entertainment

J-Pop singer Nicholas Edwards’ first concert delights fans

13 Comments
By Kay

You may recall that we ran an article about two months ago featuring American-born J-POP singer Nicholas Edwards, who studied Japanese and moved from Oregon to Japan in pursuit of his dream to become a singer here. Now, three years after his move, his singing career certainly seems to be moving in the right direction.

This year, he released his debut single from a major Japanese music label in July, followed by a double mini album in October, and he also performed at his very first concert on Dec 22 at The Garden Hall in Ebisu.

Sunday was a fine but cold day, yet the low temperature didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the fans that gathered for the event. The final rehearsal before the actual evening concert was also turned into a kind of informal performance, for which tickets were also sold, so for fans (including myself), the excitement started early in the afternoon.

The rehearsal, which started at 2:30 p.m., went on for a little over an hour, with basically the same costumes, effects and dancing as the actual concert later in the evening. Edwards was perhaps a bit nervous at the very beginning of the rehearsal (this was going to be his very first concert, after all), but he quickly got into the atmosphere and beat of the music and was soon performing with gusto.

Despite it being a rehearsal, you could feel how thrilled Edwards was about his debut concert, and fans seemed genuinely excited for him too, waving colored lights in time to the music, not just during the actual concert but the rehearsal as well. For the rehearsal performance, he sang a majority of the songs he would be singing in the concert, finishing with one of his own Japanese Christmas pop tunes.

It wasn’t a huge concert hall, seating about 750 people, but it was filled to capacity, and there seemed to be a genuine feeling of good will and unity among those in the audience. especially as it was so close to Christmas.

The actual concert lasted for approximately one hour and 40 minutes, and Edwards sang about 18 songs including an encore. The program included a selection of his original songs, of course, and a few classic Japanese folk songs as well as some popular Christmas songs such as “Silent Night, Holy Night” and “White Christmas”. The audience took to their feet and moved enthusiastically together to the music for some of the songs, and most people had their own lights to wave. Overall, he seemed to truly enjoy performing throughout the concert, and the fans were naturally quite happy with that.

Edwards also announced during the concert that his original song “Skies” from his double mini album of the same title was going to be featured in a TV commercial for Masudajuku, a large chain of prep schools for university entrance exams, to which delighted fans responded with enthusiastic applause and shouts of congratulations.

Another aspect of the concert that was memorable was Edwards speaking to the audience in Japanese. He expressed his sincere joy at being able to perform for his fans in his very first concert and also treated the audience to some personal stories, including how he used to spend Christmas with his family back in the United States before coming to Japan, as well as the beautiful if sad stories behind some of his original songs — all in Japanese. His words seemed to come from his heart, creating some emotional moments, and while there may have been some pauses during his speech or the very occasional hiccup with a Japanese expression, it really was impressive to hear him convey so much in a second language that he learned after reaching high-school age. I couldn’t help but feel honest respect for Edward’s passion for music and Japanese.

All in all, fans seemed more than satisfied with the concert experience, and more importantly, I think many of them left feeling very warm and happy after sharing the evening together. Hopefully, we’ll be hearing more good things about Nicholas Edwards as he continues with his music career, and maybe we’ll be seeing him perform in a much larger concert hall in the not too distant future.

Concert photo from Nicholas Edwards official blog

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13 Comments
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There are foreigners treading the boards on pubs all over Japan who can do all of the above and more, but who've not been given major label opportunity. Good luck to this fellow though.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

while there may have been some pauses during his speech or the very occasional hiccup with a Japanese expression, it really was impressive to hear him convey so much in a second language that he learned after reaching high-school age. I couldn’t help but feel honest respect for Edward’s passion for music and Japanese.

Doesn't it feel so good to know that people out there in the world are reaching out to Japan with love and respect? Never have I seen such heartwarming cross-cultural passion.

also announced during the concert that his original song “Skies” from his double mini album of the same title was going to be featured in a TV commercial

What better opportunity than a commercial to bridge cultural differences…

for Masudajuku, a large chain of prep schools for university entrance exams, to which delighted fans responded with enthusiastic applause and shouts of congratulations.

One thing that people all over the world share is an enthusiasm for prep school chains.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

He may not have been headlining concerts, but he was dominant in the foreigner singing contests on the telly. Heck, some of the best American singers like Nilsson never did any performing besides on TV.

Props to Nick for trying to do his own thing. He could be that guy who impersonates Misora Hibari, but luckily hasn't gone off that deep end quite yet.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I won't be listening, but best of luck to him. I just hope, assuming he's talented, that people here like him for his skills and not just as a foreigner who can sing/speak in Japanese. Admire the man's passion, that's for sure.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Another Jero I know a very know J-pop singer Japanese female beautiful voice and she can't sell over 200 Cds this is a fad and as soon as the marketing goes so will the career different face nice voice but in the end he is not Janis material if he was a "entertainer" meaning with dance moves yes but a stand up microphone I give him a year and he will be an independent.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

kaimycahl: "Another Jero"

And another bigot. Like I said, there will be people that will celebrate him simply because he's a foreigner, and there will be those that hate him for the same reason. Imagine the gall! A foreigner trying to be like AKB and other such 'talent'! I bet you haven't even listened to him before you pronounced your judgement.

Moderator: Calling another reader a bigot? Incredible that you still haven't learned to post as a mature adult after all this time. You can have another 48 hours off from posting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another Jero

There is not one thing, beyond their countries of birth, that is common between these two singles.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He have a good shot of making it Japan because he's been on television many times on the talent show "Songs for Japan" and also made a few commercials. He already have an established fan base, so it's not like he is starting from scratch. I think he won the second season of the talent show, and also another season winner American Chris Hart started his career earlier this year. They both have great potential.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Came for the expected JT forum negativity, leaving satisfied. Thanks for never disappointing.

That being said, I sincerely admire this guy's passion in accomplishing his goals. His fans seem to enjoy his music and performances. That's all that really matters, people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

kaimycahl: "Another Jero..."

Why? because he's a foreigner singing Japanese? What if he is BETTER than his Japanese counterparts and truly deserves a shot? How many Japanese singers do you see going overseas, language training and studying hard, then trying to succeed in their markets? If nothing else you have to admire the young man's passion. Obviously his fans do.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Smith - very well put.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The biggest question is how long will the Japanese hail him considering they are noted for being infatuated with something that is new and rare and is the talk of the mainstream TV channels and the moment that rarity is lost and the subject starts vanishing from the J-media it is dumped for the next marvel that the J-media throws to the naive public. What became of Jiro ? I am sure he has vanished from the radar.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If he can do it so can I. not the singing or being famous. I mean learning japanese and going to japan, which is my dream.

why is it so weird when an american wants to be famous in japan, but when singers from other countries come to america to be famous its normal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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