Free-lance Creative Director
< 24, Dec, 2014 >
From the middle of 1990s to the present, we Japanese have had a popular rock band; Spitz. Regardless of sex and age, they have widely been loved and supported. I have introduced their tenth studio album “Mikazuki Rock” on an article. Within that, I have extracted and digested a part of utterance of their creative director; Takeuchi Osamu who has been concerned with Spitz since their major debut. Now, extending his statements, an interview article is going on right here. Takeuchi Osamu has done with making pop music during a quarter of a century. We are diving through his surface layer and his deep structure.
Let me give y’all previous notice that there are no photos because of my circumstances, not his. Please understand.
■ I am so honored to see you. Now, first, would you tell me why you got to belong to Polydor (the present Universal Music)?
Takeuchi Osamu: Before I entered Polydor, I had worked as an augur and had played at music-writing on a music magazine. The chief editor had known I had been interested in producing music, and then, suggested that I should have an interview for an assistant of Polydor since they were looking for. I had and was accepted in 1989 February.
■ I beg your pardon, but I suppose most cannot get what creative directors in pops concretely do. Would you mind explaining?
T: Not at all. It is kind of difficult to understand what they are because there are no fixed forms about directors. No directors on making music in US and UK. Instead, they have called it A & R; Artists and Repertoire who connected a song with a singer. So fundamentally, people who were called directors in Japanese old pops should have been called A & R.
■ They are in charge of making or finding songs the most suitable for the singer.
T: I will give you an easy simile. Film directors are as producers in pop music, and music directors are almost as film producers. Music directors are in charge of managing the whole on making and so close to producers of motion pictures. Producers of popular music almost mean sound producers working as the arrangers simultaneously. In the case of bands, they mostly arrange with the band together, manage the recording and check up on the vocal recording and the mixing. That is producers of pop music.
■ I agree.
T: Directors command a bird's-eye view of the whole. Thinking about the beginning of making songs, directivity of the next album and way of showing the artist; we collect or create numbers, select the producer, let the recording run smoothly and exercise the budgetary control. That is directors in pops. We often have something to do with the visuals, not just the songs.
■ You are a free-lance director, aren't you?
T: Yes, but it is an absolutely special case. I guess most of them belong to record companies. I work free-lance on extension lines of having worked as one of a record maker. I got out of Universal Music that took in Polydor on an absorption-type merger, in 2000. Having entered Dreamusic late in 2001, I retired in 2006.
T: I had been in a dilemma. I had created many pop songs with artists as a director of a record company. Ones in great demand aside, unsuccessful musicians were never meant to renew the contracts and then, were gone away. In contrast, I was meant for caring nothing as a staff member of the company even though there might have been a personnel reshuffle. I had long doubted. “Am I truly facing music and artists? Do my words go within their reach?” I had held those questions from the first of my career.