Just by listening to instrumental versions of Aya Uchida’s music, one might think she was a typical country music star. They would be wrong.
Her music infuses Japanese-pop vocals with country melodies to create a unique fusion of genres.She has been performing for three years and singing since she was three years old. Piano, saxophone and voice she all excels in. Already, she has been noticed outside of Japan and asked to come to the U.S. to play for music festivals. Most of her time performing in the U.S. is spent in Kansas.
Uchida has begun producing music with her guitarist Jo Yamanaka since 2010, and since her second album, she has worked with artists in Branson, Missouri which influenced her and led to the creation of the J-country genre. “I think Aya will be huge in a few years. She’s super passionate about her music. She’s super nice to her fans. She loves Houston especially,” said Chris Hetherington, her Houston contact and a touring assistant. “Her passion in her songs go beyond the language barrier. You can still appreciate it. She likes singing in Japanese and also English. She has lots of fans in Japan and here,” he said.
In 2010, she played at the Kansas City Japan Fest. The Japan-America Society of Houston heard about her performance at Kansas City Japan Fest in 2010 and asked her to perform at Houston’s Japan Festival 2013. She accepted, and a year later, she returned for a 2014 performance, playing songs from her new album Next Page～J-Country World～to a cheering crowd. She has also visited the Republic of Haiti in 2010 to play uplifting music for the overburdened orphanages and to keep up the morale of the Japan Self-Defense Force which came to aid the country.
You should definitely keep your ears peeled for Uchida’s emergence as a new talent in the country music scene.