The Original Sample:
絆 by Kenji Sawada
Never has it been more difficult for me to research a WBS sample. I’m only 80% sure that this week’s sample is titled 絆 which, according to Google translate, means “Bonds“. To be honest, I’m not even sure what album it’s originally from. I only know that it was featured on Kenji Sawada’s 1976 compilation album.
In the mid to late 60s, there was a sub-genre of Japanese rock known as Group Sounds. It was inspired by the Beatles and one of the most famous bands from that era were The Tigers. Kenji Sawada was the lead singer and being that The Tigers were THE most popular J-pop group at that time, naturally Kenji became a national teen idol. In that era, Japanese teen idols were given American girl nick-names. Kenji’s nickname was Julie which was derived from one of his favorite actresses, Julie Andrews.
The Tigers attempted to branch out internationally by commissioning the Bee Gees to write/compose two songs for them. While they didn’t achieve the international success they had hoped for, Kenji Sawada did manage to grace the cover of Rolling Stone’s March 1969 cover. To this day, other than Yoko Ono, he is the only other Japanese artist to ever be featured on a Rolling Stone cover. After The Tigers broke up, Kenji Sawada had a solo career, but focused most of his artistic expression in acting.
On to the next…
Featured Beats and Producers:
The Calming by thadizzie1 (San Francisco, CA)
She Forgot it in You by Blackph03nix (London, England)
HIYAKU JOINT by Mr. Klimatic (Toledo, OH)
Buttermilk by Agent Smith 78 (Chicago, IL)
4 Til Whistle by Sadik The BEAsTMASTER (Houston, TX)
Tragedy Lives by Paper Son (Los Angeles, CA)
Capital Hill by Sideways (Portland, OR)
Sentinel Event by illa (Miami, FL)
Sirens by NeV (Augusta, GA)
2:20 to Shibuya by Hi-Rock (Toronto, Canada)