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Meet Forte: The Most Muscular Piano Virtuoso in Japan [Photos & Videos]

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Sure, you can play the piano. But can you bench press it too?

When you see a muscular guy in a tank top showing off his shoulders and biceps, it’s only natural to think “That guy must spend a lot of time in the gym.” And yes, that’s probably true. However, as the old saying goes “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.” Take the case of Forte, a muscular young man from Japan who also happens to be an incredible pianist.

An incredibly talented pianist, Forte’s relationship with the instrument began at the age of three. It was not until much more recently, though, that Forte came to develop his persona as a “macho pianist.”

After entering Ehime University about four years ago, Forte quickly began gaining weight. Overeating and lack of exercise resulted in him going from 80 kg (176 lb) to 100 kg (220 lb). By around the age of 19 he was feeling embarrassed of his appearance and felt that some of his friends were distancing themselves from him. So he changed his eating habits and started exercising. Within three months he says he dropped to 70 kg (156 lb) and by the half year mark after starting to lose weight he had developed the chiseled muscles seen on him today.

Forte at 70 kg (left) and at 100 kg

After his weight loss, an interesting thing happened though. People around him began commenting that his playing had lost some of its power. Wishing to find out if this really was the case, in the winter of his junior year Forte decided to enter a piano competition of pieces composed by the famous Frederic Chopin.

Forte thought that even if it was the case that his playing had lost something he could compensate by just learning how to better use use his more muscular body. He also thought that he needed to improve the visual aspect of his playing. Thinking that refining his movements and overall presentation could leave judges with a better impression, Forte began video recording his hour-long daily practice sessions and watching the recordings later to find areas in his presentation that he could improve.

There was one more thing that Forte did though, and in a way it was rather counter-intuitive. He picked a relatively simple song to play at the competition. This he says allowed him to infuse more of himself into the piece and truly refine his playing to its purest level. In the end Forte’s strategy paid off and he was crowned number one in Asia in the college division of the competition.

A photo taken after becoming number one in Asia in the college division

Forte’s victory filled him with confidence, after all he had defeated numerous college students from music schools who had practiced far more hours than him. That victory ended up changing his future. Though he had been studying education at Ehime University in order to become a teacher after graduation, he began to seriously consider becoming a pianist. Fully committing to this new plan, Forte set his sights on one of the most prestigious places an aspiring pianist can attend in Japan: the graduate school at the Tokyo University of the Arts.

In preparation for his entrance exam, Forte says that he began practicing 12 hours a day and even cut down on the frequency of his workouts–he says he only worked out three times a week. Despite his best efforts, Forte did not get in and so he decided to go with his back up plan of going into entertainment.

Because Forte graduated from Ehime University earlier this month, he is now free to completely dedicate himself to pursuing a career as a macho pianist. One of the ways in which he is doing this is through his YouTube channel. There he uploads all kinds of amusing videos, almost all of which involve him playing the piano.

A particularly interesting type of video that Forte has been uploading lately involves him suddenly showing off his piano skills in public to see how people react. In the video below Forte starts playing a piano in public somewhere in Yokohama just to see how big a crowd he can attract.

In the video below Forte can be seen once again playing in public. This time though, he plays something a bit less intense: the famous Rajio Taisō song (radio calisthenics).

Forte also does other kinds of videos, such as the one below in which he turns the popular song “Lemon” by Kenshi Yonezu into a love song dedicated to protein (powder/shakes).

“Protein” by Forte

Forte’s latest project involves him teaming up with another top class pianist. Going by the name Piano-chan, Forte’s partner is a crossdressing master pianist that he met during a high school piano competition.

Piano-chan and Forte

 

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Like Forte, Piano-chan has just graduated from university and the two are fully committed to making it big. Performing under the name Piano Forte, the two have started actively pursuing career opportunities. One way in which they are doing this is by starting a joint YouTube channel. There too, you’ll find interesting piano videos, such as the one below. In the video, which was also shot in public, Forte can be seen pretending to be unable to play the piano and then asking Piano-chan to teach him how to play. What follows that brief charade turns out to be quite the spectacle.

So what’s next for Forte? Who knows. Making it big either online or in the traditional media isn’t easy. However, given how talented he is and the fact that Forte is definitely not afraid of hard work, for now at least, his future is looking promising.

You can keep up with Forte on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

Source: Daikinikki.work, Boku, Forte YouTube Channel
Featured Image: 【ピアノドッキリ】初心者のふりして、世界に0.1%も弾けない超絶技巧を弾いてきた (Boku, Forte YouTube Channel)

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