Kamijo (musician)

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Kamijo
Kamijo Versailles c.jpg
Kamijo performing with Versailles in 2010
Background information
Also known asKAMIJO, SHOKI
Born (1975-07-19) July 19, 1975 (age 43)
Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture
OriginKantō, Japan
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • musician
  • record producer
  • actor
  • model
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • keyboards
Years active1994–present
Labels
Associated acts
WebsiteOfficial website

Kamijo is a Japanese singer-songwriter, musician, and music producer.[1] He is best known as lead singer of the visual kei bands Lareine and Versailles. He has also been the head of two independent record labels; the first being Applause Records (formed in 2000), and currently Sherow Artist Society since 2006. His music covers many genres, Lareine having mainly a baroque pop style, and Versailles a clear symphonic and neoclassical metal sound.[2] He has an extensive discography with the bands Lareine, New Sodmy and Versailles, consisting of 15 albums, and a large amount of EPs and singles. In 2013, Kamijo began a solo career with his debut single "Louis ~Enketsu no La Vie en Rose~".[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Kamijo was raised in a family of musicians; his mother and grandmother were both piano players, and his grandfather a violinist.[citation needed] His first steps in rock were in the mid-1990s, when he worked as a roadie for the visual kei rock band Malice Mizer. He shared this job with Mayu, a guitarist with whom he formed the band Lareine.[1][5]

Career[edit]

1994–2007: Lareine[edit]

In August 1994, Mayu and Kamijo (then using the names Maito and Shoki respectively) met for the first time while they were working as roadies for Malice Mizer. The same year, in November, they decided to form a band together, which they named Laliene ru cheri, commonly called just Laliene (named that way for the French Queen Marie Antoinette). Along with guitarist Sakuren and drummer Kyouka, they began to play. Later bass player Emiru entered the band, completing the first line-up.[6]

In March 1996, Laliene held a live concert for their first anniversary, where they changed the name of the band to Lareine. That same year they released their first recording "Saikai no Hana", distributed freely at the anniversary concert in a limited number of 100 copies. They signed with Sony in 1998 and released the songs Metamorphose, Fiançailles, Fuyu Tokyo and Lillie Charlotte. After many years of releasing many albums, EPs and singles, during a short separation of the band, Kamijo created the band New Sodmy, and recorded two albums and five singles.[7]. New Sodmy disbanded while Lareine was reformed in 2003 and started releasing new material.

In February 2007, Lareine finally came to its end, having played their last live on October 31, 2006.[7] The last recording of Lareine consists of 10 piano versions of their most popular songs.

2007–2012: Versailles[edit]

In March 2007, Kamijo and Hizaki (ex-Sulfuric Acid), and Jasmine You (ex-Jakura), formed the band Versailles. Later, Teru (ex-Aikaryu) and Yuki (ex-Sugar Trip), who were recommended by the Rock May Kan venue in Tokyo, joined the band. Hizaki, Jasmine You and Teru previously played together as part of Hizaki Grace Project.

Versailles performing in Santiago, Chile in 2010.

Kamijo and Hizaki created the concept of Versailles in the autumn of 2006 and spent six months gathering members to express it. Their band concept is "the absolute youshikibi (beauty of form) sound and extremes of aestheticism". On March 30, 2007 the details of the band were announced. They released promotional material through the internet, set up an English language page on MySpace, and had several interviews with foreign press. Versailles made their first appearance with a showcase on June 23, followed by their first performance on June 24. On these dates they also distributed their first single and DVD single, "The Revenant Choir".[8]

The band signed with the German CLJ Records label and released the EP Lyrical Sympathy on October 31, both in Japan and Europe. Their song "The Love From A Dead Orchestra" also appeared on a compilation album released by Sony BMG in Germany on November 9, called Tokyo Rock City.[8] On September 23, 2008, Kamijo modeled clothing for the brand Alice and the Pirates on the runway at Individual Fashion Expo IV.[9]

In January 2011, he and the rest of Versailles started starring in their own TV mini drama called Onegai Kanaete Versailles (おねがいかなえてヴェルサイユ, "Fulfill My Wish Versailles"). The show also starred Rina Koike and aired on Mainichi Broadcasting System and TV Kanagawa until March.[10] On December 20, 2012, Versailles gave their last concert and ceased all activities.[11] The band released four albums, one EP, eight singles, two live albums, ten music videos, one compilation albums and several DVDs.

2013: Solo career[edit]

In January 2013, Kamijo announced he would start a solo career, with his first release being the single "Louis ~Enketsu no La Vie en Rose~" on August 28.[12] While all the other members of Versailles later formed the band Jupiter with a new singer, and released their first album the same day as Kamijo's single.[13][14] The music video for Kamijo's single features Malice Mizer and Moi dix Mois leader Mana.[15]

Kamijo also sang backup on the 2013 debut album Heartstrings by Aisenshi, the new band of Eizo Sakamoto (Anthem) and She-Ja (Volcano).[16]

Discography[edit]

Solo

Singles

  • "Louis ~Enketsu no La Vie en Rose~" (Louis ~艶血のラヴィアンローズ~, August 28, 2013)
  • "Moulin Rouge" (June 18, 2014)
  • "Yamiyo no Lion" (闇夜のライオン, July 16, 2014)
  • "Castrato" (カストラート, May 10, 2017)
  • "Mademoiselle" (September 27, 2017)
  • "Nosferatu" (January 16, 2018)

Albums

  • Symphony of the Vampire (March 5, 2014)
  • Heart (September 24, 2014)
  • 20th Anniversary All Time Best ~Kakumei no Keifu~ (20th Anniversary All Time Best ~革命の系譜~, June 10, 2015)
  • Royal Blood —Revival Best— (July 15, 2015)
  • Sang (March 21, 2018)
Lareine
New Sodmy
  • Confess to a Crime (2002)
  • Confess to a Love (2002)
Versailles

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Blue Illusion - Kamijo". altervista.org. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  2. ^ "Sherow Artist Society". Sherow Artist Society. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  3. ^ "無料動画GYAO! |音楽". yahoo.co.jp. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  4. ^ "LAREINEのプロフィール". ORICON STYLE. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  5. ^ jpopasia. "KAMIJO - singer - jrock". JpopAsia. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  6. ^ "びじゅなび". びじゅなび. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "LAREINE". JaME U.S.A. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  8. ^ a b http://archive.metropolis.co.jp/tokyo/700/music_beat.asp[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Individual Fashion EXPO IV - Backstage Interviews". jame-world.com. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  10. ^ "Versailles to act in a drama". shattered-tranquility.net. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  11. ^ "An Important Announcement From Versailles". versailles.syncl.jp. July 20, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  12. ^ "KAMIJO's First Solo Single". jame-world.com. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  13. ^ "Versailles members create new band, 'Jupiter'". tokyohive.com. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  14. ^ "Jupiter to release first album!". musicjapanplus.jp. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Versailles and MALICE MIZER's Leaders' Miraculous Joint Appearance". barks.jp. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  16. ^ "Interview with KAMIJO". jame-world.com. Retrieved August 27, 2013.

External links[edit]