J-pop singer-songwriter Naoto Inti Raymi shared the music video for his collaborative track with Mr. Children‘s Kazutoshi Sakurai called “Amor y Sol,” ahead of the release of his seventh studio album, simply titled 7.
The video was helmed by Hideaki Sunaga, who have previously directed Arashi, Dragon Ash, Elephant Kashimashi, Daichi Miura, TVXQ, and Girls’ Generation. Drawing from the title of the song meaning — “Love and Sun,” in English — the simple but dramatic visuals highlight intense performances from the two artists and 18-year-old it-girl dancer Aoi Yamada against a deep red backdrop.
Naoto and Sakurai have known each other for years, as the former’s career as a solo pop artist took off after he toured with Mr. Children as a backup singer. They could be seen playing guitar and clowning around together during breaks on set.
The “here comes my love” hitmaker gave kudos to his former protege, commending Naoto’s solid musicianship displayed in his upcoming new album. “It’s really stylish and musical,” Sakurai noted. “There’s always a time lag between when you’re making music and when it’s released, but this album is really fresh, and I think it’s a work that’ll stay that way a year from now.”
Naoto shared that Sakurai’s encouragement was vital for his current success. “Lately I feel more confident about making music than I’ve felt in years, which is because (Sakurai) kept pushing me forward,” he said. “Same for this song and album. I’m frankly overcome with emotion when I think that our collaboration will be included in the set.”
Naoto Inti Raymi’s 7 will go on sale Wednesday (Dec. 12).