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Successful with D’ESPAIRSRAY and Angelo, Karyu is now challenging the music scene as a solo artist. We had the pleasure of asking him about his past as well as his future plans!

Thank you very much for having an interview with us. So, after D’ESPAIRSRAY’s disbandment and Angelo’s hiatus you’ve decided to go your own way this time – that sounds very exciting. How do you feel about starting something new from scratch again?

I feel very excited indeed because it’s a good chance to challenge myself to explore all the new potential hidden inside of me. 

Isn’t it a completely different feeling to stand on stage alone as a solo artist and to stand on stage with your band members?

It is. It’s a completely different feeling. You have to use different methods, especially when appearing on stage and when leaving the stage. That’s why I really want to gain more experience to improve my stage performance as a solo artist. 

You performed three songs of D’ESPAIRSRAY when you made a guest appearance in the online music show “YK Stream ‘22” – hasn’t it been quite a while since you’ve performed these songs in front of people? Did performing them made you feel nostalgic?

It did, indeed. It was the first time that I performed songs of D’ESPAIRSRAY since the band’s one-day-revival at an event in 2014 that Angelo sponsored. I felt nostalgic, but at the same time the songs didn’t feel old to me. I was able to add a fresh touch to them and was flushed with excitement when performing them. 

You’ve been active in the music scene for quite long now. Have you noticed any changes in the scene over the years? For example, let’s take the way bands and fans communicate with each other. It has changed thanks to the prevalence of social media channels like Twitter, hasn’t it? Now that you’ve also started using Twitter, how do you feel about the distance between you and your fans?

As for changes in the music scene, I’d say that less and less bands challenge themselves to go overseas nowadays. Thanks to Twitter and Instagram, I’m now not only able to hear the voices of my Japanese fans, but also the voices of my oversea fans in a split second and that makes me very happy.

On your website, you provide a lot of content for your fans including live streams, videos and even a chat function. You really are devoted to your fans, aren’t you? 

I’ve been doing music for many years now, so I believe I was able to build a good relationship with my fans over time. I’m happy that I am able to create a place for everyone to enjoy and be happy through the artist and person that is “Karyu”.

On top of that, your fanclub’s name is “K’RONE” (Krone: meaning crown in German), isn’t it? You’ve mentioned on Twitter that you like German, but why exactly did you choose to name your fan club “K’RONE”? 

Even before planning the design and name of my fanclub I had already decided to use the German language that I like as a concept. And when I started looking for specific words that I like, I came across the word KRONE. I looked up its meaning and found out that it means crown but can also be translated with the Japanese word “kyokuchi”, which means “the ultimate top”. The Japanese word that I am referring to describes the place you reach after putting all your effort into something. I can therefore relate the meaning of this word to my experience of getting to where I am now in terms of my relationship with my fans. Finally, I added a ’ to create an original name that also looks cool in terms of lettering. That’s why the name of my fanclub is “K’RONE”. 

With D’ESPAIRSRAY you’ve toured America and Europe before, haven’t you? 10 years have passed since then, but do you perhaps recall any difference between American and European fans?

I don’t recall any specific difference between American and European fans, but I do remember that both of them were extremely passionate and simply the best. And I feel like I need to experience performing in front of fans like that again. 

A lot of websites from overseas that post articles related to Japanese music and visual kei have reported about your comeback. We saw articles in a lot of different languages. While you had many releases overseas and also toured there with D’ESPAIRSRAY, you’ve mainly focused on the Japanese market with your next band Angelo, haven’t you? We think it is very remarkable that you have a lot of fans overseas no matter how many years pass by. 

Yeah, I am very grateful for that. It makes me really happy. That’s why I really want to perform in front of fans from different countries again one day.

After being active in the music industry for so long, is there anything you still feel uncomfortable about?

I’m not very good with people. However, I was only able to start my solo activities thanks to all the people who helped me, so I believe that I really need to treasure human connections from now on.

On the other hand, what do you like the most about being a musician?

The fact that I am able to create my own music and express myself through it. Also, nothing feels better than having people from all over the world not only loving you as a musician, but also loving the music you create.

Lastly, to close this interview, could you tell us about your expectations and hopes regarding your solo project? 

I am filled with anticipation, because I have high hopes for my music and all the hidden possibilities inside of me that I can express through it; and it’s exciting to see them slowly turn into something tangible. That’s why I’m already having a lot of fun with my solo activities. 

Finally, please say a few words for your overseas fans.

We haven’t been able to see each other for quite a while now, but my dream of playing concerts all over the world hasn’t changed. I will do my best so that I can enjoy the same music with people from a lot of different countries again. Please keep an eye on my activities from now on as well. We’ll definitely meet again!

Interview: Jenny
Translation: Tiffany
English Edit: Franzi

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It would be great if you could support us with a small donation.
It might not be much for you, but it would help us providing more and better interviews in the future.
With a little bit of your support we might be able to realize even more!

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