BUZZ: A Japanese music idol with a touch of Bay Ridge

July 3, 2013 Editorial Staff
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His Brooklyn roots have gotten him far.

From the streets of Bay Ridge, Joey Carbone – who attended both St. Ephrem’s School and Xaverian High School during his Brooklyn youth – went on to become a music legend in Japan.

It all started when he was 16 as his friend, Richie Zito, and he created a band called The Bay Ridge, which was signed by Atlantic Records, and which was featured in a Home Reporter article back in the 1960s.

The band was just the beginning; since that time, Carbone has worn many hats including that of music producer, arranger, keyboardist, vocalist, international advisor and educator abroad.

Carbone’s journey began when he got a job in the mail room at Atlantic Records, giving him the opportunity to watch recording sessions, every so often, with legends like Aretha Franklin, he explained.

“Whenever I had the chance, I would go into the recording studio and watch the session. From their kindness and talent—by letting me stay—I was inspired to become a musician and composer myself,” Carbone gratefully said.

The rest is history.

Carbone is the second most recorded foreign composer in Japan after The Beatles. He has composed and produced over 1,000 songs for the Japanese market.

He is also the advisor to the number one Japanese record company Avex Entertainment, as well as Sony Music Japan, noting that from his constant trips to Tokyo, he fell deeply in love with the city that birthed his music career.

“Tokyo reminded me of New York City,” Carbone explained. He’s been to Japan over 100 times and has won hundreds of gold and platinum records. He visits his home-away-from-home at least five times a year and can even speak Japanese.

Part of his career also includes being the music director of “Star Search” for nine-plus years, writing the show’s theme song and producing its music every week.

If that wasn’t enough, Carbone is also the vice principal at Jikei Gakuen College, giving lectures at other colleges and universities in the United States, Japan and Taiwan. Carbone has arranged and produced music for future hit artists such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Alanis Morisette, Beyonce and Usher.

Although he now lives in L.A, Carbone takes trips to the old ‘hood to visit his family members in Staten Island and drive around his old neighborhood in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst to see how much they’ve changed since the time he was in town.

Carbone welcomes hearing from old Brooklyn friends. He can be reached at [email protected].

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