Retired J-Pop Producer Tetsuya Komuro Returns with Nogizaka46's 'Route 246'

Billboard Japan


J-pop girl group Nogizaka46 is set to release a new single composed by veteran music producer Tetsuya Komuro, called "Route 246."

After announcing his retirement from music in early 2018, the legendary hitmaker was persuaded to emerge from hibernation by longtime friend and collaborator Yasushi Akimoto, Nogizaka46's producer and lyricist for most of their songs, including this one.

"He retired once, but as we met for dinner from time to time, I learned that his passion for music hadn't waned," Akimoto shared. "I'm sure he has his reasons, but I wanted Tetsuya Komuro to somehow have another opportunity to become involved in music."

Komuro explained the concept for "Route 246" is friendship: "I created this song with the sole purpose of meeting a friend's (Akimoto's) expectation. I feel I've managed to express the kind of consistent essence that (Nogizaka46) has."

Akimoto and Komuro last collaborated on the late Japanese singer and TV personality Takajin Yashiki's "Sono toki no sora" in 2010. The last time Komuro wrote a song for another artist was girl group Last Idol's "Kaze yo fuke!" in 2018.

Nogizaka46 member Asuka Saito, featured in the center position on "Route 246," said she has long been a fan of Komuro, who shaped mainstream J-pop in the '90s. "I'm looking forward to the reaction when his composition and Nogizaka46 come together," she shared.

Nogizaka46's new single, "Route 246," is due next Friday (July 24).