Japanese opera singer records an incredible cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”


RocketNews 24:

While we don’t usually think about successful opera singers breaking into the rock music industry, there’s one man out there to prove that classically trained performers can, in fact, appreciate decidedly more “modern-sounding” music.

Japanese operatic tenor Ken Nishikiori (錦織 健) is one of the most prolific opera singers to come out of Japan. But recently the 55-year-old has been making waves on the net not for his sweeping operatic vocals, but for his astounding cover of British rock band Queen’sBohemian Rhapsody!” 

As part of my father’s mandatory musical education while growing up, I was always surrounded by a host of classic rock bands (the Kinks in particular). Although Queen wasn’t one of his personal choices, even I can recognize some of the band’s biggest hits, such as the hugely influential “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The song was originally written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera. Notably, it features an approximately one-minute-long “operatic” segment within the song, right after the guitar solo. The effect of this choir-like vocal multi-tracking was achieved by having Mercury and the other band members record their voices for up to ten to twelve hours per day, for a grand total of 180 separate overdubs.

▼”Bohemian Rhapsody,” aka “179 dubs too many”


Enter Ken Nishikiori. The Shimane Prefecture native graduated from the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo and is today celebrated as a successful operatic tenor in his home country. In his spare time, he also participates in another ongoing gig in the form of a rock band that was originally formed during his school days–the Shimane Ken Band ( シマネ健バンド). 

Nishikiori has a chance to shine as a rock vocalist through this separate outlet, while at the same time pay tribute to Queen, one of his own personal favorite bands. The band has so far released two CDs, one in October 2010 and the other in May of 2011, both of which exclusively contain Queen cover tracks.

▼Shimane Ken Band’s Seven Songs of Queen, also known as Kagayakeru nanatsu no uta (輝ける7つの歌) in Japanese.


The band’s label, Pony Canyon, uploaded their “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover onto YouTube earlier last year. It’s still picking up new views even now, with many Japanese listeners commenting on how Nishikiori’s vocals sound hauntingly similar to Mercury’s original rendition (minus the slight accent, of course). We’re not entirely convinced, however:

“Anthem” by Kawehi featuring disembodied beatboxing heads (music video)


Anthem” is a new music video by Kawehi that features the Kansas-based singer removing boxed-up versions of her own head to accompany herself through layers of beatboxing. The track, which is taken from the record Robot Heart, is comprised entirely of vocals by the singer.


Tessanne Chin on her win on The Voice: “I’m So Grateful”

Tessanne Chin, The Voice

Tessanne Chin has big plans to celebrate her Voice win: Jamaican rum!

Some good rum, good Jamaican rum,” Chin said after winning The Voice. “No, I’m going to go to a wrap party tonight … there’s so many people behind the scenes that you don’t know that made this possible and I just want to celebrate with them.”

It’s unbelievable. I’m just so grateful,” Chin said. “I worked very hard for this moment.”

Her reaction when her name was called? “I don’t think I can say it on TV,” Chin said.

Adam Levine and Blake Shelton recap “The Voice” season finale. Plus, winner Tessanne Chin reveals how she plans to celebrate! Check it out.

Chin beat out Jacquie Lee and Will Champlin to take home The Voice season five crown. Her coach, Adam Levine, praised her. “Tessanne Chin deserved to win this and there’s no one on this planet Earth other than her family and her husband who is more proud of her—this was all her.”

There’s a place for him to stay in Jamaica. Chin said Levine has become like extended family and she’d love to introduce him to authentic Jamaican cooking. “I just think the world of him. I have a lot to be grateful for as far as Adam is concerned because he definitely led me right.”

Check out this link:

Tessanne Chin on her Voice win: “I’m So Grateful”


SAPPHIRE SLOWS : The Tokyo singer’s exhilarating new album wanders through J-Pop and dreampop


In the two years since the release of her debut 12″ True Breath (Not Not Fun, 2011), Sapphire Slows’ career has already taken her across the globe. She continues to carry a distinct vocal elegance matched by electronic textures that assemble and disassemble as fast as the urban environments that she is inspired by.

At times offering a tableau of bleeps and blops reminiscent of walking past a pachinko centre in Japan, her music bids the listener with the enticement of an escape from dreary reality into a special brand of transient curiosity. Yet this music remains an offer, never loosing its cool. It waits for you with a compositional resonance that occludes over interpretation, never truly shifting its overall intentions. Throughout the album her sonic footsteps wander a populated city nightscape, each title offering a slightly different exit. This Tokyo-based artist meticulously constructs music as global as it is personal.

Check out this link to read the interview and hear the music:

SAPPHIRE SLOWS : The Tokyo singer’s exhilarating new album wanders through J-Pop and dreampop