Actor Masaki Suda has accomplished a lot in the worlds of TV and film. The 26-year-old came to attention in series such as the popular Kamen Rider program and movies such as Death Note: Light Up the New World, Assassination Classroom and Gintama. He’s the youngest performer to ever win the Best Actor Award at the Japan Academy Prize. Accomplished, to say the least.
In recent years, Suda has expanded into the music industry. That’s nothing new for Japanese actors, who have long picked up singing as a way to extend their presence in entertainment, but it can be a risky play seeing as…well, actors don’t always make for good pop stars. The history of J-pop is littered with trash served up by silver screen types thinking they could pick it up.
Masaki Suda, though, has done pretty well so far and made music work for him. He’s gotten a boost performing with Kenshi Yonezu but has managed to grab attention with his solo numbers. His latest single, “Machigaisagashi,” got a music video earlier this week, and quickly nabbed the nation’s attention, including landing at the top of YouTube Japan’s Trending list. It’s his biggest step into the spotlight yet. Watch it below.
He’s gotten another nice little boost from his friend Yonezu here. The singer/songwriter — arguably the most popular artist in J-pop going today — wrote the music and lyrics for “Machigaisagashi,” while also producing the song. Having his name attached, even if it is in smaller print rather than after a “featuring,” can’t hurt.
Masaki Suda makes the most of this moment, though. “Machigaisagashi” is a swoopy ballad, full of piano melodies and string sections swelling upwards. This is usually how actors go about trying to prove their music chops because it is a format casting the brightest light on them. Ballads hinge on actual singing talent, and there’s rarely anywhere to hide if you can’t keep up with all those emotions. Suda stands his ground here, hitting the notes he needs to in order to drive home the feelings at the center of “Machigaisagashi,” going from a subdued delivery to vocal fireworks. Here, he proves this move into music isn’t ill-fated, but rather a place he belongs.