One of Japan’s pioneer vocal groups, The Gospellers are a five-man vocal group formed in 1991 where the members were part of Waseda University’s a cappella club, Street Corner Symphony. Debuting with the single “Promise” in 1994, they have been performing live on concert tours every year since. With hit albums such as “Soul Serenade”, “Love Notes” as well as singles including “Towa ni”, “Hitori”, “Hoshikuzu no Machi” and “Mimosa”, The Gospellers is widely recognised as one of the pioneer vocal groups in Japan.
We catch up with the group before their first ever performance in Singapore on the 24th of September 2017 to find out how their journey has been so far and what fans can look forward to next.
POPCulture Online: How did the name The Gospellers come about?
The Gospellers: Our group name is an invented word and it’s derived from the harmony that you hear in church music and the strength of gospel music’s words. However, our music isn’t gospel music, but pop.
POPCulture Online: It’s been over 20 years since the group got together, how has the journey been so far?
Tetsuya Murakami: Releasing hit songs and performing at our dream venue, Nippon Budoukan, are definitely things that have made us very happy. Working on that momentum, we were also able to hold concerts in Taiwan, Seoul and Shanghai during our 10th anniversary, which was something we could have never imagined. We’ll never be able to forget those memories, and so we’re extremely glad for this chance to perform in Singapore for the first time. We’ll do our very best to put up a great show for everyone.
POPCulture Online: Having been on tour many times, were there any interesting incident to share?
Yutaka Yasuoka: We were in the Philippines performing when a mother cried as she heard us sing. Though we were singing in a different language, it was one of the moments when I felt a greater appreciation for being a singer.
POPCulture Online: If Gospellers were not musicians, what would they be?
Kaoru Kurosawa: I’d probably be a chef, but I do think that I would have continued singing one way or another.
POPCulture Online: With the recent release of “Soul Renaissance”, what can fans look forward to next?
Yuji Sakai: The lyrics in “Soul Renaissance” are mostly in Japanese, but even if the language is different, I think our 20 years of experience singing together as a team, and our harmonies, will nevertheless be felt. I’d like for many more people to hear us sing, and I’m sure that there are many who would like to form groups and sing in harmony, in Singapore. I would like to make an album that can connect all of us together.
POPCulture Online: Lastly, do you have a message for your fans?
Kaoru Kurosawa: I’m really happy for this chance to perform in Singapore for the first time. We’ve come a long way from our beginnings as five guys with a shared interest in African-American music, to a group that has managed to carve out its own niche. Please enjoy our performance. I’m looking forward to being able to meet everyone at the show!
Thank you The Gospellers for your time with this interview and we look forward to your performance this September!
The Gospellers Live in Singapore 2017
Date: 24 September 2017, Sunday
Time: 5:00pm (Doors open 4:00pm)
Venue: Drama Centre Theatre (100 Victoria Street, National Library Building Level 3, S (188064))
Tickets available at http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/gospellers2017
**All ticket prices exclude SISTIC booking fees.
Photos courtesy of ©GRACIAS
© POPCulture Online 2017