Musical mom: Eiko Hosaka-Tiernan

By on November 2, 2011
“Speed is the best currency, and life rewards the bold,” sings Eiko Hosaka-Tiernan, vocalist for Tokyo-based acoustic folk-pop duo Nature Airliner, in their uplifting self-penned track, “Never Die” – a line that seems to define her story.

In life, Eiko fills a wide array of roles: that of a devoted mother; a loving wife; a musician; and a full-time businesswoman, working as a sales manager for an American company.

“It is not that difficult [juggling everything],” Eiko divulges, “because my husband helps me out a lot. I am a well-organized person, and multitasking is not difficult for me as a big part of my job is coordinating people and things.”

Born in a small town in Akita prefecture, Eiko is now a mother to her 21-year-old son and married to Canadian musician Laurier Tiernan, the other half of Nature Airliner.

“I married my ‘present husband’ four years ago, and he happened to be a musician.  I had been watching him perform solo for 3 years and I didn’t intend to get involved with his music career, but last year, he begged me to perform with him for an acoustic project.”
When discussing her musical influences, Eiko professes her love for rock band Queen. “Even to this day, I am a huge fan. I have been listening to them for more than thirty years. However, rather than any particular band or musician, I was much more influenced by the decade: the ‘70s.”

And although still a huge fan of rock music, motherhood has affected how she performs and creates music. “I can say that I’m not a crazy rocker anymore,” she jokes. “I always think about the audience – especially my fans and friends who bring their children to our shows.”

While the ‘70s were her musical inspiration, Eiko was influenced in life by the works of Mother Teresa. “When I was 19, I wanted to go abroad and work in a voluntary camp somewhere like India. But I read that Mother Teresa said, ‘Start within your family’. So I decided to stay in Japan, because I felt I had to do something for my family.”
The idea of family is one dear to Eiko; as a mother active in both the corporate world and the creative one, we asked her how she would handle her son following a less traditional career field.

“A few weeks ago, my son told me that he’d decide to become a professional bassist if he couldn’t make his goal of being hired by the company of his choice. I’ll just say one thing to him: ‘I’d love that!’  I respect every choice he makes because his life is his own and not mine.

“Many parents tend to make the mistake of living vicariously through their children and forcing their aspirations onto their kids. But I want to say to those parents that it’s not too late to pursue your own dreams, which you had when you were younger!”

And finally, what does family mean to Eiko?

“Ideally, I think a family should be a place you go home to every day after work. It’s nice to feel that someone is waiting for you.

“When my son was younger, he was my reason to live and work. Now, he has his own life and my definition of family is changing to reflect that. In part, my family is now a source of pure joy because it is no longer a source of responsibility, but a collective of people who enjoy each other’s company and support each other’s dreams.”

To hear Nature Airliner’s music, visit or purchase them on the iTunes store.

Nature Airliner will also headline a family-friendly event later this month; check them out!

Nature Airliner Presents Vol. 3
Featuring performances by Nature Airliner, American singer-songwriter Derek Hurst, and members of the Okinawan-flavored An-Chang Project.
Date: 2pm-5pm, Nov 20
Venue: The Crawfish, Social Akasaka BF, 3-11-7, Minato-ku, Tokyo

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