Japanese Rock Singer, Saijo Hideki’s influence on Visual Kei Culture(1/3)


R.I.P. Hideki Saijo, Japanese Rock Singer

Japan has been filled with deep sadness due to his death on 5/16, 2018. Hideki Saijo(1955-2018) is a Japanese rock singer, who is particularly one of the leading artists of the 70s. He has inspired many musicians and empowered many fans by his bright smiles, energetic voice and dynamic dancing. He is not directly related to Visual Kei though, his achievements are very innovative in Japanese music scene. What he thought, tried and did surely passed on to Japanese rock culture including Visual Kei. Thus, we would like to go back through his music life and introduce his impacts on Visual Kei culture.

 Hideki Saijo rose to stardom so quickly.

Let’s take a look back at Hideki Saijo before his debut. Influenced by his father, older brother, and friends, Hideki Saijo, who was more mature than his age, had been listening to jazz and Western music and playing the drums since elementary school. He became especially familiar with the music of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Janis Joplin, and developed an outstanding sense of music. In 1972, at the age of 16, he began his professional career and quickly became a nationally popular singer. After his fifth single, “Passion Storm,” reached the top 10 on the Oricon Weekly Chart, he sent 33 songs to the Oricon Top 10 for 11 consecutive years. With numerous mega-hits, Hideki’s songs “Young Man (Y.M.C.A.)” and “Wounded Laura” are well known to many Japanese. (“Young Man” is a Japanese arranged version of the disco song “Y.M.C.A.” released by the Village People in 1978.)

(writer: Nakajima)