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Interviews

Takuya Kuroda: Rising Son

By Published: February 19, 2014
"We were rehearsing two days before the recording and Nate [Smith] couldn't make the rehearsal," Kuroda states. "So I asked my homie, Tomo Kanno, to sit in. We were jamming the song, and I said I wanted it a little bit slower. Then Tomo started plying this nasty slow jam on the drums and we were like, 'Wow! This is it!'"

But not every song in Rising Son came out via happy accident, Takuya Kuroda also uses his latest album as a medium to send his emotions out to loved ones. "I'm 33 now and things are different to when I was 23," Kuroda explains about the meaning behind the title of his song, "Sometime, Somewhere, Somehow."

"The reason I started writing the song was for my grandfather who passed away, but it's also for [anyone]," continues the composer. "You lose your close friends and you have to face the fact that important people are going to pass away. It can also be about love. You might have to say goodbye to your girl and friends you'll never see. A lot of shit happens, and a lot of my emotion was just poured in there. So it's just like 'Sometime, Somewhere, Somehow' we might see each other again. It might happen and it might not—I don't know. It's really about my emotions going into this song."

A lot of affectivity comes into play in Rising Son. Whether it's a play on words that highlight Kuroda's Japanese heritage or it's his way of recalling his career that started from scrounging up gigs to touring the world with Jose James, Rising Son marks a new dawn for Kuroda's burgeoning career. Perhaps the allure of Rising Son is in its composer's ability to remember all his past experiences whether its playing Afrobeat with Akoya, geeking out with Jose James on stage, or the simple feeling of nostalgia that everyone has about those days of wine and roses that are long gone.

As the song so cleverly states, "Everybody Loves The Sunshine," and it's easy to live life with "bees and things and flowers." But often times, what is forgotten is the night that precedes the sunrise. Although Rising Son is a strong departure from his previous albums, the schoolboy from Kobe who grew up playing Count Basie
Count Basie
Count Basie
1904 - 1984
piano
charts has never forgotten his musical roots. "I see myself doing more of a straight-ahead thing, but it will be a different project where it's only straight ahead," Kuroda shares concerning his future projects. "I might do an album with strings or I might do a more traditional straight- ahead thing." But regardless of what Takuya Kuroda chooses to pursue next, he knows one thing is certain: "I know that I will always write music that makes people feel good when they hear it."

Selected Discography
Takuya Kuroda, Rising Son (Blue Note, 2014)
Jose James, No Beginning No End (Blue Note, 2013)
Takuya Kuroda, Six Aces (Self Produced, 2012)
Takuya Kuroda, Edge (Self Produced, 2011)
Jose James, Blackmagic (Brownswood, 2010)
Takuya Kuroda, Bitter & High (Self Produced, 2010).




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