Tell us about yourself and your music
We’re stylish pop duo called Mellowtique consist of established producer/multi-instrumentalist Sunday Mitsuru (M) and singer/songwriter Kaoru Enjoji (K), both from Los Angeles, California.
Mellowtique’s musical style is mixed with Jazz, Bossa, Latin, Funk, and even Japanese City Pop. It’s borderless, global music with lyrics about Life, Love, Passion, and Heartbreak.
(M) I was born in Tokyo, Japan. In 1986, I’m moved to Los Angeles to do produce artists like David T. Walker, Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Neil Larsen, Nick DeCaro, Barbara Morrison and more.
In 2000, I made a worldwide debut from N.Y. Shadow Records, released an album “Eclipsing The Past” as artist name: Ultralights since then I have been working hard as a musician, arranger, composer, and producer.
(K) I was born in Sapporo, Japan. During my childhood, I played classical piano and was a member of the youth musical performer group. I’ve always had a passion for music, especially creating something original. I was attracted to the musical culture of the US, so I moved to Los Angeles in 1997. I could not speak English very well at that time, so I had to study a lot!
After my first album as an indie artist in 2007, I’ve released 3 EP.
Talk to us more about your latest release
Our debut album “Hollywood moon” is released from a German record label, Blue Flame Records on October 4th, 2019.
Album “Hollywood moon” includes 12 tracks of various styles of pop music written by Kaoru Enjoji & Sunday Mitsuru, except “Small cafe” which was written by Soul legend Leon Ware.
All instruments (except violin on track 9, and Horns, sax solos) performed & programmed by Sunday Mitsuru, All vocals performed by Kaoru Enjoji with Sunday Mitsuru.
What inspired you to write this release?
(K) I usually get an idea of melody or lyrics first, very short but catchy. Sometimes it comes together, and once in a while I can write the whole verse and chorus in half an hour, but it’s so rare! I wish it could happen more often!!
(M) In my case, I started to compose songs from the beat/groove. When I find a cool groove, I try to add some nice chord progression. That’s usually how it starts. Sometimes, I find nice synth sounds, so, I add groove to make it be a good song. Groove/Sounds inspired me to write songs.
Describe the writing and recording process
(K) I usually have the basic idea or the image of the demo, but I only give him a melody and simple chords unless I have to tell him for “must-done-this-way”, since he always comes up with different ideas of the arrangements, and it wows me most of the time. Sometimes it gives me an inspiration for the songs in a different way, and I’m open to seeing what he can do with my organic ingredients!
(M) Most of the recording process is simply started from listening to Kaoru’s demo. She gives me demo as just scratch vocal & piano. Usually 8 bars of melody idea, sometimes I’ve got full chorus. Only a few times, I did backtrack first, then gave it to Kaoru to make melody & lyrics. When I listen to her idea, I start to think about arrangements such as chord progression, tempo, keys, beat style, and arrangement for the rhythm section (drums, percussion, bass, keyboard, guitar). While I make a backtrack, Kaoru writes lyrics. I do not arrange other instruments such as synth pad, synth lick, strings, horns, solos at this point. After her tryout vocal on backtrack, I start to arrange for other instrumentals. After we finish recording lead vocals, then we start to arrange background/harmony vocal parts.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
No, not yet. But we love to play live! We really want to do a tour in Europe, the U.S.A., and Asia.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
We’re Japanese, born in Japan, living in Los Angeles for over 20 years. And we made debut from German Record Company…it’s really global, isn’t it? Mellowtique’s music has both contemporary nostalgic sounds. And it’s real fusion music…different genres mixed well to make new sounds you never heard before, but still sounds familiar to all ages. Kaoru’s breezy, crystal clear voice with Mitsuru’s mellow & groovy Latin feel arrangement, the harmonies we create, all of those make Mellowtique’s sound sophisticated, stylish and high sense pop music.
Who have you been listening to lately?
(M) I have been listening to Swing Out Sister, Matt Bianco, Basia, Sade, Jazzamor
(K) Lately… I just bought the best album by Mariya Takeuchi, Pink, Clean Bandit.
Who are your biggest influences?
(M) I’ve influenced by many artists from different genres, For example, Latin: Malo, Tierra, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Donato, Deodato Jazz : C.T.I. Records, Harbie Hancock, The Crusaders R&B/Funk : Earth Wind & Fire, Pleasure, Marvin Gaye, Leon Ware, Leroy Hutson Pop : A&M Records (Claudine Longet, Chris Montez, Nick DeCaro, Carpenters), The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel Rock : Poco, Eagles, Loggins & Messina, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. However, my biggest influences is Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine.
(K) I grew up listening to lots of Japanese pop, especially Dreams Come True. They inspired me to write songs in English too, and still love listening to J-pop when I’m driving so I can sing along! Also, I love Des’ree, Incognito, Journey, Sade, Pink, and David Foster, etc. Good melodies and lyrics have been most important to make me feel good, so I listened to various artists.
Tell us about your passions
(K) Definitely fresh coffee and chocolate croissants! I love baking too! My favorite day starts with fresh coffee and pastries. Also, I’d love to go outside the house, hiking, walking along the beach, and explore the unseen places in town as well.
(M) Nothing other than making music. Oh, my passion is searching for music that I never heard before!
What else is happening next in your world?
(M) We will get a big hit! And a Worldwide tour!
(K) And record with full orchestra! Do the live gig at the Hollywood Bowl!
Thanks for an awesome interview, Mellowtique
Connect with Mellowtique
Website: http://www.mellowtique.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/sundaymitsuru/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mellowtiqueLastFM: https://www.last.fm/music/MellowtiqueYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFz7IaJzK7X2a55h-6rDgswSoundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-983041899/sets/hollywood-moon/s-4FVK6Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/sundaymitsuruGoogle+: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Mellowtique_Hollywood_Moon?id=B36rlvq7b7malq3ah74el2ytewm&gl=DE