Pop legend George Michael’s music has become more popular than ever before. Topping lists of “The Best Song of All Time” and playing on high rotation on radios around the world as well as on streaming sites. Even to his most ardent fans, it may seem that there are no surprises left when it comes to his music. Enter Kent Nishimura.
An exceptionally talented Japanese guitarist Kent has been recording guitar versions of famous songs for over three years. He has covered many classic tunes including, Hit The Road Jack by Ray Charles, We Are The Champions by Queen, and Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears. As wonderfully played and arranged as these songs are, however, none seem to have touched listeners as much as his cover of Careless Whisper.
Since it was released a year ago, Kent’s flawless rendition has already been viewed 2.5 million times. Viewer’s comments clearly illustrated how moved they were by the beauty of Kent’s arrangement, and how mesmerised they were by the skill of a young man who is not yet 18.
“EXCEPTIONAL, HIGHLY GIFTED, TALENTED, EXTREMELY DISCIPLINED MAGICAL MUSICIANSHIP. LIKE NO OTHER. TOUCHES THE HEART AND SOUL DEEP WITHIN, TRAVELING HIGHER ON RAISING THE BAR IN GREAT GUITARIST. MUCHO GRACIAS” “THE COMPLEXITY OF WHAT’S BEING PERFORMED HERE IS STAGGERING. NEVER SEEN SO MUCH GOING ON…. BEATS, PULLOFFS WITH THE LEFT HAND, RANDOM HARMONICS…. UNBELIEVABLE” “THIS WOULD MAKE GEORGE MICHAEL SHED A TEAR. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL”
Born in Osaka in 2003, Kent first started playing the guitar at the age of five when he asked his parents for one for Christmas. He taught himself to play and initially sang along as he played Japanese pop and rock songs. When he was six he happened to hear an acoustic instrumental piece by virtuoso Kotaro Oshio. In that instant Kent knew he wanted to follow in his footsteps. He started teaching himself Kotaro’s songs using YouTube videos until he could play them as well as the great man himself.
Over the next four years, Kent studied the styles of many finger guitarists from around the world and at the tender age of 12 he released his first album. Fame soon followed and after appearing on the radio to talk about his album Kent was invited to compete in The 17th Annual Fingerpicking Day 2017 the biggest fingerstyle guitar contest in Japan. Despite only being fourteen Kent won the contest becoming the youngest grand champion in the contest’s history.