Noriyuki Makihara


Noriyuki Makihara (Makihara Noriyuki) is a well-known J-Pop singer and songwriter, nicknamed “Macky” by his fans. He was born on May 18th, 1969 in Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan. He attended Aoyama Gakuin University to study English literature. In addition to creating songs for his own music career, he has written songs for many other artists, the most notable being SMAP’s “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana.”
He is ranked at No.84, in a list of Japan’s top 100 musicians, provided by HMV.
Macky burst on to the J-Pop scene in the early 90’s, making a huge name for himself with monster hits such as “Mou Koi Nante Shinai” and “Donna Toki Mo”. One could arguably compare him to Western pop stars such as Elton John, both in terms of musical ability and talent, and continued longevity despite playing to an intensely fickle industry. The two also seem to have shared something of a similar career path in terms of personal ups and downs, public scrutiny and survival through the years in spite of it all.
Makihara has managed to endure and maintain a healthy level of popularity in Japan and other nations worldwide, due to his soothing, appealing voice quality and flair for catchy melody. Not just your average manufactured pop star, real talent can be found in Macky’s work to this day.
It’s interesting to note how, as the years have passed, the quality of Makihara’s voice has deepened, bringing him into a soulful, velvety range that might remind one of Barry White or Luther Vandross. Much of his music’s lyrical content has revolved around the subject of romantic love, though themes of profound joy, reminiscence, gratitude and deeper spiritual aspects of the human condition have become predominant in recent years. When not more slowly paced and romantic, his tunes are bright and upbeat, and though certainly dated, even his albums from the 90’s are still enjoyable and worth a listen. Remarkably, the cheesy, early 90’s pop style lends an immortal charm to his early work, though he has been known to update and bring back old hits, such as “Donna Toki Mo”, which can be found currently as a B-side to his latest single, “Green Days.”
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