Anybody heard of Chris Hart? I hadn’t until last week. I was watching some Japanese variety before bed and he appeared on one of the shows. He’s an African-American singer but the catch is that he sings in Japanese. And let me tell you, it sounds amazing. He spoke a little on the show and his Japanese skills were very impressive, but when he started actually singing (live) I was blown away. I think that if you didn’t see his face you probably wouldn’t know it isn’t a Japanese person singing.
And that’s probably because, at least in my opinion, he is better at singing than the majority of Japanese artists. His voice has been described as a ‘miracle’ and I can see why. Lately I’ve really fell in love with one of his recent collaboration works with Seiko Mastuda, a song called 「夢がさめて」/ “Yume ga Samete”. I mean, it’s nothing really ground breaking musically but the song is really uplifting and catchy. In the last week I’ve found myself listening to it over and over again, and I haven’t even started to grow tired of it yet either. If you’re interested you can watch the full music video for the song below. I also found some audio of him doing a cover of JUJU’s「奇跡を望むなら」which blew me away too.
But it’s not just the music and the singing that impresses me about Chris Hart. After seeing him on TV I started looking for his songs, music videos and I found myself on his homepage which also features a biography. Chris is apparently 28 years old at the moment, and he’s been living in Japan for around 4 or 5 years now. Until he made it big he was working a job related to vending machines. Vending machines? I’m trying to imagine how a job like that could possibly be interesting. I’m guessing that it was just something that he was doing to fill in time and fund himself before making his break, and that’s why I was so surprised.
From the sound of his biography even since he was a small child he felt like he had a kind of strong connection to Japan. Pretty much everything he did up until graduating was done with the intention of one day living in Japan(as a Musician). He then moved to Japan at age 24 in pursuit of that dream. And he clearly didn’t give up on that dream for (close to) 5 whole years. It also says that in his spare time he was always uploading new singing videos onto YouTube and that’s how he was eventually found.
I’m a horrible singer. I’m completely tone-deaf. I don’t have big dreams of making it as a musician and I can’t even play a single instrument but I can’t help but admire people like Chris Hart who follow their dreams with such a burning passion. I suppose that in the end it’s all about how much you want something. If you really, really, really want it eventually things are going to work out for you and your hard work is going to pay off.
I’m really excited to see what Chris does in the future. Does anyone else like his music or know about him? Or does anyone else have big dreams to live in Japan and do something amazing? It seems like most people I meet want to move to Japan to teach English or translate which I’m sure aren’t bad jobs and pay quite well but the level of difficulty between those kind of jobs and an artistic profession is completely different. Incomparable even. Anyway if you’ve got something to say feel free to write a comment below.