The ordinarily attention-averse musician treks through some of Japan’s most gorgeous scenery.
While she’s not exactly a recluse, phenomenally successful singer Utada Hikaru has been pretty dedicated to staying out of the spotlight over the past several years. While it’s common practice for musicians in Japan to regularly appear on television talk shows as either guests or presenters, building a brand around their non-singing personality, Utada has generally been content to let her music speak for itself since her major Japanese debut in 1997.
So it’s somewhat fitting that when the American-born artist makes a rare professional endorsement, she does so in a commercial where there’s not another soul to be seen.
Utada is currently appearing in a pair of promotional videos for Suntory’s Tennensui brand of bottled water. Filmed in the Japanese Alps, the video radiate a quiet, timeless strength, not entirely unlike the one that surrounds the singer herself.
The videos are filled with the rugged natural beauty of Japan, but they aren’t just a treat for the eyes. Playing in the background of the second is a portion of Utada’s newest song, “Michi,” (“Road”), which will be included in the upcoming Fantome, her first Japanese album since 2008’s Heart Station.
All that hiking looks like a serious workout, and Utada described the process as being probably the hardest filming session she’s ever been part of. “I think I did pretty good for a 30-something musician who’s really an indoors type,” she boasted. It all looks like really thirsty work, though, so we’re sure she was glad that the crew was, thanks to the project’s very nature, well-supplied with water.