Step into the world of “Suzumeno Tears” as they unveil their latest single, “Akita Daikokumai,” a spirited celebration of the New Year through a Japanese traditional folk lens. This lively rendition, blending vocal harmonies, intense guitar arpeggios, and expressive drumming, captures the essence of the God of Fortune’s Dance.
In an exclusive interview, Agatha, one half of the duo, gives us a glimpse into the journey of “Suzumeno Tears.”
The name “Suzumeno Tears” carries a clever Japanese pun, where “suzume” (sparrows) and “sparrow’s tears” symbolize a bit of money. Agatha, the arranger and producer, shares childhood influences from Brit pop through her sister’s CDs and highlights the Beatles as a major inspiration.
Self-taught in guitar and exploring vocal harmony, Agatha’s creative joy now lies in arranging and covering traditional folk songs, a departure from her earlier songwriting days.
With plans for upcoming releases and collaborations, including an off-record mention of a February single and a full album in March or April, “Suzumeno Tears” continues to carve a unique niche in the musical landscape.
Agatha’s parting message to fans is simple: “Hope you enjoy what I enjoy!” This interview offers a personal peek into the soulful journey and passion behind “Suzumeno Tears.”
Watch Akita Daikokumai below
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What is your stage name
Our stage name is “Suzumeno Tears”, consisting of Miyuki SATO and Agatha (myself). I’m going to answer these questions from my(Agatha’s) point of view, as the arranger\producer. Miyuki SATO has been a great singer specialised in Bulgarian folk songs. We started singing together when we both joined a class to learn a kind of traditional Japanese folk song, GOSHU ONDO (more like a singing style).
Is there a story behind your stage name?
In Japanese, “suzume” means sparrows, and the expression “sparrow’s tears (suzumeno namida)” means a little bit of money. It’s a kind of pun.
Where do you find inspiration?
Great (traditional folk) songs, sung in a great voice.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
Fun. Creative play. I was a very realistic child, so I didn’t think there was any way for me to do it professionally though.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Not really. But my elder sister was so much into Brit pop in the 90s, I had a big influence from her CDs.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
Mostly, the Beatles.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I self-taught the guitar, my main instrument, but I recieved some musical education in early life, 4-6 yo to learn the piano, 6-11 yo to learn the violin, but I was not a good student ( hated to read the scores..)
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
I’m not sure about this, but for the REAL artist, like who everybody knows, may be STING.
How could you describe your music?
What I do right now in this unit “Suzumeno Tears” focuses on vocal harmony, using Japanese traditional (sometimes, Balkan too) folk songs which are traditionally sung only in monophony.
Describe your creative process.
When I get familiar with a new song (traditional folk song), sometimes I “feel like” this is going to turn to something.
What is your main inspiration?
What musician do you admire most and why?
Again, the Beatles, probably. And I don’t think I need any explanation on that fact, they are just great 🙂
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Yes, very much. I started writing my own songs and home-record them with a multi-track recorder (YAMAHA MD4 and MD8). Now I don’t feel like writing my own songs (honestly, I have nothing to say) , instead I find a great joy in arranging/covering.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
They are NOT “competitor”, I emphasize this with my great respect, but as we both take Japanese traditional folk songs as the theme, “Minyo Crusaders” are best known Japanese artist in the world.
What are your interests outside of music?
Drawing comic book (manga).
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
I don’t know.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Well, I would say the biggest problem or enemy in making music is simply the lack of passion.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Everybody buys CDs once again.
What are your plans for the coming months?
(It is off-record yet) I’m going to release another single in February, and then, the whole album in March or April.
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans
We often collaborate with Remon Nakanishi in gigs, three of us, or as a band. He is an extraordinarily singer of Japanese traditional folk. I produced his album in 2022 and released it from my label, DOYASA! Records.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
Hope you enjoy what I enjoy!