Ryuichi Sakamoto, the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning composer renowned for scores ranging from 1983’s “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” to 2015’s “The Revenant,” has signed on with Kobalt for a publishing deal that covers most of his catalogue around the world, with the exception of his native Japan.
“Kobalt is an exciting company,” Sakamoto said in a statement. “Together with their clients they are building the future of the music industry that works for creators and rights holders alike. I’m happy to join them in this pursuit.”
Sakamoto first came to prominence as a member of the electronic group Yellow Magic Orchestra in the late 1970s, before making the leap to film in a big way with his acclaimed work on “Mr. Lawrence,” in which he also appeared as an actor. He won his scoring Oscar for “The Last Emperor” in 1987 and went on to do “The Sheltering Sky” and “Little Buddha” for director Bernardo Bertolucci as well. He was nominated for Golden Globes for all three of those films as well as “The Revenant.” That last film also earned him a Grammy nomination for best score soundtrack, on top of the Grammy he’d won previously for “Last Emperor.”
Outside the world of film, he also has 21 solo studio albums on top of the eight influential studio albums he recorded with the Yellow Magic Orchestra in the late ’70s through early ’90s. The electronic group has reunited for intermittent singles, concerts and live albums in recent years, including an appearance at the Hollywood Bowl in 2011.
“Ryuichi Sakamoto is a musical pioneer, recognized across the globe for his influence on electronic music genres and as an Academy Award-winning composer,” said Laurent Hubert, Kobalt’s president and chief revenue officer. “As he continues to push creative boundaries as a composer, musician and producer, we are honored to welcome him to Kobalt and support him on upcoming projects.”
In November, Sakamoto released his latest full-length recording, “Live at Sydney Opera House,” in tandem with Alva Noto. His most recent movie score, for the French film “Proxima,” was just released on the Milan label.