The Japanese folk-pop duo <a href=”/music/yuzu”>Yuzu</a> released the music video for their first new song of 2018, “Uta Yell.”
The English “yell” has been adopted in Japanese as an imported word meaning “to root for,” and the release is a reassuring song of encouragement that reminds you that you’re the protagonist of your own life and that the future is yours to make. It’s currently being used in Nippon Life Insurance Company commercials, and the music video features 2,018 “new members” that the duo recruited as part of a campaign with the Japanese insurance giant.
The video was directed by Tomokazu Yamada, known for his visuals for many leading Japanese acts including <a href=”/music/Sakanaction”>Sakanaction</a> and Wednesday Campanella. It was shot in the duo’s hometown of Isezakicho, a district in Yokohama where the two began their musical careers as street performers.
The video opens with members Yuujin Kitagawa and Koji Iwasawa performing the song seated outside, kind of like old times. But as they get up and begin to navigate through the streets of Isezakicho, they are gradually joined by the 2,018 “new members” dressed in red, who clap and dance along with them. When the duo reaches the round stage set up in the center of Isezaki Mall, where they used to busk, the song culminates in a massive, moving singalong of the chorus.
The “new members” who participate in the video weren’t informed of the filming location until the day of the shoot. Everyone learned the choreography and rehearsed for the first time that day, and the actual filming took place nearly in a single take with the full support of the Mall and local police. The location, unprecedented method of filming, and the sheer number of participants resulted in a spontaneous, buoyant video celebrating the start of the popular duo’s 21st year in music.
Watch the video for “Uta Yell” here:
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