So today I’ll make an small introduction to one of my favorite Japanese music artists.
I have two favourite singers; one is YUI, who I’ve been a fan of since the release of her single “Feel my soul” back in 2005. The other one is a singer called Abe Mao, compared to YUI she is rather unknown, which is why I thought I would mention her.
Abe Mao is 21 years old, born in Oita prefecture and debuted in 2009 with her album called free.
I discovered Abe Mao while looking around on youtube, where I came across her debut song free, which was not long after the release of the album of the same name.
I liked her music style, which showed some similarities to YUI. I liked her voice, her energy and overall presence. Her voice wasn’t flawless, neither is it today, but her voice is filled with personality, a charm that lures you in and a voice that isn’t just one among a million.
Like with YUI, Abe Mao posses a kind of uniqueness that can draw an audience. They both also write their own lyrics, play the guitar and piano as well.
After listening to “free”, I looked up some of her other songs, which was part of the debut album, and I was quickly hooked. On a whim I decided to buy her album and even managed to get my hands on the almost sold out limited edition. Shortly after her first single was released, titled “Tsutaetai Koto / I wanna see you” and from there I started to anticipate all her new releases, which I of course also pre-ordered to keep my newly found and growing Abe Mao CD collection in tact.
What I also love about Abe Mao is how she doesn’t try to look or act perfect. She doesn’t try to be a polished idol. She has a nice humour, which she doesn’t mind turning against herself. I mean, how many singer would write a song called ストーカーの唄～3丁目､貴方の家～ (The Stalker Song ~3rd block, your house~). Which has lyrics like these:
”You little sister, she’s cute. She’s called Moe-chan, right?
”The 3rd block, the stakeout of love”
”Don’t be scared. I’m just looking.”
”I’m just loving you. Please notice”
Abe Mao has a great array of both; fast paced, rock-ish songs, amazingly beautiful ballads, acoustic-like songs, fun, upbeat pop songs and many other styles that are hard to put in categories. Especially because Abe Mao possesses great diversity when it comes to her music and she never becomes neither boring nor ordinary.
Of course the biggest highlight for me occurred this summer when I was able to see Abe Mao live in Tokyo. She has an amazing stage presence and energy and while seeing her perform you have no doubt that she’s doing something she loves. Something I hope she can continue with for years to come, because she deserves it. She’s not just one in a million, she’s Abe Mao.
Last, I’ll finish of with her latest single, Soba ni Ite (Full version), which is a song I really love. It’s a beautiful ballad, both in words and overall feel and really displays Abe Mao’s talent and potential.