Two songs by two singers from two genres telling two stories. That’s the concept behind this new CD release by Okinawan singers Awich and Manami.
Awich sang the song ‘South Tinjanashi’ with hip-hop artists Tatsumi Chibana and Kakumakushaka on their groundbreaking Duty Free Shopp album Oto Ashagi. She is also known in Okinawa as a poet and DJ and was the organiser of the Flow Manifesto bilingual spoken word events. By contrast, Manami is a pure pop singer who is best-known as the voice and face of songs used in Orion beer commercials. Her catchy synth-pop compositions are immediately recognisable.
Here they come together on two songs ‘Delay’ and ‘In the Battle’. There is also a third track which is an ‘acoustic’ version of ‘Delay’. The two women seem to bring out the best in each other with these songs on which they swap vocals to sing and rap in a mix of Japanese and English. ‘Delay’ is smooth and seductive while the powerful ‘In the Battle’ is tough and uncompromising.
It all leaves the listener wondering if and when there will be a full-length collaboration. A lot of thought has obviously gone into these productions and both women are given the space to shine. A special mention should go to Manami’s brother Daisuke Nakamura who wrote and recorded the music and is responsible for the keyboards, programming and mixing. All lyrics are by Awich and Manami.
Two is released by VAA/Siesta