Yurie, Asa and Miki are a female trio known as Sansanar who have recently made their self-titled debut CD on the Teichiku Entertainment label. Sansanar sing and play a style of Okinawan pop which will be familiar to fans of Parsha Club, Rinken Band, and Nenes. In fact, Parsha Club member Masaaki Uechi is the co-producer of this 6 track mini-album. He also plays bass and keyboards and has written four of the five songs. The sixth track is a karaoke version of ‘Machikanti’, the song which also opens the CD. Uechi’s co-producer is Kanari who also produces another trio Shakari. Toru Yonaha plays sanshin, fue, Ryukyu koto, and sanba.
The main vocalist and youngest member of Sansanar is 20 year old Yurie from Naha who took up singing at a very young age after being influenced by her mother. The other members, both 23, are Miki from Yomitan who has also been doing Ryukyu dance since she was three years old, and Asa from Osaka who moved to Okinawa in order to study at university here. Sansanar also appeared on a Begin covers album on which they recorded ‘Taketomi-jima de aimasho’.
I saw Sansanar performing live in Ginowan for a Japan earthquake support event in April and they put on a bright entertaining show. There is nothing very different, original or unusual about any of these songs and Sansanar’s sound is similar to many other island musicians who mix pop with a dash of Okinawan tradition, but this mini-album is a good start and is immaculately sung, played and recorded.