Title / Artist
Interview with Rei
Date: 2017.07.04
Artist:   Rei  
Rei, an up-and-coming, singer-guitarist from Japan. Gaining prominence with her impressive guitar skills and voice, making a charming contrasted with her young age and doe-like looks. She will be performing at one of France's largest rock music festivals, Les Eurockéennes de Belfort on Saturday, July 8th, which marks her debut in Europe.

Dear Rei, thank you very much for accepting to answer our questions. Let us start by having you introduce yourself for people who may not know you. With this introduction, please let us know who is Rei also in the “real life”.

Thank you too, for offering to interview me! I’m Rei, a singer-song writer and guitarist living in Japan. I play the guitar and sing, compose my own songs. I first encountered the joy of performing when I was 4 yrs old, started playing classical guitar in New York. I’ve been influenced by 60’s classic rock, Blues music in general and also Pop music of the 2000’s. All the good juices of those genres infused in a thick smoothie, is kind of what my original music is like!
In real life, I am creative and funky but not too social (working on it). The girl crammed in her room fidgeting with vacuum tubes, miniature cars, paint brushes and acrylic, is me on a day off from work.

If you could describe yourself in 3 words. What would they be and why?

“Curious” “Crazy” “Creative” three big C’s.
I think that says it all. Don’t like being controlled, like thinking outside the box, and always on the hunt for new exciting things.

You had started classic guitar at the age of 4 and became fascinated with blues music at 5. You started very young! Who introduced you to guitar and blues music?

I saw a female musician playing guitar on TV back in NY, and asked for the same “toy” on my birthday. I joined the school big band soon after, which introduced me to Jazz blues classics such as Duke Ellington and Miles Davis.

You released your 1st mini album “BLU” in February 2015, which was produced by Ryosuke Nagaoka from PETROLZ. How started this collaboration?

I used to work part time in a venue where Ryosuke used to come and visit once in a while. It was because the record label that PETROLZ are signed to, have a family like relationship with the staff at the place. Of course I knew him from his days in the band “Tokyo Incidents” and admired his techniques, so after we started to have casual conversations about music (and Citroen cars, we are both a fan) now and then, I thought it be great to work with him on my debut album.

Do you have favorite songs in your albums?

I’d say “Long Way To Go” has a special place in my heart. It’s kind of like the theme song of my life.

Could you tell us about your new single, “ CRY ”which will be released on July 5th?

“CRY” means shedding tears, but also means to wail out a voice. My interpretation of the word was something like a protest. Although there are situations where you don’t have the courage, or the right to say your truthful opinions. But through expressing myself through music I’ve really come to the realization, that it’s important to stand up for yourself, following your gut feelings and your intuition, fighting for what you believe in.

What is something you want fans to take from your music?

The joy of letting go of all your problems and dousing your soul into the sound. Music is such a cure to so many things in the world, I hope everyone who hasn’t been able to realize that will do so, through experiencing mine

If you could collaborate with any Japanese or American artist, who would it be?
Paul McCartney is on top of my list! But I’d like to discover many French musicians and collaborate with them too.

In 2016 you toured USA. How was this experience?

US was a lot of meat and oil, which is fantastic of course for a foodie like me! But I loved the people. The audience and the staff were all expressive and passionate.

You will make your European debut at Eurockéennes on July 8th. What are your expectations or feelings so far? How do you feel it will differ from your interactions with audience in Japan and in the USA?

I hear many French people are interested in Japanese culture and I hope I can be part of that good impression. Don’t really know what kind of feed back I’ll get from the audience, but all I can really do is “do my thing” and hope for the best!

Since you will be in Europe for the first time, are there anything you are hoping to do?

I looove cheese, especially blue cheese and washed type ones. So excited for the cuisine!

Which are you plans for the future?

I have plans to play overseas and also tour through out Japan the later half of 2017. Also planning to make another CD this year. In the long term, I hope to be an internationally acknowledged musician!

Could you send a message to readers of Nippon Project? Thank you for your time and good luck in the future!

I stayed in France when I was a baby, so it’s wonderful visiting again. Though this time, as a professional musician. Hope I see a lot of music lovers when I get to Belfort! You can order my albums online for physical copies, on Itunes for digital, so please check it out!


Author: Sheila
last update: 2017-07-04