My name is Isaku Takahashi and I’m a recent graduate from Goldsmiths, University of London, studying Music. I am Japanese, but spent most of my life in the UK, including my entire education in London. I play the piano and violin, done a couple of gigs with a jazz/soul band, and I have perfect pitch.
And now, I’ve decided to start a blog. This blog is an online ‘personal writing cloud’ for reviews, ideas, or just simply posts on the thing I’m interested in – J-Pop of course!
So what is my motor for starting this online writing space?
For the past three years, I have had to tolerate a copious amount of essays, projects and coffee (which was perhaps for the better, as it made me more mentally resilient). Once I wrote some stuff, it would be assessed and marked. Dreading the idea that I would get a bad mark for these assignments, it was actually favourable for the most part, which was honestly a pleasant surprise. Before starting university, writing essays was a completely alien process for me simply because I hardly did any for a continuous period of time. Looking back now, I would never have imagined my academic life would culminate in an 8000 word final year research essay on J-Pop. It’s a skill that I have developed and now become passionate about. Since getting the occasional compliments from lecturers, I figured it would be a waste not to continue writing about music in some shape or form.
Also, I guess spending most of my life in the UK meant that I didn’t experience the musical exposure that a regular person born and raised in Japan would usually endure, which perhaps made me more curious, interested in learning and encountering the vibrant music scene in Japan. I like how ‘J-Pop’ embraces, and celebrates diversity, reflected in the wide spectrum of styles and sonic palettes that splurges out from that wonderful, exotic and strange country!
At the moment I don’t really have a structure on how I approach every post (e.g. Do I review an artist, or just one song, album, video? etc.) However, I think it would be better to not have one because it may give this blog a bit more variety. Although the word length may vary from one to another, it’s not really my concern at the moment. I’d rather let my mind talk/write naturally.
The most important thing I aim to get out from this blog is a sense of personal pleasure, and the feeling that I’m learning from this process. Even if my writing is not the most stimulating or engaging to everyone, I hope this blog will give just an open, general insight into Japanese music and culture. To add to this, Goldsmiths really encouraged me to look at things from a different perspective, so I aim to take this principle in my writing and try to look towards new, undiscovered musicians from Japan (one way I can learn from this process).