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Meet Yoshihiro Imae

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yoshihiro Imae.

Yoshihiro, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In 2016, I moved to US from Japan to pursue my dream as musician. When I decided to go in 2015, I had no friends and no connections on the west coast. Besides, I couldn’t speak English at all then. However, I gave up everything in Japan instead of the challenge because I had confidence as a songwriter and I believed the new chapter should be the only way to make my dreams come true. My ex band in Japan was on hiatus in 2013 and nobody agreed with my idea in US but I took a chance and gambled on the possibilities. After moving, I sought a job firstly with a bicycle I bought for $50 on Craigslist and focused on setting up my living condition. At the same time, I kept seeking local musicians to form a band while writing songs. I overcame a lot of difficulties and finally my dreams came true.

I found a talented singer in March in 2017. I showed him a few demos I wrote and he liked them a lot. We started working together and kept our eyes peeled for other musicians. And finally a drummer joined in August and A Page Unturned was formed. We released an EP and a couple of singles soon after. A few of our songs were picked up by Spotify’s official playlist “Pop Punk’s Not Dead” and “New Punk Tracks” so the number of our followers are still growing. We went to Japan for our 1st show outside of the US in March in 2019 and have opened up for acts such as Unwritten Law and Drake Bell. We are now planning to release new songs and tour this Summer.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As you know, it’s really tough to change my personality but I’ve needed to adapt to any environments since I moved. The circumstance in the US is totally different from the one in Japan and I always try to learn how to communicate with someone better and avoid miscommunications while respecting others. At the same time, I also have non-negotiable things as a songwriter so I need to balance it out. The perfect balance depends on a situation and it’ll be an uneasy challenge for a long run.

Besides, it’s not easy to pick up the best way and keep my beliefs for success. PDCA method(plan–do–check–act) works well but sometimes I found a big mistake when checking. I know all fails lead us to the next success, but if I give up, it’ll be a wrong forever. Recovering from difficulties is always tough so I try my best not to lose to myself.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m very proud of writing songs in my band. As a Japanese songwriter, this project is the big challenge to find how my taste of music works. I focus on my inner voice while looking back on my memories when writing so my Japanese taste of melodies should be unique in the US. And also, I play the guitar loudly for a full band and the piano acoustically. In my early 10’s, I leaned and played jazz piano and my piano taste is based on this period. So our acoustic songs are totally different from the original songs. I believe we are doing what nobody has ever tried before. The different style of our music should excite a lot of music fans.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I try not to excuse in any situation. Nothing goes forward as long as we do and we encounter the similar difficulties multiple times we had experienced before. So I think my attitude, belief and actions cause all of results. This way of thinking is the only manner to break away from the current state of things and save myself in the future.

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