A fundamental key to success for every live musician lies in stage presence. Stage presence can mean anything, but it’s something more than simply moving about and being involved physically with the music. It transcends the corporeal world and enters into the subconscious of the viewers, spreading like a contagion via word of mouth. I felt compelled to write this because upon viewing some inspiring music videos of the 27 year old singer/actress Aya Haruki I was struck by the thought. Having practiced classical ballet for 15 years and performing in several plays by the time she debuted her musical side in 2006, it appears she was more than prepared for her stage life as a musician. I first saw her performing with only one musician, her guitarist, in an unplugged set and was blown away by the way they were capable of producing so much energy with as little as her voice and his instrument. Aya’s confidence shone through the performance brightly. Her voice never wavered and held strongly like a vocal vice grip. Having no knowledge of the Japanese language, I was left to focus solely on her voice and melody,
and didn’t feel the least bit disappointed losing out on the meaning. After viewing the full band I was taken aback—the musical direction of the band was almost entirely different. There’s a plethora of musical styles ranging from pop, classical, funk and rock all tied together, driven by Aya’s presence, as she seamlessly weaves her charismatic swagger with top notch vocal delivery. There’s a sense of longing for something more out of life, and yet the vibrancy of life itself fleshes out in abundance; a contradiction and a blessing for music lovers who are interested in hearing what Japan’s young talent has to offer the world.
“There's a plethora of musical styles ranging from pop, classical, funk and rock all tied together, driven by Aya's presence...”