Renowned Kagoshima singers Hajime Chitose and Atari Kousuke held their first ever concert in Singapore recently. I had the opportunity to cover their exclusive performances at Zepp@BigBox and it was nothing short of an amazing experience to say the least.
“Ochugen” collaboration unit
Hailing from the Amami Oshima islands in Kagoshima, Japan, and both singing in the unique Shima-uta style of folk music, Hajime Chitose and Atari Kousuke have been holding concerts as a collaboration unit.
In fact, the duo has a nickname “Ochugen” (お中元), which is a play on each of their surnames, Atari (中) and Hajime (元), forming a Japanese word “Ochugen”.
This expression refers to the gift-giving period in July where Japanese people send gifts to people they are indebted to, and it was aptly used as this concert took place in July too!
An evening of soothing and entrancing vocals
The concert started with a duet performance, after which both singers also had solo performances. Of course, the concert wouldn’t be complete without them singing their hit songs.
For Atari Kousuke, said to have the world’s most soothing voice, his arguably most popular song is his third single Hana. Enjoying increasing popularity in Japan and Asian countries such as Taiwan and China, Atari Kousuke also sang a Chinese song, “Invisible Wings” (隐形的翅膀) originally by Angela Zhang, much to the delight of the local fans.
Songs by Hajime Chitose included her first major label single, Wadatsumi No Ki (ワダツミの木), which topped the singles chart, and Kataritsugu Koto (語り継ぐこと), her first release after returning to the music industry in 2005.
Widely known as a singer with a very unique singing style, her entrancing stage presence mesmerised all who turned up to watch her performance. Her singing has been reported in studies to have actual relaxation effects on the human mind, and after listening to her live in person, I am sure her fans couldn’t agree more.
The concert ended on a high note with duet performances by the two artistes during the encore.
Kagoshima, land of unique experiences
On a side note, if you have not heard about the beautiful Amami Oshima islands, or have yet to be enthralled by the beauty and rich culture Kagoshima prefecture offers, I highly recommend including them into your itinerary on your next Japan trip! You will be sure that many unique experiences await you, and it will be a side of Japan you have yet to discover.
Venue | Zepp@BigBox
Organiser | Sozo
Media Partner | Bandwagon
TV Partner | GEM TV Asia
Part of Japan Music Festival
Photography | Truphotos