CEST_PRUNE: Please introduce yourself to our readers
MIYAVI: My name is MIYAVI and I am a musician, actor, model and an ambassador of UNHCR Refugee Agency. I'm originally from Tokyo, but now I live on planes.
CEST_PRUNE: You are releasing your first solo album in three years this July. Talk to us about “No Sleep Till Tokyo”
MIYAVI: My past 2 albums were collaborative albums that featured different vocalists singing or rapping over my guitar tracks. As a result, the past albums were influenced by a wide range of genres from Rap to EDM to R&B and Rock. NO SLEEP TILL TOKYO is 100% MIYAVI singing and playing the guitar and we are taking it back to the MIYAVI sound. On NSTT, I wanted to sing in Japanese and English, which allows me to fully express myself since English is my second language. As well, recording a bilingual album enables both my fans in Japan and all over the world to be able to sing along to the songs. Plus, in the global market, it’s becoming more common to use their own language, like Spanish, Korean, etc. So as long as the sound quality is global, the local language can become your originality and identity.
CEST_PRUNE: What can fans expect from this album?
MIYAVI: Slap guitar, epic hooks, big beats and heavy bass. NSTT is massive sounding. I want my fans to play the album on full blast!
CEST_PRUNE: You’re currently touring in Japan and previewing songs from your album. What has the response been thus far?
MIYAVI: The response has been great. I realized that using my voice to sing is a part of my creation that my fans enjoy. There’s a deeper connection with the audience when I am singing and playing the guitar, I feel.
CEST_PRUNE: Back in 2018, you released Samurai Sessions Volume 3: Worlds Collide, a unique album that featured different vocal artists on every track. How was the process of making that album different than “No Sleep Til Tokyo”?
MIYAVI: The process was different mainly because Samurai Sessions was a collaborative album. There are a lot of moving parts when you are working with 10 different artists. Every artist has a different vibe, so I tried to be flexible and give them some space for freedom so that we can play around with their musical style. It’s a challenge, but also very fun to get outside my comfort zone and challenge myself.
CEST_PRUNE: Talk to us about your guitar style and why it stands out.
MIYAVI: I started to play a slap style after being inspired by the Japanese Shamisen instrument. When I began touring around the world, it was important to me to develop a distinct style. Since then my style evolved over time.
CEST_PRUNE: Aside from music, you’re also an actor. You made your big screen debut in the Oscar nominated film, Unbroken. How did you get into acting?
MIYAVI: Out of the blue. Angelina Jolie discovered my music and she had a vision for me in the film Unbroken. I had never acted before. I am very grateful to her for introducing me to acting, which I love to do now as it allows me to immerse myself into different characters and new worlds.
CEST_PRUNE: What are your next acting projects?
MIYAVI: I have a role in Disney's Maleficent 2, which will be released in October 2019. I can't say much about the film, but I am wearing horns in the film, and play a fairy! So, I am looking forward to my fans finding me in a new way.
CEST_PRUNE: You’ve also dipped your toes in the fashion pool, walking in Paris Fashion Week 2018. Talk to us about your personal style and favorite trends at the moment.
MIYAVI: My personal style is a street wear style inspired by Tokyo culture and my fashion mentor Yojhi Yamamoto’s Y-3 brand. I also like a nice BLVGARI suit when the occasion calls for it. I generally like simple looks which are also functional with an attitude.
CEST_PRUNE: You are a Goodwill Ambassador to UNHCR and work as an active philanthropist. Talk to us about this aspect of your life and what it means to you.
MIYAVI: The refugee crisis is an ongoing humanitarian issue. Of course there is so much political divide around this issue, which tends to create obstacles when it comes to developing solutions. As a musician, it’s my goal to bring happiness and hope through music to everyone who listens. Whenever I visit refugee camps, I like to perform for the people inside the camps, especially the children, and also to make music with the inspiration that I receive from what I witness throughout the activities an an ambassador. I can help them to momentarily forget about their situation and also give them a spark and energy. I want to use my platform to humanize refugees to the rest of the world.
CEST_PRUNE: Where can we follow your journey on social media?
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