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In memoriam: Shota Yokoyama

This upcoming Thursday ADAMS was scheduled to come to The Netherlands again. It would be a great show again too. I was looking forward to seeing Shota and ADAM again and rock with team HIGHFeeL. It wasn’t meant to be.

Shota op Schiphol Airport, voor het interview van AVO Blog in 2014

In the morning of November 30 2015, Shota Yokoyama, mostly known as the guitarist of ADAMS, passed away in his sleep. He suffered a severe stroke on Friday November 28 while he was on stage doing what he did best: making music. All of this happened in the Polish city of Warsaw. After word came out about his stroke it was immediately announced that the world tour ORIGINAL LOVE wouldn’t continue. It’s absolutely terrible to hear that Shota isn’t among us anymore.

At the moment the first messages about Shota’s situation came in I was in Berlin. I felt absolutely powerless being abroad like this, away from my trusted environment and unable to arrange anything.

Shota has been involved with music for a really long time; he was a guitarist for several bands as a teenager, before he started his career as a composer and music producer. He studied at a school for music and started HIGHFeeL Japan and ADAMS in 2011. Shota recently started his solo project, of which he shared the song Melting with us as an introduction.

Like many of you know, ADAMS was special to AVO. On July 14 2013 the duo made their debute in The Netherlands during the AVO J-Rock Festival. This was during their first European tour. More than 150 people have seen this show. It was received very well by the audience! It was a great start for the band, because ADAMS wasn’t only received well at this festival. Eventually AVO has continued to work with ADAMS, with multiple shows as a result. I can honestly say that I became friends with Shota and ADAM. Because of all of this the message of Shota’s passing hit very, very hard. Not just for me.

My first meeting with Shota was in a smokey room in Tivoli de Helling. Shota and ADAM were making cheki’s there. I can remember very well that I was somewhat nervous, because I didn’t have that much experience with artists. Afterwards we went outside, to look at all the people who were waiting in front of the venue. The next time ADAMS performed in P60, I can remember very well that everything had to go fast; because of a traffic jam ADAMS came in late.. But the show went very well. Afterwards OshareCon and an intimate show in 330 LIVE. The audience was enthusiastic during both shows! Furthermore I have collaborated with HIGHFeeL for the shows of SAGA in 330 LIVE and X Made Alcoholic Santaclaus during Abunai! I remember Shota asking my opinion about X Made Alcoholic Santaclaus, while the band was playing. I told him “This really is my kind of music!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqDaG7OANmM

I remember Shota as a very friendly and professional man. Aside from that I saw how well, together with ADAM, he could entertain the audience. I found his work inspiring, also with other projects. I think he was looking for new artists to work with a lot. I also know he was very loved, not just by his family, but also by his friends and fans.

Currently it is unclear what the next steps will be for ADAMS and if ADAM even wants to do anything at all. The fans can only wait. Everyone close to Shota will be going through a difficult time and will need this time to make an attempt to process this loss, even though I know out of experience that this won’t be easy. A lot of time will go over this.

As some parting words I want to give my condoleances to his partner Aurélie, his bandmate ADAM, his family, friends and many fans.

Rest in peace, Shota.

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