しかも日本人として)お仕事をされるというのはどんなご気分ですか? そして、ビヨンセや彼女のチームとお仕事される中でどんなことが好きだったり、インスパイアされたりしますか?



3). ビヨンセのツアーバンドに参加されて8年目とのことですが、今までのビヨンセとの仕事で一番印象的なステージや瞬間はありましたか? そしてどんな瞬間やステージで、ご自分を奮い立たせたりなさいますか? 





4). ビヨンセとのお仕事だけでなく、まず渡米されてからもう15年。厳しいアメリカの音楽業界の中で長らく活動されていらっしゃいますが。幼い頃からずっと音楽一筋で生きてこられたRieさんにとって、何が強くキーボードや音楽に向かわせてきたのでしょうか?





Kennyy「それはとても理想的だなって私は思います。なんというか”The 職業音楽家”として音楽をやる感じとはまた意識が全然違うんじゃないのかなって気がするのですが。それぐらい音楽はもともと自然なもので大事なものであった上で、お仕事でもやっていく、っていうそのバランスとして。では、渡米してきて、大きい仕事をするようになって、何か意識の変化はありましたか?」






5). それでは「黒」サイドの最後の質問です。時代の中心と言われるNY、それも音楽や芸術の盛んなブルックリンという街で音楽スタジオを構え、キーボティスト/作編曲家として活動されているRieさんにとって、今後の夢や目標はありますか? そして事前にリサーチさせていただいていて、今後ご自身の作品、アルバム制作にも力を入れていきたいとの事ですが、Rieさんご自身の音楽作品はどういった音楽になりそうですか?






- - -それでは後半戦。いよいよナチュラルなRieさん、いわゆる普段の「白」モードのRieさんについてお伺いしたいと思います。私個人的に、音楽ジャーナリストとして音楽の方々にお話を聞く中で、音楽的なルーツや音楽の話をお聞きするのはもちろん冥利な部分なのですが、音楽というものは音楽家の方にとっては尚の事に「生活に密着したもの」であるかと思っています。なので、普段のRieさんの事をお聞きするのもとても楽しみにして参りました。


6). それではまず、オフの時は何をされてますか? 音楽以外で好きなことや、もっと言えばご趣味は?

Rie「オフの時は、カフェとかでボーっと本読むのとかがすごく好きで (笑)普通なんだけど(笑)。



Rie「コーヒーが美味しいと思ったのは”Blue Bottle Coffee”と、”Cafe Grumpy”かな。雰囲気が好きなカフェは、ウィリアムズバーグにある”House of Small Wonder”がものすっごくかわいくて店内に入った時の感動っていったらなくて、女の子は絶対好きな空間だと思う。あとは、実際お仕事のイベントで初めて行ったんだけど、”Kinfork Studio”ってカフェが”The Brooklyn”みたいなかっこいい雰囲気で好きかな。」


Rie「えー、なんだろう(笑)バイブル本じゃないけど、ライフコーチング的な意味で、思い出した様によく読むのはロンダ・バンートン著書の”The Secret”かな。あとは普通に小説とか読むかな。最近読んだ小説は”モンスター”って映画化もされた作品かな。(*百田尚樹の同名原作、大九明子監督2013年邦画作品)友達から借りて読んだんだけどね。」


7). インテリアがとにかくお好きとのことですが。スタジオを綺麗にデコレートされたりするにあたり、こだわりや、好きなインテリア・ブランドや、ブルックリンやNYCでオススメのオススメのお店がありましたか?

Rie「インテリアは大好きで。まだまだスタジオのインテリア・デコレーションは自分の中で100%ではないので、もっと色々メイクオーバーのプロジェクトは頭の中にいっぱいあって。スタジオルームのペンキを自分で塗ったりする予定だし。ブランドでいうと”West Elm”とか、”ABC Design”っていうマンハッタンにあるお店とか、ブルックリンのベッドフォード(Bedford)などに多くあるクラフトショップというかヴィンテージショップに行くのが好きですね。基本的には、モダンなものとヴィンテージなもののミックスの感じが好きなので。モダンなものってつるつるしてたりで無機質なイメージがするので、そこにラスティックというかサビサビ感だったり木の温もりだったり、ストーリーやヒストリーが感じられるヴィンテェージのものをミックスするのが好きです。」


8). Rieさんの個人ブログを拝見させて頂いて。特にツアー中のインテリアやお料理に、Rieさんのスタジオの様子も伺える素敵な写真を多々アップされておりますが。 お料理がお好きですか? 得意料理はございますか? 好きな食べ物は?



9). ビヨンセとのステージング写真や映像で一際目を引く、ビヨンセがRieさんの弾くグランドピアノの上に乗り歌う象徴的なシーンでのRieさんは、スマイルがとても印象的なのですが。ワールドクラスのステージに立ち、しかも全員女性で構成されるビヨンセのバンドの一員、その中でもアジアンビューティーとして、または一女性の演奏家としてオーディエンスから見られる立場として、美へのこだわりや気をつけていることはありますか?



Kennyy「やっぱり化粧をバッチリすると、テンション上がりますか? 結構人によってはメイクがON/OFFの切り替えになったりしますよね?」



10). では、最後になりますが。美のお話をしましたから、今回の白黒双方の写真作品でやはり目を引くのはそのビジュアルイメージですが。美のお話をしましたので、次は普段のRieさんのFashionのこだわりなどについてもお聞かせ願いますか。

Rie「ファションはかなりミックスかなー。ストリートカジュアルが一番多い気がするけど、最近好きなのはロックなものをちょっとだけ取り入れるみたいな感じかな。ブリティッシュ系は大好きですね。古着もたまには取り入れるけど、多分どちらかと言うと昔からあまり女の子女の子してない方が好きな気がするけど。でもたまにすごーくガーリーな感じになりたい日とかもあるし(笑)。ふふっ。ハットの出番の確率は高し!よく被ってますね。ブランドやショップでいうと、それこそワールドツアーに出始めた初期の頃はまだロンドンにしかなかった”Topshop”は毎回ロンドンで寄ってたかな。あとは普通に”Brooklyn Industory”も好きですよ。




 冒頭に記したように、日本人として海外、アメリカはNYCという雑多な街で生きていて、こうしてクリエイティビティに純真に向き合える仲間や機会を自ら作り集まって、最後まで形にするということは今の時代、もしくはこれからの時代の日本人としても、とても意義のある事だと思います。ものを創り生み出し、人に伝え、人の役に立たせる。それが仕事になれば、ともすれば対価に重点が行きがちです。それも大切なことで決して悪いことではないけれど、そこに囚われすぎて基の純粋な「ものづくりの楽しさ」や「コラボレーションの楽しさ」や素晴らしさまでをも忘れてしまいがちです。それでは、わざわざ世界の中心と呼ばれるこんな異国の大都市にまで移ってきて活動している意味すらも見失ってしまいます。今回の”A Portrait of The Artist - Rie Tsuji”のプロジェクトに関わらせていただき、終始チームメンバーの皆様にインスパイアされっぱなしでした。それぞれ皆さんの今後のさらなる飛躍が楽しみでなりません。そしてこのRie Tsuji氏へのインタビューをお読みいただいた方も、同じようにインスパイアされていることを想像して。

Interview & Japanese Text by Kentaro “Kennyy” Kojima (Music Journalist, MELTRICK)

[Sat, Dec 6th, 2014]

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