Our bright future is right there.
In the early 2000s, Due le quartz was dissipating like glitter in the wind; the wanderlust was nudging them to move onward with their lives. PS Company told a young Miyabi to go to either America or Okinawa to take a vacation. As he did not have a passport, he chose Okinawa. However, Miyabi got there a bit too late, was unable to get to the bank, and therefore unable to pay for a night in a hotel. Sleeping outside was not unheard of for him, so the ambitious guitarist slept on the beach and simply thought. He pondered life, his career, and the meaning of music. It was from then he decided to go solo. On February 14th, 2009, Miyavi posted a bilingual blog entry stating he’d been in Okinawa again. The next morning after watching the sunrise and with tears in his eyes, Miyavi made this announcement…he was leaving PS Company. For this soloist, things have come full circle, and now he was starting on a new journey.
The decision had been made that Miyavi’s last live under PS Company management would be held on April 5th at the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall. Officially being the first concert to showcase his upcoming musical evolution into “NEO TOKYO SAMURAI BLACK”, as he left the stage Miyavi took his diploma and graduated from his indies roots completely. No longer under the thumb of PS Company and placed entirely in the hands of Universal Music Records, Miyavi then embarked on his first independent act outside of PS Company – Anime Matsuri.
Nestled on the outskirts of Houston, Texas, and found inside a quaint little forest, lays a small tourist-driven community known as the Woodlands. On the edge of the recently developed waterway in Woodlands is the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, which this year, hosted the Japanese anime, fashion, and music fans of Anime Matsuri. Only in their third year of production, Anime Matsuri opened itself to thousands of attendees in the past two years of its exposure. The weekend of April 10th through the 12th of 2009 gave way to a new idea for the convention – a Japanese rock themed concert. This year, that spotlight turned to Miyavi.
Friday, April 10th, featured an exclusive Q&A portion with Miyavi, where excited fans got to ask a variety of questions from “What do you think of people who download your music?”, “Do you plan to collaborate with any American artists?” to “Will you sign my guitar?” and “Will you give my friend a hug?”. Of course, Miyavi responded to all questions – which even included giving out that hug, and signing that guitar for those especially lucky fans. Seemingly immediately after the Q&A finished, fans rushed downstairs to get in line for Miyavi’s next appearance on Saturday evening, the main event of Anime Matsuri – Miyavi’s concert.
Despite a two hour delay, and several problems with when and where fans should line up, the concert was received extraordinarily well by convention attendees and the line stretched out the door and down the street, all the way to restaurants a couple of blocks away. When the first person was ushered into the concert hall, an echo of cheering and clapping resonated throughout the hallway outside the main events room, and fans began to pile inside the area preparing for Miyavi’s first appearance in the Midwest United States. The hour inside the venue passed quickly while the crowd waited eagerly through a video game showdown that kept spectators entertained as Miyavi made final preparations for his live. Finally, the music began to thrum and as the back up band appeared, Miyavi sauntered onto the stage displaying his blatantly brand-new darker style including choppy ink-black hair and a dark outfit composed of black jeans, a heavily embroidered jacket, and flashy silver and white boots. The indies song “Ippiki Ookami Ron” began after a hello to the audience, and the night surged forward. Coordinated hand movements from Miyavi and the only KAVKI BOIZ that tagged along, TYKO, kept the audience interactive and energetic throughout the evening. Towel twisting in “shouri no v-rock” , synchronized clapping and arm movements during “BOOM-HAH-BOOM-HAH-HAH” and “21st Century Tokyo Blues”, and a united audience swaying together ensured Miyavi’s connection with his spectators strong and fans enthusiastic for more.
Quickly following after his first four songs, Miyavi stopped momentarily and released his biggest announcement for the evening: he had gotten married, and a baby would be born. The response was instantaneous as the venue roared with cheers and congratulations; possibly the strongest and most supportive response Miyavi had received so far that night. After several moments when the room began to lull down, one individual shouted “We love Melody!”, to which Miyavi chuckled and flashed a charming smile before responding “Well, Melody loves you guys too.” Miyavi also briefly discussed his recent departure with PS Company, and his upcoming journey as the president of his new company, J-Glam. He proceeded to tell his audience in an emotional moment that he had made the decision to go independent and move forward, all for the sake of his fans. His love for his fan base became more evident than ever.
Heartwarming announcements were complimented by “Kimi ni negai o”, and a slow version of “Coo quack cluck-Ku-ku-ru-“, and the evening began to wind down into the encore. The crowd became temporarily entranced by a series of bubbles floating from the ceiling during “Sakihokoru Hana no You ni -Neo Visualizm-” and hands stretched upwards in a feat to snatch them from the air. The audience was left with the sweet melody of “Girls, be ambitious” as the final song of the live, and sweat-caked fans slowly trickled out into the hallway to buy their merchandise displaying the brand new logo “2009 J-Glam”. On April 11th, 2009, the world outside of Japan discovered where Miyavi’s path would turn to next. As his career begins to fly higher, the clouds come closer and suddenly the sky may no longer be the limit. Multiple opportunities seem to be at the tip of his fingertips, and with the way Miyavi has taken on past obstacles, it appears only a matter of time before he grasps them fully.
If you pull out Miyavi’s fifth album, “[Miyavi-Miyaviuta-Uta]~Dokusou~”, open the case and pop out the CD; the backdrop of the album shows Miyavi pouting his brightly painted lips and posing in a way that should come off as awkward, yet does not for him, and there – next to the photo you’ll notice these words clearly printed in a vivid shade of pink: “I am Visual-kei.” Miyavi has presented a very literal meaning to those particular words, twisting visual-kei into a near art form continuously throughout his career. As if painting out one massive picture by meshing together both image and music to where the line is blurred nearly beyond the point of recognition. His erratic style of fashion seems to embody him not only onstage when he pulls together an entire display of taiko drums, painters, geishas, and tap dancers, but while offstage where his wardrobe stays the same, and his name does not change. His chameleon style characteristics with music keep him interesting for listeners, pushing out a variety of genres starting from the grunge of his indies where two ravens perch themselves precariously on the front of “Gagaku”. An onslaught of techno, pop, acoustic, hard rock, and a handful of others has left Miyavi with the end result of having to even create his own genre, today known as “Kabuki rock”. Through lyrics and his own personal messages, Miyavi encourages his fans to let loose on themselves, be who they are, and reach as high as they can for their dreams. There is an unidentified Jrock magazine, where in the back with the outtake polaroids, Miyavi wrote this crooked English phrase: “I’m king of visualizm, and you’re the king of _________?” A future as bright as the colors adorning him, Miyavi is the king of being Miyavi.