MUSIC LYF: Japanese singer AISAKU in love with OPM

Japanese singer Aisaku recently released his own rendition of the 90s classic pop ballad “Ikaw Pa Rin.” The choice is not merely because it's of Japanese origin. But ironically due to his high regard for OPM, with him even counting Gary Valenciano as his main musical influence.

He said, “I know more OPM than Japanese songs now. I have more Filipino friends than Japanese friends on Facebook. And I guess I am a Filipino by heart even though my pair of eyes makes me look like I'm asleep.”

His name interestingly meaning “make love,” Aisaku recently put out his self-titled debut album of OPM classic covers led by “Ikaw Pa Rin,” (popularized by Ted Ito and originally “Saigo No Iwake” in Japanese). His cover of the song won “Best OPM Cover” at the 2013 Gawad Musika Awards & Consumers Quality Awards.

The album package is produced by Janette Ito of Japan's i&i Records in tie-up with Japan Home Centre and distributed by Universal Records Philippines.

Born from a Christian family, this pure Japanese moved to the Philippines years back and the long stretch made him a Pinoy by heart. He takes pride that his knowledge in the Filipino culture and language is almost on a native level.

He shared, "Modern OPM music is something I really love. I give credit to OPM artists who bring the genre to a new level of classy music, like my current favorites Noel Cabangon, Sitti, Gloc-9, JayR, Ogie Alcasid, and a whole lot more!"

He confirmed his utmost respect for Mr. Pure Energy, "My most favorite singer is Gary Valenciano. I live in a church so I had the chance to learn good music first from Gary V's songs. His music covers a lot of genre from pop, dance, soul, jazz to ballads. The first live concert I ever watched in my life was his as well."

Aisaku actually is a combination of two separate words: "AI" which is another word for love, and "Saku" meaning "to make". His parents want him to be "a person who can spread love to the world."

This Japanese trying his best to sing in smooth Tagalog appeared on Lucky Me’s KARI & PO-KU advert. He also endorsed Platinum Karaoke, with his songs already available on the karaoke itself and iTunes. As a child he had speech impairment. Then he met a speech therapist from Operation Smile who helped him with his condition. He is now one of its ambassadors.

Other songs in Aisaku's album are “Remember Me” (popularized by Renz Verano), “Honey My Love So Sweet” (popularized by April Boyz), “Isang Tanong Isang Sagot” (Popularized by Donna Cruz), “Isang Mundo, Isang Awit” (popularized by Leah Navarro), and other Tagalog songs of Japanese roots.

Vocal about his love for Filipinos. He explained, “I find the Filipinos more fun to be with, and the country itself as well. I love the Filipino humor, the culture, and the best of all, the close family ties. I love my parents and I am glad that I know how to show my love to them like a Filipino son can do.”

With his talent and charm, Aisaku already bagged a number of awards, including the 2013 Asian Star Entertainer Awards for Best New Male OPM Artist. He will host and perform at the Little Tokyo Sunday Festival in Makati (Pasong Tamo near Makati Cinema Square) on November 24, 6 pm.

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