The Art of Light

• Finland

• 24 years old

♫ My favorite bands are X Japan, Big Bang and Nightwish.

♪ I also listen to 2NE1, D'espairsRay, exist†trace, the GazettE, girugamesh, Mucc, Sonata Arctica and many other Finnish and Japanese bands.

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Yoshiki is the leader of the X Japan, which is representative of visual kei rock bands of Japan. He started playing the classical piano when he was 4 years old. Then when he was a teen, he became passionate about rock music and formed the band. Eventually, his band released many hit records in the Japanese music scene. He is now very famous as a successful musician and music producer in Japan. He wrote the music for the celebration of the Japanese Emperor’s reign and the theme for the Golden Globe Awards. Now Yoshiki’s new challenge is his solo world tour which will kick off on April 25th. He said the tour is the biggest test of his life because the tour’s set list will be all classical music and held at classical concert halls. I interviewed him in his own studio in Los Angeles.

Q: What’s music mean to you?

Music is my life. I can’t live without music. I would not be alive if there was no music in my life after my father’s suicide when I was ten years old. Rock music saved me. Through rock music, I could get out the anger and sadness from my heart. Some people say that I’m alive because of this person. For me, it is music. I can be alive because of music.

Q: How have you changed after living in Los Angeles?

At first I came to Los Angeles to record for X Japan (Yoshiki’s band), then I bought the recording studio where we had recording sessions because it was really hard to book since it is a very popular studio. So then I became a resident here. At first, I was back and forth between Japan and here. I may say I officially started living here in 1998. After I moved here, I’ve become more interested in Japanese culture, food and the perspective of Japanese people. I became aware of the view of Japan from outside of Japan.

Q: How do you overcome difficulties? What gives you strength?

I organize a charity foundation. Through that organization activity, I have met a lot of children. They remind me that I’m very fortunate because I have no physical defects so that I can play music. Whenever I meet them, I feel, why am I thinking I am facing cruel times when some kids want to walk, but they can’t? My problems are nothing compared to some people’s situations. I help people through charity activities but these activities save me.

Q: What do you like doing in your free time?

Regardless of when I’m free, I always play the piano and write music. My favorite things mostly connect with work and/or business. For example, I produced the wine under my label because I like wine. I think my favorite thing without connecting with any of my work or business is love. But I’m very busy and I’m not often in love. [Laughs]

Q: What are you interested in now?

I can’t believe I play the piano in classical concert halls all over the world. So I think back on my life while playing the piano. Lately I often think about where I stand in my life now, what my life was and what I’m going to do. So I’m interested in my life now. I’m supported by a lot of fans so I have started to think about “how I’m meant to live.” I had often thought about “why I am alive and I wanted to die” before — very negative — but now I have become very positive in my way of thinking about life.

 Q: What will you play on tour?  What is your biggest challenge?

I will play classical versions of X Japan’s songs, the song for celebrating the Japanese Emperor’s reign, the theme song for the Golden Globe Awards, but also I may play Tchaikovsky or Chopin. But I must practice a lot for that (Tchaikovsky or Chopin) [Laughs]. It is a big challenge that I play the piano as a music writer and pianist. In fact, I declined this tour at first. When I released my classical album, I had a mini concert at the Grammy Museum, because I am a voting member of the Grammy Awards. After my performance, I was asked if I should have a world tour with that type of concert. But I said, “No, no, no, no. Absolutely no!” Because it would be a big challenge for me. Even though I turned it down many times, I was persuaded. Then eventually I accepted. But I asked for some conditions which were: make three separate chunks of the world tour and avoid Los Angeles and New York for the first chunk, because I wanted to see how it was going and also I am not ready yet to do the concert in the middle of such a big city like LA or New York. I have gone through and overcome a lot of difficulties, but this tour is the biggest challenge for me. I’m confident in myself, but I feel very uneasy. I want my fans to cheer for me. I am developing many ideas for the tour but also I will practice until just before the performance. This world tour is the biggest challenge I have ever had and I feel like I am risking my life. [Laughs]



先日オテル・ドゥ・ミクニで開催されたX JAPANのボーカルToshlさんの
「Toshl Live CRYSTAL ROCK・NIGHT」に出演致しました。小瀧俊治(ピアノ)、
—Toshiharu Kotaki @ Twitter
On April 12 & 13, we played the piano as support members of the
X JAPAN's vocal Toshl. It was held in Hotel de Mikuni to "Toshl Live
CRYSTAL ROCK · NIGHT". Toshl's solo songs, western & cover songs such
as X JAPAN program was very great in the live carried out over 2 days.
It was two days of excitement parting from the voice of overwhelming
Toshl's recital with Toshi's musical instrument of course,
even while playing together.
I was able to see the figure that has been excitement of every fan's
smile, you feel a great power of music again.
—Toshiharu Kotaki @ ameba (Google translation)


With SUGIZO who came all over to see us and whom I respect. 
Got appreciative words, and this is an important picture in my life!
Hizaki (Versailles) @ Twitter | Translation




Yoshiki may not be a household name in the United States, but he’s a superstar in his native Japan.

The drummer and pianist, who founded the glam-rock/metal band X Japan, has sold 30 million records worldwide, and has sold out the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome a record 18 times. He’s one of the creators of the popular “visual kei” rock and fashion movement.

Yoshiki composed the 2012 Golden Globe Awards theme song, and wrote and performed the theme song for Expo 2005, the world’s fair held for 185 days in Nagoya, Japan. He played an original composition for the Japanese emperor’s 10th anniversary, and even served as the inspiration for a Hello Kitty character and a Marvel Comics hero – Blood Red Dragon.

Read More


Personal scan of Yoshiki’s interview with Zoom Japan [issue 20, April 2014]

(via hopeatuuli)


X JAPAN’s Yoshiki Performs Saint Seiya CG Film’s Theme

Yoshiki, the 48-year-old leader of the rock band X Japan, is contributing the theme song for this June’s CG film Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary. The song will be heard in every country that is releasing this first Saint Seiya film in a decade. Yoshiki wrote this new song Hero (Yoshiki Classical Version) specifically for this film. Katie Fitzgerald, the female vocalist of the Violet UK unit that Yoshiki leads, is singing the ballad while Yoshiki himself performs the piano work. A self-professed anime fan, Yoshiki watched the film before producing the song and remarked on its sense of amazing, grand scale. He wondered what kind of song would match the film before deciding to write this ballad. He added that the song carries the hero’s motif with a very beauitful melody that strikes the heart with much impact.

Yoshiki will unveil this song during “#Yoshiki Classical World Tour part 1,” his 10-country, 13-city tour which will begin on April 25 at Costa Mesa, California. [ x ]


(via hopeatuuli)


8 MORE DAYS ‘til #YoshikiWorldTour!!
Practicing #Chopin..wrists hurt haha!
#Piano #YoshikiClassical
ツアーまで後8日!! #ショパン 練習中、手が痛い〜(笑)!!