Wagakki Band Mixure of Japanese Wa Music and Rock

Live of Wagakki Band in Nikoniko Chokaigi

I think my first or second meeting of this Wagakki Band was Nikoniko Cho Kaigi that was held in 2015.
Nikoniko Cho Kaigi is, well, difficult to explain, it is all subculture mixed event.
You can enjoy music, cosplay, game, IT, traditional Japanese things there.
If I say it was a kind of chaos event to me.
But anyway is was very fun and I happened to hear rock music but it was not only “the rock” sound but Japanese traditional sound at the same time.
What is that?
I came closer to the crowd of people and there I could find them Wagakki Band.
They were in Japanese traditional kimono style and were playing very unique music mixing with Japanese Wa and rock sound.
Only one time I think I watched them on youtube and thought this is new style but I never imagined they join this subculture event.
Wagakki Band stood out in their unique music, costume and performance there.

What is Wagakki Band

Wagakki means Japanese musical instruments in Japanese.
Literally they play Japanese “Wa” music.
They use not only usual guitar, bass and drum but also Japanese musical instruments such as Shakuhachi, Koto, Taiko.
They combined Japanese music with modern rock music.
It is the new style music band that mixed with Japanese music, rock, and entertainment.
All the members were active in music field as professionals from the first before this Wagakki band is made.
They came to know each other and made Wagakki Band through Nikoniko Video that is the biggest video hosting service in Japan.
Their first album Vocalo Zanmai that covered vocaloid’s songs was released in 2014.
Original album Hanabi was released on August in 2014.
In 2015 they performed in Taiwan and in 2016 they appeared on the stage of SXSW 2016 in United States.

Member’s Career

  • Vocal – Suzuhana Yuko
    She starts learning classic piano when she was 3 and starts learning Japanese Shigin, Kenbu sword dance at 5.
    After graduation of Tokyo College of Music, she topped in a national Shigin (Japanese Poem Recitation) contest of Columbia records in 2011.
  • Koto – Kiyoshi Ibukuro
    He dispatched by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan to China and performed Koto when he was in high school.
    After that he has joined overseas performance in Vietnam, Qatar, Iran, Kuwait, Korea, etc, totally 8 overseas performance.
  • Shakuhachi – Daisuke Kaminaga
    At the age of 18, he starts playing Shakuhachi and awarded a master name Yozan.
    He has performed in more than 10 countries until now and appeared on the stage of SXSW, Japane Expo and Japanese Lounge Night.
    He also loves video game music that I can not take my eyes off from him.
  • Tsugaru Shamisen – Beni Ninagawa
    She starts learning Japanese folk song when she was 4 and starts playing Tsugaru Shamisen at 7 or 8.
    Until 15, her main was a folk song but she hurt her throat at 15 and changed the main to Tsugaru Shamisen.
    While in active in music scene, she had also been working as a model and an actress.
  • Wa Taiko – Kurona
    His first meeting with Wa Taiko was at the age of 3.
    He belong to professional Wa Taiko group in Tokyo at 9.
    After learning traditional drumming in the group, he became independent.
    He has performed overseas in more than 15 countries until now.
  • Guitar – Machiya
    He had been getting great popularity in Nikoniko Douga (Japanese video hosting service) for his high guitar technique.
    He is in active in many fields from as a guitar & vocal in his indies band m:a.ture to as a designer, engineer.
    You can tell him from his Japanese mask he sometimes wears in the performance.
  • Bass – Asa
    Looks like a girl for the make-up, hair style and dress but he is a male.
    He is also in active as a VocaloP.
    Vocaloid is voice synthesizing software and VocaloP is the person who makes music using Vocaloid.
    Yoshiwara Lament, the music he made as a VocaloP got so popular that many artists covered it.
    Yoshiwara Lament even became a novel in the end.
  • Drums – Wasabi
    He is very popular drums in Nikoniko Douga.
    He starts playing the drums at 15 and make a collaboration with dance and stage beyond the field of Rock & Pops.
    When he wears clothes he is Akira Sasaki but once he is in performance he becomes Wasabi that you can see from his naked back.
    He is the youngest in the band.

Summary

What made Wagakki Band today is not only its unique music or looks but each member has professional skills at the same time that made them popular.
Its video clip is also beautiful and interesting to watch.
It is great and interesting thing to mix traditional sound with modern sound and performance.
Now its vocals Yuko Suzuhana makes a solo debut in November 2016.
She sing a theme song of video game of SD Gundam G-generation Genesis that is released from PS 4 and PS Vita in 22th Nobemver 2016.
Wagakki band has been expanding its activity worldwide that you might can meet them in your country in the future.

Official Website : Wagakki Band




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