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The Beautiful Losers


Raj Ramayya(left) and Brett Boyd
Battlebeat

One of Tokyo’s preferred and most durable acts on the foreign pub-rock circuit are about to achieve the impossible: With their signing to Victor Entertainment, The Beautiful Losers are stepping up to the majors.

But the big break didn’t come overnight. “We gigged four, five nights a week for years,” said Canadian singer-songwriter Raj Ramayya, a day before he was to fly to India for a few weeks to study classical Indian vocal styles. “We’ve been working on this for quite a while, and it’s finally happening. This is the best year I have ever had for music,” he enthused.

A successful year it has been indeed. Not only for Ramayya, who saw an album he worked on with Japanese big beat artist Captain Funk, Song of the Siren-for which he co-wrote eight songs-be named one of Billboard’s Top 5 Asian albums of the year. But also for Ramayya’s partner in The Beautiful Losers, guitarist Brett Boyd, who penned the lyrics for Japanese melocore kings Hi-Standard’s latest, 700,000-selling album.

For the album now in the works for Victor-slated for recording this winter-Ramayya plans to enhance the Indian influences in his introspective brand of “electro acoustic east Indian country folk rock,” already evident in The Beautiful Losers’ debut EP of two years ago. To that end, the Losers are talking with UK-born, Indian keyboard guru Nitin Sawheny, who was just in town at the Blue Note, to act as producer.

Ramayya, who traces his roots to the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, plans to sing more in his ancestral tongue Telegu, a language he describes as “one of the Indian languages of music, thought to be very beautiful and flowing.”

Finally, the inevitable question: How tough is it trying to be taken seriously as a foreign musician in Japan? “At first being a foreigner was a liability, and we were labeled pub musicians,” says Ramayya. “But it has become the opposite now.”

The Beautiful Losers play Blue on Sep 13. 
See listings for details.


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