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Ryuichi Sakamoto

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Artist's top tracks

Snooze (feat. Ryuichi Sakamoto, WOOSUNG of The Rose) Agust D, Ryuichi Sakamoto, WOOSUNG 04:24
Germination Ryuichi Sakamoto 02:09
M.A.Y. in the Backyard Ryuichi Sakamoto 04:25
Amore Ryuichi Sakamoto 05:09
Forbidden Colours David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto 05:53
The Sheltering Sky Ryuichi Sakamoto 04:54
Riot In Lagos Ryuichi Sakamoto 04:35
Moving On Ryuichi Sakamoto, Latasha Natasha Diggs, Vivian Sessoms, Jme Smith 05:45
Rain Ryuichi Sakamoto 03:40
Rain Ryuichi Sakamoto 04:16

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Biography

As a pioneering force in Japanese music since the late-1970s, Ryuichi Sakamoto – born on January 17, 1952, in Tokyo, Japan - composed soundtracks for Academy Award-winning films, best-selling video games and the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Barcelona, while building a body of work that spanned a variety of genres from experimental, hyperactive synth-pop to graceful, classical melodies. Raised in Tokyo, he started learning piano at the age of three and played in jazz bands in high school, before studying at the National University of Fine Arts and Music and working as a session musician. Forming the experimental electro trio Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1970, the group's use of traditional Japanese and classical melodies with synths and drum machines made for a new kind of techno-pop music that topped the Asian Charts, became hugely influential in Europe and America, and was even sampled by hip-hop stars such as Afrika Bambaataa and De La Soul. Ryuichi Sakamoto’s debut solo album, Thousand Knives, continued to meld delicate, simple hooks with ambient Moog sounds, but the 1980 follow-up B-2 Unit adopted more aggressive funk and dub bass lines and produced his landmark single “Riot in Lagos.” He acted in and produced the soundtrack to WWII drama Merry Christmas , Mr Lawrence, starring David Bowie, and went on to compose music for more than 35 films, including The Revenant and, most famously, The Little Emperor, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1987. The soundtrack also won him a Grammy Award for Best Original Score. Other notable Ryuichi Sakamoto solo albums included Beauty, which featured guest appearances from Robert Wyatt, Brian Wilson, Robbie Robertson and Youssou N'Dour. He also released classical piano collections 1996 and Heartbeat, on which he explored Afrobeat, Eastern and reggae influences. A battle with throat cancer put his career on hold, but he returned with the acclaimed album asnyc in 2017. In January 2023, Ryuichi Sakamoto released the critically acclaimed album 12, which found him exploring minimalist electronic music. Ryuichi Sakamoto died on March 28, 2023, at the age of 71.