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10 Questions with Kanako Omae Neale

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Kanako Omae Neale

In this NSFU exclusive, composer/producer/percussionist, Kanako Omae Neal answers 10 questions about herself and her musical journey,

1. Tell us about your musical journey. How did it begin?

I learned to play piano starting at age 3, and flute, and a little bit of trumpet after that. I started playing drums at 15, and moved from Japan to NY at 16 to be a professional drummer. I started writing songs around 18, and released my first album at 19. I went to college for music in Philadelphia, where I still live nearby. As a drummer, I started off playing rock (I love hair metal), studied jazz in college, toured with a blues band, had my own R&B band, then musical theatres nowadays. As a songwriter, I started writing jazz/fusion instrumentals. From there, I started writing jazz, R&B/soul, pop etc. Currently, I play drums mainly for musical theatre shows, and write music for an animation series, a podcast, and a few films. I want to keep playing and writing more!

2. Who or what are your musical influences?

Everyone I've met along the way so far had influenced me in some way! My college drum teacher, Jimmy, was, and always will be, my favorite.

3. What was the most recent record you listened to? Did you like it?

Just listened to The RH Factor's "Distractions" for the 1000th time!

4. What’s your greatest musical ambition?

I want to hear my music coming from someone's car, or house etc

5. Which song best defines you?

Mine? Most of my songs are autobiographical, so...

6. How does this COVOD pandemic affecting your music career?

I lost theatre gigs when the pandemic started. But it helped me focus on writing more.

7. Is there a song you wish you’ve written? What and why?

No, but I'm in awe of every good song I listen to.

8. How do you listen to music?

In the shower or while driving.

9. Who is your dream band mate?

Any good musician who is cool with me being weird lol

10. Give one tip to upcoming artists who are trying to be productive during this difficult time.

Keep going! And good luck!

Listen to Kanako;s latest NSFU release on Youtube.

#newmusic #nsfu #kanakoomaeneale #asianamericanmusic

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