Interview with Toshiki
Toshiki is a charismatic visual kei vocalist with elegant gothic style. Some of you, you may know him from his previous band "Pan-d-ra", which disbanded in 2016. Lately, he started his own project and released the first single "SAVIOR". His symphonic metal, but melodic sound captured our attention and we're very glad that he took some of his time to answer our questions, letting us know him better. So, let us introduce you Toshiki!
Hello Toshiki and welcome to G.O. Radio! We are very happy to have you here with us for this interview. Please introduce yourself for our readers and listeners.
Thank you too♪
Nice to meet you. I'm Toshiki! Visual kei vocalist from Japan, Tokyo. As you can see, my style is elegant gothic, and you will discover a bit more about me in this interview.
How do you describe your music?
It's symphonic Metal mixed with visual kei. It sounds like Rhapsody (of fire), ANGRA, Sonata Arctica etc. with Visual kei influences.
Your new project has captured our attention and we’d like to get to know you better. But first, how was this project created? Who do you work with on it?
First, I had been looking for band members, but it wasn't easy, this is why it took some time to get the project seeing life. Later, when I talked with my friends, who are also playing in bands, they said "we will support you!" Then, I can finally start my solo project!
What is it that inspires you and motivates you?
My inspiration comes most of all from my feelings. As singing is my passion, I can share thoughts and feelings through this art. I'm always finding a place where I can sing, it's important for me to keep practicing often.
When and why did you start playing?
First, when I heard songs of L'Arc～en～Ciel I thought that it was SO COOL! I wanna be the cool singer too! So, I started voice training since I was 17 years old.
What is your opinion about the Japanese and the universal music industry? What does it take for someone to be successful?
The musician’s skill is not the priority in the Japanese scene. The topicality and the image are really important. For example, Golden Bomber, they have no musician skills except vocal. They are popular in Japan, their stage performance is focused on their way to act, more like comedians. Of course, it's important to give a good performance on stage, but I'm a Musician before all and this is not my goal to reach that scene. It's important to stay true to yourself.
As we’ve read, visual kei is included in your influences. This scene has been facing a lot of disbandments and negative changes and the fans worry about its future. What is your opinion about the future of the visual kei scene?
It's a difficult question! Japan has many visual kei bands, new bands, disband, over and over, it's a constant flux. This is Japanese culture (lol).
What kind of things do you like to sing about?
Love songs ( ＾∀＾) because I am shy. Singing is a great way to express different feelings, for many musicians, it's a catharsis. Depending on the singer, the subject can be so different. Love is the actual subject that I want to sing about.
Who are your favorite musicians? What kind of music have you been listening to lately?
From japanese musicians, my favorite are L'Arc～en～Ciel, MALICE MIZER, and many other visual kei artists. Artists from other countries are Rhapsody (of fire), HIBRIA, STRATOVARIUS, ANGRA and more!!
Lately, I’ve been listening to L'Arc～en～Ciel and my songs ( ´∀｀).
Your promo single named “Deceiving Love” caught the eye of the media and it earned a lot of positive comments. How did this make you feel?
I'm so grateful♪. This is really positive and motivating, I feel the success possibility ( ＾∀＾). If my music can reach many people, it would be a great reward and pushing me to create more in the future.
Your first single “SAVIOR” gave off a symphonic metal sound, heavy and melodic with pure vocals. How would you describe it, and what is the story behind it?
The song is created by my support guitarist Yuki from LuLu. I was impressed when I heard his demo! He makes a lot of songs for me, which have really great quality. As for the story, I imagined European Medieval war background. Regarding that, I made this story.
What kind of difficulties have you faced as an artist? And what is your secret to overpassing these obstacles?
I don't feel that there were so many obstacles. My motto is “I believe Bright Future lies ahead”. There are always some negative sides such as disband, etc that can happen, but they are not a big trouble for me. Starting a band is always difficult, but my motivation keeps me in a positive mood. Like this, I can always pass obstacles easily.
People say that you make some really impressive live shows. How do you feel when you are on stage?
When I'm on stage, I enjoy myself. I can express many things on stage, feel the freedom to say things by singing them. And if people are enjoying the show, I will enjoy it even more!
Is there a motto or the advice you live by?
Most important in life is to enjoy it, and doing our best to achieve our goals. Like I said before, “Bright Future lies ahead”.
Are there any specific places you’d like to visit and perform at?
As I’ve never performed abroad, I would say everywhere! There are so many beautiful countries to visit in the world. And, I will do my best to go where the people are waiting for me.
Although it is hard for an artist to think about this, If you had to choose anything else rather than a career in music, then what would be your job?
Use my body ＼(^o^)m9
Haha, well, I mean that I'm actually also training my body. In the future I will try to take part in a physique contest, in the bodybuilding field.
Besides music, is there anything else that you enjoy doing?
Like I said, training my body to reach a certain physical level ＼(^o^)m9
It's fun and I keep a good physical condition!! Yeahhh
Out of all the projects you’ve worked on, which one is your favourite so far? In what way is it special?
I can't choose one! Faralis taught me about visual kei. Pan-d-ra taught me how to make a CD and go on tour and live shows. Toshiki Project taught me about doing all things myself. All are important and needed for my experience♪.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now? If possible, would you like to devote your whole life to music?
Hopefully, in 10 years, I will be an accomplished singer, with some world tours organized and some more CDs released ^^. I can't think about my life without music, so no matter what will happen in the future, I will always keep singing.
What are your plans for the future? Any wishes or hopes?
My plans is to keep writing songs, playing more live shows and then release a full album. So, I will continue to work hard for this project. My wishes are to become one day famous and play around the world. I really hope that I can start touring outside Japan really soon!
Lastly, what message would you like to send to your European audience?
Someday, I will come to play in Europe, so I hope to meet many of you! And please, enjoy during the show. Looking forward to it! ＼(^o^)／
Wish me luck
Special thanks to Toshiki and Helcanen
Questions by Dionisia Lambadariou & Linda Antonopoulou