Boston A-List Playlist: Naoko Funayama


In our first installment of Boston A-List Playlists, I spoke with Bruins rinkside reporter Naoko Funayama, who we’ve been told is an avid music fan.  We spoke about songs she’s currently listening to, artists she listens to on road trips, and her piano playing.  Naoko has been playing piano basically her whole life so music has always held special importance to her. We figured it would be great to have someone who not only enjoys listening to music, but is a trained musician as well for our first Boston A-List Playlist report.

Check out the interview & Naoko’s current playlist below:

How long have you been playing piano and what style of music do you enjoy playing the most?

Playing since I was 4-ish. Classically trained (sorry to disappoint, not some badass blues kid) but recently played in my friend’s pop-rock band (Best Not Broken) and that was awesomeness. I get why musicians want to sacrifice and go for it, performing your art is pure exhilaration. I actually prefer playing the guitar but I’m unfortunately not as good at it. Maybe I’ll work on it when I retire :)

When traveling for road trips, what do you most often listen to?

I tend to take the time to listen to what friends recommend. Like Bryguy [Naoko's camera guy] got me into Emeli Sande before she was known in the States. Have listened to more Canadian artists too, probably because we are across the border so much. Definitely stock the iPod with new stuff since we are in transit so much.

I’ve been told you’re a fan of going to shows around Boston. Which venue in Boston is your favorite?

I seem to gravitate towards House of Blues, also TD Garden for the big gigs (Foo Fighters were crazy good there), and definitely Bank of America Pavilion for those perfect Boston summer nights.

Of all the arenas you’ve been to which one plays the best music during games?

To be honest, I have the game broadcast in my earpiece the whole time, so I actually don’t hear or notice the music.

How much of an influence does music have on your life?

Music has a huge influence on so many people’s lives including mine, and I absolutely love that it can connect people, or help you focus, channel energy, relax, get pumped, psyched, release stress, etc etc. It’s a great emotional journey, right? And watching my friends try to “make it” in the music biz, I also really appreciate the hard work that goes into recordings and performances. Our house is overflowing with musical instruments, and it’s way cool to be able hang out and play music with friends, or even by yourself. And who doesn’t love a good volume 10 moment….

Currently Playing on Naoko’s Playlist:

“Power Trip” – J Cole … Just got this. Love J Cole’s stuff.
“Hustle and Cuss” – The Dead Weather … Groovin.
“A Little Piece” – The Jezabels … This song I discovered off a Danny MacAskill video, very cool tune
“Madness” – Muse … Muse. Just ’cause.
“Lights” – Elie Goulding … Been around but it’s so addictive
“England” – The National … Makes you feel like you’re in a movie
“Dead and Gone” – TI … This one always seems to make the playlist

Special thanks to Naoko for being our first ever A-List Playlist, and just being totally awesome in general.

If you have any suggestions for who you would like to hear from on the next A-List Playlist, send us an email (

(photo at top via

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Nosebleeds Music Editor, Born in Waltham, MA living life in Los Angeles,CA, vinyl records, craft beer, and The Simpsons Follow @Sully1289
  • Kria

    You play the guitar!? Is there anything you don’t do! Amazing ;)

  • Jean


  • yvonne

    Naoko is a rock star!!! I hope I can be a groupie!