Mac DeMarco spreads his love for Japanese rock icon, Haruomi Hosono

Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco gives us a gateway to Japanese musician Haruomi Hosono, who's been a huge influence on his music.
Japanese musician Haruomi Hosono, 1973. (Mike Nogami/Light in the Attic Records)

When Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco first discovered Japanese musician Haruomi Hosono, he was awestruck. He became a superfan and Hosono's influence quickly started seeping into his own music. 

"Honest to God, since I heard him, you know, I probably heard him about 10 years ago now, I've just been trying to rip him off," he says. "He's been my favourite thing to dive in to or listen to or try to emulate for a long time."

Hosono is adored in Japan where he helped establish Tokyo's folk-rock scene in the '60s as well as synth and psych-rock in the '70s and '80s, but his records were never distributed outside of the country, nor were they available on streaming sites.

DeMarco says part of the appeal of Hosono is not only the music he makes, but his approach to his career.

"He made what he wanted to make for like half a century, maybe longer, and he's still doing it and it's amazing. I just think it's a really cool thing to look up to."

A Los Angeles record company has now reissued Hosono's albums and, for the first time ever, his music is available to North Americans. Ahead of Hosono's U.S. tour, which kicks off tonight in New York, DeMarco joined us to share his gateway to the Japanese rock icon's music.

Mac DeMarco loves Haruomi Hosono so much he modelled one of his album covers after Hosono's 1973 record, Hosono House. (Captured Tracks, Light in the Attic Records)

DeMarco's new album, Here Comes The Cowboy, is out now. Below are DeMarco's song picks for his q gateway to Haruomi Hosono.

Haruomi Hosono, Rose and Beast

Happy End, Natsu Nandesu

Haruomi Hosono, Honey Moon

Haruomi Hosono and The Yellow Magic Band, Shimendōka

— Produced by Ben Jamieson

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