Tujiko Noriko is a Japanese electronic musician who lives and works in Paris these days. She makes a kind of layered electronic music that mixes a Japanese pop sound with samples. She has released ten albums since 2000. And people are taking notice. Her fan base is in Japan, but she's picking up steam in Europe.
Like many Japanese kids, Noriko Tujiko grew up surrounded by pop music. Everything in Japan uses pop songs, from TV shows, to anime movies, to commercials. It's pervasive. And Tujiko says her music is a mix of that with what she calls 'noisy music'.
Tujiko: Like woosh! Without so much melody. And then really simple, noise music. And I was fan of it. So I have really- different type of influence: one is Japanese pop music, and the other one is really noisy one- noise music.
MUSIC: Sun! from Solo (Mego, 2007)
Tujiko: I never really learned any instruments. I found it was easy to make music, even if I don't play any instruments. So I- I started to use synthesizers, first. And then after computer.
Tujiko has been living in France for seven years.
Tujiko: I'm singing in Japanese always. For Japanese people it's really direct the meaning what I'm saying. But it's funny that I do concerts and sell music here in Europe where they don't really understand Japanese.
They may not understand the words but they get the sound: Tujiko's electronic music is very much along the lines of the electro-influenced pop—called “avant-pop"-- that developed here in France about 10 years ago, which has influenced pop music worldwide ever since.
Many of Tujiko's songs have English names—her favorites? An older one called White Film, and a newer one, Spot.
MUSIC: White Film from Shojo Toshi (Mego, 2001)
Tujiko: Both of them made me fresh again, like when you falling in love with somebody: you meet somebody, and then suddenly woo! A lot of- I don't know, endorphin. I don't know what is it- something which made you- really uh- awake or fresh or- discovering!
Tujiko has had a Japanese following since 1999, but Parisians have only recently been discovering her, through the last few of her ten albums. The latest one, called Solo, came out in 2007.
So, in the future, can we expect some songs in French? Why not, she says.
For the World I'm Sarah Elzas in Paris.
This piece was produced for The World
and aired July 3, 2008.
Producer: Sarah Elzas
Recorded in Paris, France
Photo: Tokyo to Naiagara album cover
- Sun! from Solo (Mego, 2007)
- White Film from Shojo Toshi (Mego, 2001)