Kohima: Walking into the new year with much positivity and sharing messages of hope along the way, the Tetseo Sisters on Friday released a cover of the Japanese song “Ue O Muite Arukou.”

“We have always loved trying songs in different languages and cultures. This particular song seemed just right. It’s a song about hope in the face of loss, uncertainty and one which sounds so joyful and nostalgic at the same time,” the Tetseo Sisters told EastMojo.

They expressed delight in discovering the Japanese version as they had already known the English version of the song.

“We first came across this song in a Japanese animated movie, and then a friend shared the same song more recently when we were looking at performing a Japanese song at a very exclusive event. And a little research showed how special this song is, and that was it,” they said.

The 3:28 minute music video featured the Tetseo Sisters- Mercy, Azi, Kuvelü, and Lulu on vocals, and their brother Mhasheve Tetseo on the guitar.

“Rokusuke Ei wrote this song to capture the feelings of disappointment and sorrow of the Japanese public in the 1950s when the Japan-US treaty was signed amidst protests against US occupation. But the song also expresses hope for a better tomorrow for the youth and Japan in the years to come,” Mercy told EastMojo.

The song was originally performed by Kyu Sakamoto. The quartet and their brother Mhasheve Tetseo found the story behind the song “really uplifting” as it mirrors the current situation. They added, “Uncertainty, loss, protests and then suddenly, a song to soothe and uplift. It’s just that it happens to be in Japanese.”

The song was recorded during the second lockdown period last year, and the video around October-end when the cosmos were in full bloom in Kohima. 

“Somehow, the song spells nostalgia for us, and cosmos reminds us of childhood and wide-open spaces while growing up – so it just fit with the mood of the song,” they said.

Recalling how the quartet learnt the song, Mercy said, “Learning the song was fun. We cross-referenced a lot and have tried to stay close to the pronunciation and accents. Interestingly, Japanese is pretty close to Chokri Naga dialect phonetically and many people thought it was a Naga song when we sang this at events.”

The Tetseo Sisters said that the music video is another home production, and local handmade accessories and outfits were sourced for the video.

Although the present health crisis has already derailed a few events and plans, the Sisters said that they are all safe and will continue working on pending projects, while taking up new assignments depending on the situation.

“But the process of making music continues. We walked into the new year with an open mind and positivity, and interesting things are happening. We finally wrapped up a project…and we are brimming with excitement for the rest of the year to unfold. So blessed already,” they said.

As for the new year resolutions, they shared their determination to attain more fitness and practice healthier habits. They also wish to grab every chance to travel and discover more of Nagaland when it is safer. 

Significantly, the Tetseo Sisters advocated for the practice of 3R’s- recycle, reuse, and reduce, expressing their desire to launch awareness campaigns.

When asked about their next move, they said “We have a few cover songs, a film or two and some exciting collaborations with more original music coming up. And we are excited and upbeat to share more when they are ready”.

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