Ryo Nakata plays keyboard and sings for James Brown-inspired Japanese soul-funk band Osaka Monaurai. He answers a few questions.

What was the first piece of music which really affected you?

I would name the song Tong Poo by Yellow Magic Orchestra. 1978. I first heard it in 1984.

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?

They threw a bra at me during the show in Barcelona, Spain, which I kept. They started doing this back in 2008.


What are you reading at the moment and what's currently playing on your iPod/record player?

Yesterday I was reading a book about how to best use a schedule book or diary. Since I was a teenager, I've always loved to read books like that. Day-planning, year-planning, life-planning, stuff like that. How to organize your to-do list with a notebook or binder. Not that I'm stupid, but I'm always trying to find good ideas for planning and scheduling. My favourite book in 2013 was an autobiography by soul singer Marva Whitney, entitled God, The Evil and James Brown, and, the CD currently on my desk is Love Supreme by John Coltrane.

Is this your first visit to New Zealand?

No, this will actually be our second visit. Air New Zealand was sponsoring a festival in Queenstown, and they flew us there in 2012. We flew business class, and the moment I sat down in the seat, they served hot almonds. I was surprised. And they kept serving delicious foods. So I have a very good impression of New Zealand so far, but I'm looking forward to coming back.

I want to see how happy people are in New Zealand. It's a wonderful feeling to come to a place where you find many happy people. New Zealand is known as one of the most successful countries. Not how rich the country is, but how happy and satisfied the people are.