You’ll always remember your first time.
My maiden voyage into the world of Japanese TV was almost a year ago now and it was as exciting as it was random. I’ve been on TV several times since then but this appearance is still probably the most fun (so far!). A lot of people have asked me about it and I even got recognized by strangers a few times afterwards but for some reason I never got around to writing about it until now.
It was October 2016 and my good friends and long term collaborators Megan Valentine and Tomas Eduardo had come to Tokyo for a mini tour and had kindly invited me to perform with them. I think it was only their second day in Tokyo when Meg and Tom were in Shibuya for some sightseeing. As there often are there were some camera crews hanging around picking out interesting looking foreigners to interview. As luck would have it, the topic of the day was Japanese music! They asked Meg to sing a bit from her favorite Japanese song and they were super impressed (of course, she’s pretty great). Meg being Meg, she went straight into PR mode and started promoting our first gig of the mini tour at Shimokitazawa Waver. To our amazement the film crew said they would come and film the performance!
Turns out the film crew were from Zip! TV, a popular breakfast show (for my UK peeps, similar kind of deal to Channel 4). We had only been rehearsing together a few days so the prospect of playing my harp on Japanese TV was… a little bit daunting.
I was happy with our performance though. Honestly it was a great experience. Waver is a really friendly venue and the vibe gave me confidence to keep my nerves under control despite a camera man being 3ft from my harp. It was nearly Halloween, there was a good turnout and the decorations were on point.
We were playing a mix of covers and originals but of course this is Japanese TV and so they were most interested in the song we were singing in Japanese – Moonlight Densetsu, the opening from Sailor Moon. As well as filming us they interviewed us backstage on why we liked Japanese music and what had brought us to where we were tonight.
I love crazy coincidences and that was one night where things just fell into place. My old friends had come to London and obviously a lot of my Japan friends had come to the gig when they heard that it would be on TV…
After our set the camera crew left and we all danced like crazy to the final band of the evening. I will treasure that memory.
I cropped the most harp intensive segment and stuck it on my Instagram:
#throwback to the time I played Moonlight Densetsu (from Sailor Moon) on the harp on Zip! TV with @megu_blanche ! It's a popular breakfast show in Japan.... the equivalent of Channel 4 probably 😝 Megan got interviewed in Shibuya and then the camera crew came to our show at @shimokitazawa_waver I've been on TV a few times since then but this was the most fun 😀🎶 #japanesetv #ziptv #harp #moonlightdensetsu #sailormoon #japanlife #tokyotour #meganvalentine #tokyoharp #harpontv #celticharp #meganvalentine #bluehair #harpcover #animesong
Or if you’re interested in a better quality recording of the performance (taken by our photographer, not the film crew) and Meg’s commentary, check out her video blog: