Kagoshima natives Kousuke Atari and Hajime Chitose treated fans to an evening of lush island tunes and smooth melodies as they performed for the first time in Singapore, at “Kousuke Atari & Chitose Hajime: Live in Singapore 2018 ~ Kagoshima Fair in Singapore ~” last 1st July 2018 at [email protected] in Jurong East.
The pair opened the concert with a shima-uta — literally island song, a notoriously difficult style of Japanese folk-singing that is characterized by a male and female pair singing in falsetto. As both Chitose and Atari were trained in the shima-uta style, as well as being certified pop stars on their own right, this fusion of traditional and contemporary styles brought a fresh perspective to their individual music.
Kousuke Atari sang not just a medley of his popular tracks, but also covered some songs in Chinese — which may take some people by surprise! However, his biggest fans known that he not only sang the themes to some Chinese films and dramas, but has also acted in them. He rounded out his set with the crowd favourite, “Hana” — which was just as meaningful today as when we first heard it almost a decade ago.
Hajime Chitose burst into her set with her chart-topping debut single “Wadatsumi no Ki”, which received a funky new arrangement — giving it a slightly ethnic flair, compared to the more mournful blues original. She was clearly enjoying herself during the rest of her first performance in Singapore, as she bantered with the crowd as well as launching to an energetic cover of “It’s so Easy to Fall in Love”.
After a round of requests both Atari and Chitose returned to the stage to perform an encore. They thanked the crowd heartily for their support, as well as apologized for the next song they would be playing — their only track as the unit Ochuugen (despite having been together for seven years) titled “Yukouto”. The audience had a hearty chuckle, and the evening ended on a high note — as fans left the concert hall with a memorable taste of Kagoshima.