The Rise of the Japanese Rock Star Miyavi

  • He is a Japanese artist has been recognized internationally for his unconventional style of playing the electric guitar with his fingers which is popularly known as “slap style.” You might have heard of his stage name, Miyavi (雅). He is a famous Japanese singer/songwriter, guitarist and a compositor. But let’s take a look at how he came to be so popular!


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    Early Years

    Miyavi’s real name is Takamasa Ishihara, the artist was born in Osaka Prefecture but moved to Kawanishi, Hyogo, after the first grade. Before becoming popular, he was just a regular boy with a regular life of going to school and playing sports such as football. He was a very good student who was aspiring to become an athlete. However, in the second year of junior high school, an accident occurred which injured him and prevented him from pursuing sports career. Soon after, he started playing the guitar, mostly covering Ray Charles, and in the third year of junior high school, him and his friends started a visual-kei band “Loop.”

    Early Career

    At the age of 17, Miyavi settled in Tokyo. There, he joined visual kei rock band Due le Quartz, which unfortunately only existed up until 2002. At that time, he came up with his stage name “Miyabi.” After the band split up, he started his solo career and changed his name to Miyavi, the various productions didn’t take long to start offering him contracts. His first solo concert was held in Shibuya Public Hall and was followed by the release of his second studio album, Galyuu, which charted 44.

    World Tours

    Miyavi’s first solo concert tour was held in 2004 and called “Tokyo Dassou”, soon after release the countries with largest fanbases like Korea and Taiwan were added to the touring list. But it was once he signed a major contract with Universal Music Group that things really started to get serious, he released his first major double (single), “Rock no Gyakushuu/21sekikei Koushinkyoku,” which promptly entered top tens of the charts and made Miyavi famous worldwide. Miyavi now has 3 successful world tours under his belt with the total of over 200 shows in 30 countries including both North and South Americas.

    Nowadays, Miyavi is producing television commercials, composing music for other J-pop stars, pursuing a career in acting, and is making his own amazing music. This slap-guitarist will surely only gain more popularity in the years to come!


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