Alive is the name of a new live show service, set to revolutionize how bands tour in Japan. The website is the brainchild of Tokyo Indie founder Sam Mokhtary and is a unique to Japan in that it puts the power in the hands of the public to decide exactly who gets to tour. An Alive Music Project begins by introducing fans to an artist who wishes to play in Japan and outlines the location and date of a potential show, which has already been prearranged with the band. Next, users who are interested in creating that show are able to pledge to buy a ticket, promising to pay only if that show goes ahead. Each project has a time limit and a target number of pledges, if enough pledges are made within the time limit, the show is confirmed. If the target is not met the show does not go ahead and nobody is charged.
“By allowing fans to actually have a say in which artists visit their country, Alive aims to help reinvigorate the live music scene” explains Sam Mokhtary, and with a big buzz surrounding the launch of the project the site looks like it is already heading towards its goal. Despite only being launched at the end of October, the shows vying for a crowd in Japan are already well on their way to becoming a reality.
At launch there are 5 bands on the Alive roster aiming for gigs in early 2014:
Blue Hawaii: An electronic music duo from Montreal, Canada. Their recent album, “Untogether”, has been hailed as a unique blend of acoustic guitars, electronics and emotive vocals.
San Cisco: The Perth, Australia based indie band, turned heads with their self-titled debut. The YouTube video for their hit-single, “Awkward”, has been viewed more than five million times.
Crocodiles: The San Diego based rockers, have been likened to the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Stone Roses in their prime. A cult following has led to extensive touring in Europe and the USA.
XXYYXX: This 17-year old, Florida-based, beatmaker has become something of a hot-topic amongst music fans. His video for “About You” has over 12,000,000 plays on YouTube.
Nouvelle Vague: The French cover band rose to fame by reinterpreting 70s punk and 80s new-wave records. Their popularity led to slots at festivals such as Glastonbury and Benicassim.
Fans further control which musicians Alive brings to Japan through a request system by which they can nominate their favourite artists. Depending on the number of nominations, Alive’s staff are able to approach artists to arrange a Live Music Project on the Alive website. For more information, to nominate a band or to pledge to buy tickets, please visit the Alive homepage.
Words: Matthew Ishihama
Translation: Iona Nagata
November 7, 2013