Japanese artist Rié guides us through her debut EP Business Trips, which draws heavily from different locations around the world and sees her collaborating with the likes of Theme Park.
Rié has already enjoyed success in Asia as Rie Fu (she signed with Sony Japan at just 19) and now looks to the Europe as her next chapter begins, dedicating the upcoming EP to both Japan and the UK. Head here to find out more about her name change.
It’s a love-hate relationship song with London. In the beginning of my journey into the UK music market, I encountered many amazing people, but also some cynical ones who told me all the reasons why I shouldn’t be pursuing music here. Whilst frustrated by these comments, at the same time it became a fuel to write this song and to prove them wrong. This song is a response to all the negative things or comments that come my way; showing determination. I really love London though, and this song (Hikaru Ishizaki version) is full of recorded sounds around the city; the bells of St.Martin’s church, violinist at Blackfriars, man at the newspaper stand (in the outro)… it’s a love song to this wonderfully diverse city.
I wrote this song a while after moving back to the UK. At the time, I was feeling a certain strangeness about being a Japanese living in a small home counties town. “Opposites” was the first key word, and I started thinking about accents, customs, cold and heat, sun and moon, etc. It also made me think about crossing the borders/boundaries between racial, political, and religious conflicts as those issues are becoming more prominent around the world. “Your voice, the only clear sound” was the next key phrase – even though we speak in different languages, they are all sounds after all, and a voice is universal, and should be used to communicate and unite, not to attack each other. It was an important concept to carefully deliver my own voice, not only as a foreigner, but simply as an individual, especially for the first EP release.
When I lived in the tropical Singapore last year, a gecko kept on appearing whenever my husband went on his business trips. I thought it was watching over me while he was away and inspired by this small creature, I started writing this song. I was listening to Kate Bush’s album Aerial, and heard a song – "Mrs.Bartolozzi" – about a washing machine. She saw a world of swirling ocean inside. That made me realise that the domestic environment is full of inspiration; anything that’s seemingly mundane could be a hint for a new viewpoint. So I wrote this song to shine light on unheard voices of the daily routine; whether it’s house chores, office work, business trips, or even songwriting – it’s not a glamorous thing, songwriting. I feel like I’m in a cubicle in my own office, making songs… and touring is also not as glamorous as it seems, it’s basically business trips for musicians. Both songwriting and touring accompany solitude, and I think those elements are very important for artists.
As much as I am excited to collaborate with great talents in the UK, I also want to introduce some amazing creators from Japan through my music. In that sense, including the two versions of this song was exactly what I wanted to achieve. It’s as if a same story is narrated by creators from two parts of the world; each had surprising and different elements all in interesting ways. Theme Park’s sound is brilliantly catchy and leaning towards the current sound, while Hikaru Ishizaki’s dexterity in his production is extremely elaborate and timeless. I aspire to continue exploring through working with creators of both (and many other) countries.