11 Nov Please The Palate Pick of the Week: An Evening with Yoshiki, Screening Yoshiki: Under The Sky, and Drinking Y by Yoshiki x Champagne Pommery
Little did I know what I was in for when I was invited to attend an event launching Y by Yoshiki in collaboration with Champagne Pommery. I was in for an incredible evening with Japan’s most iconic superstar. Not only did we sip Champagne while looking out over Los Angeles, but we previewed Yoshiki: Under The Sky, and had a personal performance by Yoshiki. There is no doubt An Evening with Yoshiki, Screening Yoshiki: Under The Sky, and Drinking Y by Yoshiki x Champagne Pommery is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
“Music can bring us together.” This is the primary theme of “Yoshiki: Under The Sky”, a music documentary by artist, musician, and composer Yoshiki. Filmed during the Covid pandemic, Yoshiki, who is the leader of rock bands X Japan and The Last Rockers, as well as a composer, gathered a collection of artists to perform with him. Great artists from around the world, including Sarah Brightman from England, Scorpions from Germany, Jane Zhang from China, HYDE, SUGIZO, and SixTones from Japan, and The Chainsmokers, St. Vincent, Nicole Scherzinger, and Lindsey Stirling from the US, performed live with Yoshiki.
Before watching this film, I was not familiar with Yoshiki, but I am now. He is a true musical genius. Born and raised in Japan, he started playing piano at the age of four and started composing at the age of eight. At the age of ten, his father committed suicide and Yoshiki shifted from classical music to rock music. He is the leader and cofounder, as well as drummer, pianist, and main songwriter, of the bands X Japan and the Last Rockstars. He has produced several classical studio albums and has collaborated with artists such as Bono, will.i.am, The Chainsmokers, Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen, Gene Simmons of KISS, Ellie Goulding, Nicole Scherzinger, Sarah Brightman, and more. Yoshiki has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Imperial Palace in Japan. He composed the theme song for the 69th Golden Globe Awards and has also composed for anime and film soundtracks. He has been described by Billboard Magazine as a “musical innovator” and was named “one of the most influential composers in Japanese history” by Consequence Magazine. And, in 2023, Yoshiki was the first Japanese artist to be honored with a hand and footprint ceremony at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Yoshiki: Under The Sky is the first film directed by Yoshiki. The film is a way for Yoshiki to connect with his fans. The powerful performances demonstrate the power of music. And the overall message from Yoshiki is that “we can overcome any difficulties together.” At this time in the world, we need something to bring us all together and perhaps music is the way. And also with some Champagne….of course.
After screening the emotional and uplifting music documentary, which includes a celebration of voices from across international borders, we were invited to enjoy glasses of Y by Yoshiki x Champagne Pommery, a new collaboration between Yoshiki and Champagne Pommery. The idea of the collaboration is a combination of artists, a blending of the artistic vision of the musician and the artistic vision of the cellar master.
Yoshiki spent time in the cellars of Pommery and was part of the entire design, from the Champagne blend to the bottle. The Brut Champagne is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier sourced from 40 different vineyards in the Cote des Blancs and Montagne de Reims regions in Champagne, France. It has aromas of citrus, red apple, white flowers, minerality, and brioche. It is rich and round on the palate with a fresh finish. Y by Yoshiki x Champagne Pommery retails for $250 and is available in limited quantities.
Yoshiki expressed his excitement about the collaboration, explaining that “creating ‘Y by YOSHIKI’ with Champagne Pommery has been an incredible journey. It’s an honour to combine the artistry of music with the artistry of champagne-making. I believe that this collaboration will bring joy and inspiration to people around the world.” Nathalie Vranken, Co-Owner and Deputy CEO of Vranken Pommery added, “Champagne Pommery has always been dedicated to crafting exceptional champagne, and our partnership with Yoshiki is a testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence. ‘Y by YOSHIKI’ is a remarkable blend of cultures and talents, resulting in a champagne that is as exceptional as the artist behind it.”
An evening of Champagne and music definitely lifted my soul. I believe Yoshiki is correct in saying that music will bring us together.