“I can’t actually go to Europe every year, but an online performance does make it possible for them to see me! So I hope many mates will visit online and we’ll have fun together!”
A while ago I asked RYU if he wanted to do an interview about his recent activities, how he works as a solo artist and of course the bridge between Japan and the rest of the world which he spoke to me about in 2016 already.Which resulted in this interview. RYU, thank you so much that you wanted to answer a few questions like this!
01. Thank you so much for willing to do an impromptu interview like this! I often ask artists to introduce themselves to the readers in their own words, so the same question for you: can you introduce yourself to the readers in your own words?
RYU: RYU, SINGER (solo artist). MIXTURE of rock and Japanese traditional music. I play the electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboards and traditional Japanese instruments (mainly the koto, shinobue and nohkan) for recording.
02. Since it has been a few years since we have last seen you here in Europe for a live show (the last time was in 2016), can you tell us what you have been doing recently?
RYU: I’m currently making a new CD and composing. Since I’m a solo artist I play every instrument myself and therefore it takes ages! I’m ready to go on a European tour anytime though, just invite me!
03. While you are in Japan you of course do live shows, but everyone and a while you also do live chats and music performances from your own home over the internet. I’m sure fans like to see you so casually, but how do you like it yourself?
RYU: It’s very fun for me too. Many fans from overseas aren’t able to visit or see my concerts for a long time. I still get messages from a lot of European fans who hope that I will bring my shows to their countries as well. I can’t actually go to Europe every year, but an online performance does make it possible for them to see me! So I hope many mates will visit online and we’ll have fun together!
04. During our previous interview (at OshareCon in The Netherlands in 2016) you told me about how you want to close the gap between Japanese and overseas through your music, do you feel that through your livestreams and music you’re opening your project up to international fans more?
RYU: Yeah! I think it is happening! We are one! The world is one!
05. Speaking of those livestreams, you recently announced a new song and revealed a part of it. Can you tell me a bit more about it already? Like what did you name it, and what do you want to say through this song?
RYU: The mini-album will be titled “Sakurasaku hana no michi”. There are beautiful sakura blossoms in the streets of Kyoto.
01. “Kodo” is heart movement. This song expresses anger and worry.
02. “Rinne”, which is “reborn reincarnation” in English, tells the story of a couple that meets in a bar and fall in love. They notice after that they were together in a previous existence as well. This song is kind of an old Japanese style of jazz. So not completely jazz, but people who lived about 80 years ago somehow made that style. This song contains a brass section and Japanese instruments such as the koto and shinobue.
03. “Sakurasaku hana no michi” is about a poor girl and a man who fall in love and escape from the town at night. This happened a lot in ancient Japan.
06. Are you currently working on a new single, or maybe even an album, or was this one song just a song on its own?
RYU: Yeah, it’s “chimi-mouryo”, which means “Ghost and Beast” in English. The song’s name will be “Ghost and Beast”. It’s really heavy and dark, but also melodious.
07. Fans have their own personal choice of which song to call their favorite (or favorites), but how about you? Which song -which you have composed yourself- is your personal favorite song to play live?
RYU: Rasen!!!! It’s about an old Japanese novel named “Kumo no Ito” (The Spider’s Thread), in which a guy tries to escape from hell but fails. There’s a Wikipedia page about the original story, if you read it you can feel the music more deeply. I also made an MV of this song, so please check it out on YouTube!
(*Note: The music video is at the bottom of this interview!)
08. Do you have any plans for the near future in terms of what you’d like to do with your music (more live shows, maybe a tour again or something else)? Can we expect you to visit Europe again in the future?
RYU: Artists need a promoter to go on tour! I’ve never organized a tour by myself, since it needs so much support. To be honest, I can go anytime! Just invite me!
09. A lot of artists in Japan do special lives for Halloween, Christmas and New Year. Do you have anything like this planned as well, and if not, would you like to be able to do such a live one day?
RYU: I’m not doing any of these this year! Right now I’m concentrating on recording, but I hope I can do them next year! I’ll make a great movement!
10. And finally, is there a message you would like to share with the readers of this interview?
RYU: Thanks for reading this interview! If you have any further questions for me, then please write me a message on my Twitter account (@OROCHI_RYU)! I’ll reply to it for sure!