Kitasono Minami “Never Let Me Go” Interview & Liner Notes (2015)

This is an interview with Kitasono Minami about his third (and, as of this writing, most recent) EP, Never Let Me Go. Also included are his liner notes for each song. Enjoy!

Interview & text: Kato Naoko (Japanese text)
English translation: Henkka
Kitasono Minami links: Website, Blog, Twitter, SoundCloud

Note: You can buy Never Let Me Go on CDJapan.


Kitasono Minami, who released his second EP, lumiere, this past July, continues to showcase his increasingly colorful realm of pop. But the artist himself remains shrouded in mystery, choosing still not to reveal his face in any promotional photos. The fact is, however, that even this mystique is something that gives his work a certain kind of charm.

Being in charge of writing all the lyrics and music, doing all the arranging and singing, performing all manner of instruments by himself, but also featuring in his captivating world of sound a great number of highly skilled supporting players—beginning with the strings and a brass section—Kitasono Minami surely offers one so many different ways of enjoying his music, capturing the listener’s imagination.

And now, bringing a renewed sense of inspiration to that sound world is his third EP, Never Let Me Go, which was just released a short while ago. With a focus on winter songs, this work features five warm, bountiful numbers that make for perfect listening as we near the Christmas season. With some new performers taking part in the recordings—Ishiwaka Shun on drums, Kusui Satsuki and Morita Yusuke on bass, Ogaeri Ami on piano—the involvement of these young, spirited jazz musicians is surely another important characteristic of the work.

Eager to learn more about this highly interesting EP whose lyrics stand in stark contrast to its bright sound, we conducted an email interview with the artist himself.

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Kitasono Minami “lumiere” Interview & Liner Notes (2015)

Want to know more about Kitasono Minami and more specifically “part two” of his debut, lumiere? If so, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Enjoy!

Interview & text: Kato Naoko (Japanese text)
English translation: Henkka
Kitasono Minami on the web: Website, Blog, Twitter, SoundCloud

Note: You can buy lumiere from CDJapan.


Following his initial popularity on SoundCloud, this artist just released his first studio recordings on last year’s mini-album, promenade. On it, he wrote, composed, and arranged (including the orchestral arrangements of) all songs, and showcased his multi-instrumentalist abilities on the bass, guitar, and various other instruments. Kitasono Minami has been displaying immense talent and competency on his recorded material.

At the young age of just 24, his pop sound incorporating strings and horn sections is so beautiful, mellow, and most of all accessible that it is almost frightening. His second release, lumiere, only strengthens that feeling. Framed as the counterpart to promenade as its “twin mini-album,” this release gives the impression of possessing even more sounds which were not present on the previous release.

We conducted an email interview with the artist himself in regards to lumiere.

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Kitasono Minami “promenade” interview (2014)

This is an interview straight from Minami Kitasono’s homepage concerning his debut CD, promenade, released in October 2014. Like Tadashi Shinkawa, Kitasono appeared on Lamp’s 2014 album, Yume, on which he arranged three songs and played on several more.

Original text: Ryohei Matsunaga (original interview)
English translation: Henkka
Minami Kitasono on the web: website, blog, Twitter, SoundCloud, iTunes

Note: You can buy promenade from iTunes or CDJapan (physical CD, PayPal accepted).


Minami Kitasono: a mysterious singer-songwriter who suddenly appeared on the internet in the summer of 2012. A resident of Matsumoto, Nagano, born in 1990 — he has made little else about himself known besides that. He both fascinated and confused listeners with discerning ears with his original compositions featuring skillfully combined programmed sounds and live instruments. Poppy, mellow and eccentric. Rapid time signature changes and unpredictable song developments, and yet, an abundance pop sensibilities that make you want to start humming the melodies. All of the songs on his masterfully crafted first CD, promenade, feature a band sound as he is joined by a full lineup of guest musicians. With a little more dynamics in his music, it feels like Minami Kitasono might be dangerously close to changing the direction of pop music altogether.

Now as he is on the brink of releasing his debut CD, I got Minami Kitasono to peek outside of his veil of secrecy for me to interview him. So, please do tell us: “just who on earth are you?

Interview & text: Ryohei Matsunaga

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