Japanese singer-songwriter Yuichi Ohata (Photo: http://yuichiohata.com)
For those moments when you want the flavor of the Beatles, but not exactly the Beatles, try singer-songwriter Yuichi Ohata. In his five pop albums, the Japanese artist pays homage to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and other classic folk and pop craftsman. His hummable, likable songs need no translation, even if he sings in Japanese. He even looks a little like Dylan.
I met him recently here in New York City, where the 34-year old was visiting to record his upcoming album (full disclosure: my boyfriend played on the record). It was Yuichi’s second album with producer Jesse Harris, a musician who co-wrote Norah Jones’ multi-platinum Grammy award-winning debut album. Yuichi played a small set here in New York at Rockwood Music Hall in October, but in Japan he’s a full-fledged J-pop star.
Listen to “Suna Arashi” on Yuichi’s 2008 album, Songs from the Magic Shop: