Nick Wood may have a British accent, but he is honorary Japanese: the composer, producer and co-founder of Syn has lived in Japan with his lovely wife Norico for almost longer than he lived in England. Founded with Simon and Yasmin Le Bon in 1989, Syn is a music-focused creative agency working in original music, marketing, and branding. Nick is also the creator of Kyoto Horizon, the beautiful melody featured in our brand video. Nick had a vision of creating “a journey through a place where the old and the new meet in perfect harmony.” The song reflects one of the world’s most beautiful sights: the Kyoto horizon.
The genuine rock star took a moment to talk to us about life, travel, and his adopted home.
What’s new for Syn? What are you most excited about in 2013?
I’m excited about doing more work with TATCHA, particularly the release of Kyoto Horizon. I’m releasing my solo album sometime in 2013, and I continue to challenge myself and Syn in our work around the world.
What are some of your favorite Kyoto discoveries?
My favorite place to wake up is the Tawaraya Ryokan – serene, tranquil, inspiring. I love wandering the streets of Gion with my dog (also named Gion!), and going for a coffee at Inoda Coffee Store. The Tetsugaku-no-michi, or Philosopher’s Walk, is a picture-perfect walk along a cherry tree-lined canal.
My good friend Maruyama has an incredible restaurant in Gion with two Michelin stars. I always go there and he cooks for me personally. I’m often joined there by Shigeyuki Kuromitsu, a wonderful Japanese artist who does incredible paintings of cherry blossom trees. He even paints petals on the frames.
What do you have on your iPod?
My iPod is filled with an eclectic collection of music, from Bach to Harry Nilsson, from Alt-J to Jessie J and Jon Hassell.
You and your wife, Norico, are constantly traveling. Do you have any ‘stay-handome’ tips for hopping time zones?
When I arrive in Los Angeles, I head straight to Kreation Juice Bar to load up with coconut water. My favorite juice is turmeric, ginger, cayenne and lemon; guaranteed to perk you up and get you through the day! Exercise always helps; even if you feel you can’t possibly do it, it definitely helps the jetlag recovery. And, of course, TATCHA keeps my skin nicely hydrated – even on planes!
Kodawari is the philosophy of pursuing perfection in the details. How does that apply to your work?
Perfection is an ultimate goal for anyone working in the creative world. I constantly strive to do the best that I can. Others might find perfection in your work, but it’s hard for me to say that something I’ve done is perfect. I do feel that I’ve seen perfection on many occasions in Japan, particularly in Kyoto.
Chief Treasure Hunter