THANK YOU FOR COMING
Art-Mai Offers Love and Inspiration with Ishinomaki Reconstruction Marathon Theme Song
Monday, June 24, 2019
Art-Mai debuts the marathon’s theme song
When the singing stopped, there were tears in everyone’s eyes. On June 23, the first-ever theme song adopted by the Ishinomaki Reconstruction Marathon was performed at the site of the event, Ishinomaki City Sogo-Undo Park. It was sung by Art-Mai, who was driven to pursue her dream of becoming a singer by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The singer-songwriter realized one of her goals in the region hit hardest by the disaster.
“There’s a path no one else in the world but you can walk,” sang the Tokyo native, her soothing tones resounding across the event site. The audience responded enthusiastically to the song, entitled “Mirai” (“Future”), which Art-Mai wrote in the hope of brightening the lives of those in the disaster-stricken region and offering inspiration to those who hear it.
The earthquake changed Art-Mai’s life. She was shaken by images of the tsunami striking Sendai Airport that day. “Living is something we shouldn’t take for granted. I wondered what I was living for,” she recalls.
Deciding to resurrect her abandoned dream of becoming a singer, she quit her job at an advertising firm in Tokyo.
Since she had two children, the people around her were strongly opposed to her decision, saying she should focus on being a mother.
The reason she didn’t give up was her memories of the disaster and her concern for the stricken region, which were her driving motivations.
Last year, she fulfilled a long-standing dream with the release of her debut. She composed “Mirai” in February this year.
The song combines a memorable melody line with lyrics that depict the stricken region right after the earthquake (“Depressed in frozen sheets, trying not to shiver”).
The singer’s connection with the Ishinomaki Reconstruction Marathon came about by chance. In March this year, she took part in an event supporting start-ups by mothers in Tokyo. Someone involved in the marathon happened to be there and noticed Art-Mai when she spoke about her concern for the earthquake-stricken region and sang “Mirai.”
She is also a photographer. In April, Art-Mai visited Mount Hiyori and the former Okawa Elementary School site in Ishinomaki, capturing traces of the damage with her camera. She hopes to organize a photo exhibition in order to raise awareness of the disaster-ravaged region.
Implicit in the song’s lyrics is the idea of walking a mile in the shoes of people in the afflicted areas. “I wanted to write a song that sympathized with the feelings of these people who are doing the best they can. My intention was to offer them love, inspiration, and courage through the song,” explains Art-Mai
"MAI's vocals are
like futuristic sounds"
Christopher S. Levens
“Mai Congratulations on a hard job done. You should be so proud of yourself for this accomplishment. I’m proud of you! Keep up the work, keep pushing on to be even greater and higher!”