BY MC GALANG
Cities are incredible markers of activity: whether it’s economical, social, or just the general signal of life. One of the most recognizable cities on earth, Tokyo, also happens to be a global creative hub, coloring its increasingly commercialized, urban clutter.
Japanese singer-songwriter iri celebrates her 25th birthday in Ginza district with her latest single, “24-25,” a sunny alternative pop ode to growing up. Like most of her music videos, iri turns to the city for companionship, the latest captured by director Nao Watanabe.
The city that iri navigates shows that isolation doesn’t have a grip in such a space that relies on contact and exchange in order to survive. Its architecture is built in a way that even silence is shared. She sings, “I can’t stop reading now, I’m going to rim again and collect my dreams.” Writer Laurence Elkins said that to her, walking is like reading. “You’re privy to [other people’s] lives and conversations that have nothing to do with yours, but you can eavesdrop on them. Sometimes it’s overcrowded; sometimes the voices are too loud… You are not alone. You walk in the city side by side with the living and the dead.”
And finding yourself in it is empowering. In “24-25,” iri and the video’s various characters understand that navigating the city is knowing its rhythms and its perils, but you march on regardless.