We had the good fortune of connecting with Marika Takeuchi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marika, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Growing up, I always loved music. I started classical piano at the age of three, played the violin and french horn for several years, and loved singing, dancing, and writing songs. But when I was in high school, I suffered from severe depression and stopped all the music lessons. I didn’t fit in at school and spent most of the time alone. Listening to music and playing my favorite songs on the piano, and watching movies, were the only things that calmed me down. Eventually, I decided to go to a music college in Tokyo to formally study composition. I missed a lot of classes at the beginning because of my depression. But when I finally composed and produced a song and everybody loved it, I felt something so profound that I had never felt in my life before – I felt like the hole in my heart I had had for a long time was finally filled. I cried on the train back home that day, and I eventually overcame my depression by continuing to write music. After I finished college in Tokyo, I moved to the U.S to study at Berklee College of Music, and I started professionally writing music both as a recording artist and media composer. Writing music has been the best therapy for me, and I always feel so grateful that I chose this career and that my music is able to help and inspire other people when they are going through difficult times, just as I had done before.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Because I started writing music to overcome my depression, my philosophy has always been about creating something that has deep soul and emotion, and touches people’s hearts. Every time I hear my fans tell me that my music is able to get them through a difficult time, I feel most proud of my work. It wasn’t an easy way journey here, as instrumental piano music is often difficult to market. I was rejected countless times by industry professionals saying that my music was beautiful but boring. Despite this, I was also writing music for short films and commercials, so I kept developing my artistic work as I wrote for my clients. It took me many years and lots of experiments to find my own unique voice in my music. But as I kept writing the music I truly belived in, more and more people started supporting me and working with me. So the lessons I learned are that people will start to listen to you if you are persistent and passionate, and it’s important to take every rejection as an opportunity to improve your work.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Old Town Pasadena, Huntington Gardens, and Brand Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents, my record label Bigo & Twigetti, frequent collaborators including mixing engineer/composer Andreas Bjørck, violinist/composer Navid Hejazi, and fellow composer/artists Jon Ososki and Jim Perkins, and all the other collaborators, filmmakers, and artists whom I had the pleasure working with. Also most importantly, all the people who listen to my music, as they’re the reason why I can be doing what I do.
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0lsDi98XEKVkgN2kdZWBHT Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/marika-takeuchi/445751310
Liam Wong, Ebru Yildiz, Christo Downs, Yusuke Suzuki