The fusion of two worlds in Hatsukoi, by Hikaru Utada

I am one of that kind of music lovers who do not settle for listening to music from a specific region or only the favorite genres. I like to investigate and know what they do in other cultures or subcultures. I usually marvel at the expressions of countries far from mine and with different ways of understanding and processing music. In many occasions, I do not understand what they are saying and I do not have time to search the internet for a good translation, but the musical language is universal and it is what first speaks to me and tells me things about those songs totally oblivious to what my culture and training have taught me. In all cases and of all the experiences that enrich me, I learn something new and, above all, I learn to appreciate the beauty in all expressions. Obviously, not everything I hear becomes automatic in my favorite; however, I keep all that learning to expand my understanding. French, Indian, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern music, Scandinavian, Eastern European, Greek, South American folklore and all those non-commercial currents of the countries that lead the most aggressive commercial penetration in the world that could be United States, UK and, Central Europe. Everything goes through my ears and to all those styles and genres I give them attention and respect equally. One of the things that characterize almost all these musical currents is the well-defined identity, either by genre or by the region of the world to which they belong. I suppose that it is not only the defense of a musical genre but also the feeling and pride of belonging to a culture. Show what you have and, the region where you were born and you learned to create music through your elders, perfect it, make it evolve and show it to the world. Everything is valid and extremely valuable; I believe that this defense of identity must remain between us forever. However, there are also artists who, due to different circumstances, embark on a mission that seems the most difficult in the musical arena: merging two worlds through your music. Penetrate successfully in the region of your ancestors with musical styles that do not belong to the tradition and, at the same time, impregnate with your culture your songs to reach those places that until recently did not know it with wrappings so attractive that They become irresistible and, in a short time they are adopted as their own, as if they had always belonged to that place where they are taken for the first time. That is the beauty of this artist that has no comparison. A singer decided to take to the country that inherited her roots and all that region of the world, a sample of the rhythms and styles of the West, presented with lyrics and interpretations that make them very familiar to lovers of Far Eastern music ; while, on this side of the Pacific Ocean, she opens our eyes to the sensitivity and beauty with which her culture enriches the western genres that she interprets to give them a refreshing and a different angle view. A well thought-out and balanced fusion that can only have one result for all her works: the love we all have for Hikaru Utada.


Hatsukoi, it's an almost perfectly balanced album. Why do I say "almost"? Because I would have loved to hear one or two songs performed with much more intensity and explosiveness, even within the style of Hikaru Utada I think it could have been achieved. Outside of that, the balance that keeps so that the styles complement and sound with absolute coherence is masterful. It was expected since the singer is no improvised. Born in New York and the daughter of a famous Japanese singer in the sixties and seventies, Hikaru Utada, had the fortune since childhood to cultivate not only the taste, but also the mastery of all those musical currents that you can find in New York, while at home he received the teachings of his culture, language and, love for the style of making music of the Japanese. It was only a matter of time before the artist knew what path she wanted to take to conquer that place in the musical environment that now belongs only to her. Discovered by all of us and by the record industry since the late nineties, she is an extraordinary musical ambassador for both halves of the world. I do not know if it was proposed to happen this way, but the truth is that is a privileged one. The subtle style at the time to sing contributes to not cause a clash between what is heard and what is believed to be listening, it sounds strange what I just said, but if it happens, it is not easy to hear a very familiar musical style for us, interpreted in a language for which it was not created, that is why interpretation plays a very important role for its acceptance among the public that is used to certain things that belong to their culture and language, I mean to the R & B, the Soul, the Pop, etcetera. And the same applies for Japan, although the incursion of American and British style has been in that distant region for many decades, listening to it in its language and with letters much closer to its life and mentality, must be comforting.


What better recognition could this singer have had than having been chosen to make the English and Japanese versions for the video game songs, Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II and, Kingdom Hearts III. There is nothing else more popular in our times than the incredible video games that exist today and are, in many cases, the hallmark of oriental culture most recognized by children, youth and, adults in this part of the world, so , choosing Hikaru Utada as the voice of one of the most popular is the confirmation of her role as ambassador of our cultures. That we have much more of her in the future and she continues to bring all the people of the world closer with her art.

By: Jorge Diaz

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