At the age of 15 he suffered a sports injury which prevented him from pursuing a professional career in sports so Takamasa Ishihara, instead, he decided to pick up the guitar. He was fond of visual kei acts like X Japan and Luna Sea, but also listened to the blues and rock music, and did covers of Ray Charles, Motown, Metallica and even Nine Inch Nails.
He’s been performing from 1999, first as guitarist for visual kei rock band Dué le Quartz and then and started his solo artist career in 2002. After establishing his stage presence; with his signature finger-slapping style of playing a guitar, in 2007, he became part of the rock supergroup S.K.I.N., 2009 founded his own company, J-Glam.
So far he’s toured around the world several times, with over 250 shows in 30 countries as of 2015. As of 2016, he released ten solo albums and 27 singles.
In 2014, Miyavi appeared in the motion picture, Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, and went on to undertake smaller roles in American productions like 2017’s Kong: Skull Island and Stray. Miyavi is also a humanitarian and volunteers for UNHCR and visits refugee camps such as Lebanon and Syria.
It’s been two years since Miyavi last strummed on the stage of London. This year Miyavi is promoting his latest album Firebird at the intimate o2 Islington Academy. Here is the set list he rocked on stage for us:
2.Raise me up
3.Mission Impossible Theme
4.Into The Red
8.She doesn’t know how to dance
9.Afraid to be cool
16.Ahead of the Light
18.Steal the Sun
20.What’s my name?
With a mix of new and old, you can feel a development in his feelings and beliefs and a strong sense of care for the world and being with his loved ones. Miyavi often talks about his wife Melody and two daughters on stage and how he wants to protect them as we should the entire world.
Highlights included Miss impossible theme which transitioned from Raise me up fluidly with no small talk in between, if anything people are most in awe of the guitar playing than the words and there was an amazing mix of guitar sets. He happily danced on stage and gave the crowd the mad energy you see in his videos and array of facial expressions and hair flicks. He did not disappoint. He also announced that his drummer Bobo was going to be a first time father soon and also a new member of the group on the Apple mac playing all the backing music on point. 9/10 Purely because the set finished at 10.20 when advertised as 11pm originally. We want more Miyavi!
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