14 December 2020

Abertay student writes song for rising Japanese music star

Abertay student writes song for rising Japanese music star

Music star Marico lying down with instruments placed around her

ABOVE: Rising Japanese music star Marico

An Abertay University student has had the unlikely opportunity to write a song in Japanese for a popular singer and actress from the country – despite being unable to speak the language.

Daniel Pukkila, who studies Computer Arts, is an emerging songwriter and last year wrote a song for former Grammy nominee David Maloney. 

The 21-year-old has now written a song for recording artist Marico as part of an ambitious cross-continent project.

Daniel (pictured above) said: “The song is called Words on Paper Planes and I originally wrote it in English before it was translated. It was composed by my brother Jan, who is a classical musician.

“It’s a song that really fits the time we live in. The pandemic can feel very isolating and I wanted to use this song as a way of connecting countries at a time when abroad has never felt so far away.

“The story told by the lyrics is that everything is momentary, everything has an end point and I thought that would really resonate with people right now.”

Daniel also drafted in a sound mixer from Nigeria to add the finishing touches to the track.

“The whole idea behind this project is to show that as far apart as we are right now, we’re all in this situation together" - Daniel Pukkila

He added: “The whole idea behind this project is to show that as far apart as we are right now, we’re all in this situation together and we are all together.

“I’m from Finland, I wrote the song in Scotland, it was composed by my brother, it’s been recorded in Japanese in Japan and the sound mixing was done by a very talented mixer in Nigeria called Maeyo.

“We’re far apart, but we’ve been able to work on this project as a team. I not only wanted the song itself to have relevance during the current crisis, but the process behind releasing it.”

Marico, the singer who has recorded the song, made her breakthrough as part of a successful J-pop group, and has recently launched a solo career.

Daniel said he’s delighted to have been able to work with her: “Marico has an incredible voice and, with the help of Maeyo, has recorded a version of the song I’m really pleased about.

“I’d love to work with them again in the future. Remote working on a song has been challenging but rewarding, and I can’t wait for people to hear it.”

Words on Paper Planes is available on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/1SGk2VOQhfzCWtJ2OvaNHE?si=BdIqxbZKS3yHhfNASiRDwA

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