Interview with The Gospellers

1) Please introduce yourselves to our ROCKSIN readers!
The Gospellers: Hi everyone, we’re the Japanese vocal group, The Gospellers.
The Gospellers was formed in 1991 when we were part of Waseda University’s a cappella club, Street Corner Symphony. We debuted with the single “Promise” in 1994 and have been touring and performing since.
 
2) In 5 words, how will you describe the music of Gospellers?
Yutaka Yasuoka: “Individuality”, “harmony”, “chemical reaction”, “creation”, “progression”.
When five totally different individuals meet and their voices come together in tandem, the chemical reaction called “harmony” occurs and a new sound is created. It’s a progression of music, something that a person will never be able to do alone.
 
3) Who came up with the name and what significance does the name hold for the group today?
The Gospellers: Our leader, Tetsuya Murakami came up with the group name. “The Gospellers” is an invented word and it comes from the harmony of church music and the strength of gospel music’s word. Our music isn’t gospel music though, we sing pop.
 
4) Congratulations on the release of your latest album “Soul Renaissance”! Can you tell us a little more about this album?
Yuji Sakai: Even though the lyrics are mostly in Japanese, you’ll be able to feel our 20 years of experience singing together as a team and our harmonies. I hope many people listen to our music, and I’m sure that there are people in Singapore who would like to form groups and sing in harmony too. I’d like to make an album that allows these people to connect with us.
 
5) Can each member recommend their favourite song from this album?
Tetsuya Murakami: The song “Recycle Love” has electronic elements in it because we used something called a looper, so it’s slightly different from the a cappella songs we’ve done up to now. We plan to use the looper in Singapore too. It might come as a bit of a surprise when people hear it for the first time, but please look forward to it.
 
6) How or where do you usually get your inspirations for the songs and lyrics that you write?
Yuji Sakai: Our ideas aren’t always born from themes, but there many times when we receive requests and write songs based on the themes we get. Having said that, The Gospellers as a group does have a basic theme. That is, songs that the five of us can sing together. Songs with an effective harmony. This theme has never changed for us. When we hear songs from Japan or around the world, old or new, just thinking about how the song would sound if sung in harmonised parts, or how it would turn out if we each took turns singing the main melody, gives us all sorts of ideas. These ideas form the foundation for the basic harmony each member makes, and then Kitayama usually tweaks them slightly by working on a more music theory basis.
 
7) Can you share some of your most memorable live performance experiences with us?
Yutaka Yasuoka: We were performing in a children’s hospital in the Philippines when a mother cried as she heard us sing. It was one of the moments when I felt a greater appreciation for being a singer.
 
8) Singapore is known for our large variety of local food and lush greenery. Is there any food that you are dying to try and places to go?
Tetsuya Murakami: I’m just excited that we’re going somewhere we’ve never been before. It’ll be a brand new experience, so I’m looking forward to it.
 
9) What can we expect from the Gospellers at the Singapore show?
The Gospellers: It’ll be our first time visiting Singapore and performing there, and it will probably be the first time hearing our harmony firsthand for many people. I want them to experience that instant when the different notes produced by five people come together to resound as one melody.
 
10) Please leave a message for your fans in Singapore.
The Gospellers: It’s been a long time since we last performed in Asia like this so I’m really glad. We hope to put on a passionate show that will live up to the expectations of everyone who has waited for us patiently in Singapore.
Photos Credit: ©GRACIAS
The Gospellers Live in Singapore 2017
 
Date: 24 September 2017, Sunday
Time: 5:00pm (Doors open 4:00pm)
Venue: Drama Centre Theatre (100 Victoria Street, National Library Building Level 3, S (188064))
 
Tickets: Cat 1 – S$88 / Cat 2 – S$68
 
Tickets available at www.sistic.com.sg from 15 July 2017 (12:00nn SGT).
**All ticket prices exclude SISTIC booking fees.

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