Hikaru Utada previews new song, hikes Japanese Alps in beautiful videos

By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

While she’s not exactly a recluse, phenomenally successful singer Hikaru Utada has been pretty dedicated to staying out of the spotlight over the past several years. While it’s common practice for musicians in Japan to regularly appear on television talk shows as either guests or presenters, building a brand around their non-singing personality, Utada has generally been content to let her music speak for itself since her major Japanese debut in 1997.

So it’s somewhat fitting that when the American-born artist makes a rare professional endorsement, she does so in a commercial where there’s not another soul to be seen.

Utada is currently appearing in a pair of promotional videos for Suntory’s Tennensui brand of bottled water. Filmed in the Japanese Alps, the video radiate a quiet, timeless strength, not entirely unlike the one that surrounds the singer herself.

The videos are filled with the rugged natural beauty of Japan, but they aren’t just a treat for the eyes. Playing in the background of the second is a portion of Utada’s newest song, “Michi,” (“Road”), which will be included in the upcoming "Fantome," her first Japanese album since 2008’s "Heart Station."

All that hiking looks like a serious workout, and Utada described the process as being probably the hardest filming session she’s ever been part of. “I think I did pretty good for a 30-something musician who’s really an indoors type,” she boasted. It all looks like really thirsty work, though, so we’re sure she was glad that the crew was, thanks to the project’s very nature, well-supplied with water.

Source: IT Media

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japan’s 10 best singing voices as chosen by people in the industry -- Babymetal album is Japan’s 1st to crack U.S. Billboard’s top 40 in 53 years -- New video for Hikaru Utada’s ‘Beautiful World’ is a slice of Evangelion awesomeness【Video】

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While it’s common practice for musicians in Japan to regularly appear on television talk shows as either guests or presenters

Really? If you mean the likes of Exile, Arashi, Tokio then yes, but calling them singers is debatable.

Real singers like Utada Hikaru, Ken Hirai, Koda Kumi, Remioromen, Mr Children etc rarely (in fact I have only seen them once or twice in my eight years) on TV. I could be wrong though.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@papigiulio depends on the artist, sales driven acts need as much exposure as possible while a lot of established acts don't need to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

just need a money refill

1 ( +2 / -1 )

She went Hiki-ing (hehe)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Another artistically challenged j-popper selling out with a tv commercial. This is "news".

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Ironic - with all the "fresh" unpachege water around her.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sure, its news. Its Hiki. And its in the Entertainment section.

And in terms of her being an artistically challenged j-popper selling out with a TV commercial, c'mon. Let's have some perspective.

She may not be the most amazing vocalist in history, but she isn't awful. And her past success is not without merit.

As for selling out with a TV commercial, I remember MJ doing a Pepsi commercial at his peak in the '80s. Suntory is not some 3rd rate company.

The haters will hate. I am glad she is back and giving it a go. I'd rather have her around than SMAP!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Look forward to it. One of Japan's truly respectable musicians, and partly because she doesn't sell out.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

smith, youre looking at her selling out as we speak.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Cant wait to hear her new music love her!!! As for the commercial get over it shes never done anything like it before so she wanted to try something new so get over it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Outrider: "smith, youre looking at her selling out as we speak."

That depends. If she's doing it for the money alone, then yes. If she's doing it because she likes, partakes of, and/or believes in the product it is not necessarily selling out. If I were well off and were asked to do a commercial for a company I like, why wouldn't I? How many commercials has she been in to date, my friend, vs. the REAL sell-outs? How many posters? How many products?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All I know is that for years, to me, Suntory Tennensui has been the best water in Japan. Commercial water I mean. We love it! Smooth soft just great water. Hey Suntory, I could do an honest ad for you!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Always love to hear about "Utada" in the news! Glad that most of her music it now on U.S. Itunes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She is pretty. And she can sort of sing, which puts her in a rarified atmosphere near the top of Japanese pop. Usually it's not a requirement or rather an irrelevance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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