By Roxy Simons.
“I don’t want to have any regrets when I die,” Japanese singer Fuki says backstage after finishing her last performance at Hyper Japan. The 30-year-old singer beams as she says this, still dressed in her Lolita-inspired black and red dress that she performed in earlier on. This may seem cliché, but Fuki may well be one of the hardest working musicians in Japan right now.
After making her debut in 2005 as the leader of J-Rock band LIGHT BRINGER, she went on to join not one, not two, but three other bands and started to make music as part of DOLL$BOXX, Unlucky Morpheus, and DRAGON GUARDIAN simultaneously. Last year she decided to launch her own solo career, and you’d think it would be too much for one person to keep up with, but not Fuki: “When I think about how I could die tomorrow in an accident or something I feel that I have to make the most of every day, I don’t want to have any time where I’m not doing something, so I like to keep myself busy and make as much music as I can.”
Her effort has certainly not been in vain, as her solo songs Strength and Kagayaku Yoru e Yokoso!” are featured as the ending themes for Terra Formars Revenge and Mysterious Joker’s third season. Having grown up as a big fan of anime being able to hear her music alongside both series had a great impact on her: “I really love anime, so when I saw for the first time that the anime was syncing to my song it was a very touching moment. I told myself then that I would always remember how I felt in that moment, and it made me determined to carry on making new music.”
Part of the ‘Jyo Metal’ scene, a genre which sees female singers front metal bands, Fuki is known for her strong vocals and infectious stage presence. She combines metal with J-pop, creating a style of music that has really kicked off in Europe and America over the past few years. With groups like Baby Metal and Band-Maid leading the charge, it’s no wonder that Fuki was welcomed by so many fans at the event.
“Baby Metal are quite popular here,” she says of the group, “but they are not so well known in Japan as you may imagine they are. “There are die-hard fans there, but heavy metal is a bit of a minor genre in Japan so even Baby Metal aren’t that well-known.” It seems hard to believe when the band, fronted by three teenage girls, have already headlined Wembley Arena and are heading out on tour in the US with The Red Hot Chilli Peppers later this year.
“I think people who like their music would like my music as well,” she continues. “What’s stopping me from doing more gigs outside of Japan at the moment is my language skills, I’m not really good at speaking in English. Baby Metal’s style means that they don’t have to talk that much on stage, but since I’m on my own I do really need to speak!”
Although she feels her language skills are keeping her back, this doesn’t mean that Fuki isn’t determined to change things: “Once I practice my English and feel more confident then I will try and do more gigs in other countries, I will work hard and continue playing music so that one day I can catch up with them.” Given the amount of bands she has worked on over the years, and her determination to succeed as a singer, it’ll be surprising if this is the last we see of the rock star.