Invercargill hosted a superstar yesterday but most of the city didn't even know it.
Japanese singer Jay'Ed, who was born in Invercargill, visited his home town as part of a 10-day New Zealand tour to film a documentary for the Japanese equivalent of MTV, Music on TV.
The documentary tracks Jay'Ed, whose birth name is Jade Goto, as he travels back to his New Zealand roots.
The half-Japanese, half-Kiwi star said he was excited to be back in "beautiful" Invercargill, a city he left when he was just two years old.
Based in Tokyo but still calling New Zealand home, Jay'Ed said his brief trip to the south, which included a visit to Bluff, had been fun and it was great to catch up with his southern relatives.
He planned to come back to New Zealand regularly.
A star in the Japanese R and B and pop scenes, Jay'Ed's major label debut, released under the Toy's Factory label this year, has enjoyed success.
A single, performed with fellow Japanese star JuJu, was the country's top song for the first six months of this year, and has been nominated for a Japanese music award, an accomplishment Jay'Ed said he was thrilled with.
While not yet at the stage where he is mobbed in shopping malls, Jay'Ed said he was recognised by people sometimes and he regularly performed to crowds of about 5000 at his shows.
He has been singing since he was 18 after a relative nominated him for an audition for a recording company in Japan.
From that audition he was given an offer to record but turned it down to pursue his own music style, and waited until he found another label.
The next stop in his New Zealand tour would be Auckland, where he planned to catch up with New Zealand band Nesian Mystik, who he met in Tokyo last week.
"I am really looking forward to making music with them," he said.
Including his New Zealand heritage in his music was something he was keen to do, and he planned to introduce Maori culture into his new album, he said.
Still in the promotional stage of his present album, he wouldstart work on the new album once he returned to Japan later this month.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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