KAMIJO // “My aesthetic is to keep it a secret and strive for it.”

Bonjour! (I promise I’m almost done with using that opening…)
By now I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about KAMIJO’s upcoming European tour “The Anthem” that’s going to take place (at the moment of writing) next month, but just in case you haven’t… We’ve made a post detailing all tour dates and ticket options here earlier already to keep all the information in one place for you.

But this upcoming tour is more than enough reason for an interview, don’t you think?
We already tried to give you a bit more insight in KAMIJO’s solo works through our “Behind the Mask” series (for which part 2, “Sang” was published along with this interview), but who better to ask than KAMIJO himself, right?

Luckily KAMIJO made some time to answer some of our questions, and I have to say that I am personally really glad that I got to see the man behind the mask this time.

Are you ready for KAMIJO? Then let’s go!


“I believe that I can use various expressions such as costumes and make-up to convey my music.”

I’m pretty sure that I don’t have to do an introduction for you, given how recognizable your name is by now. That being said, can you please introduce yourself to start off this interview?
KAMIJO: Bonjour! I am KAMIJO, a Japanese artist. I look forward to working with you.

Your name has been a standard in the ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) genre for many years now, both in bands and as a solo artist. But what initially drew you to this genre?
KAMIJO: When I started music, I wore make-up from the beginning. I just didn’t know anything else, but maybe I wouldn’t have been interested in music if it wasn’t such a free world of expression like ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei)!

Recently you also spoke about “Visual Rock Identity”, what does this mean to you? What is your “Visual Rock Identity”?
KAMIJO: I believe that I can use various expressions such as costumes and make-up to convey my music. That is “Visual Rock Identity” for me.

I’m sure you’ve learned a lot in the 29 years you’ve been a singer already, you even said so yourself, that last summer you finally grasped something big about singing. I’m sure that you always find something you want to improve on, still?
KAMIJO: There are things that I want to improve, yes. My aesthetic is to keep it a secret and strive for it. I believe that the first time I get a chance to do something, or when I achieve something, I share my happiness with my fans.

Speaking of those fans, you’re currently doing a lot of live shows. Personally I’m very happy that we can visit lives again in person, but I do want to ask about your online world tour “QUEEN OF VERSAILLES -LAREINE-”, which was probably one of the highest productions taking place in ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) during the pandemic…
KAMIJO: It was very lonely not being able to sing in front of fans. But it couldn’t be helped. I only did what I could do for them during the difficult times with the pandemic.


“I feel that I have sympathy with all my fans, not just in music, but also as people.”

The reason for this interview is actually your upcoming European tour “The Anthem”, so I would like to talk about that for a bit. The last time we saw you here was to promote “Sang”, but your “OSCAR” album has been released almost two years ago now. Can we see this as a delayed promotion for “OSCAR”?
KAMIJO: The main reason for this tour happening now is that I couldn’t tour because of the pandemic. Now that I am finally able to, the meaning of “The Anthem” to me is to sing songs such as “Sang” and “OSCAR” as the national anthem of “my little country of music” during this tour.

Your work is known to have a story that connects it all together, so I’m curious, is there a story to “The Anthem” as well?
KAMIJO: There is no story production on this tour, but I hope you can feel the story behind it through the songs themselves. Most of all, I look forward to singing my song, which to me is my National Anthem, with you!

Please tell me about your support band this time as well, since you have some interesting names in there…
KAMIJO: From Japan, HIRO from La’cryma Christi and IKUO – the best bass player in Japan – will join us because of their schedule. Yohio is a talented Swedish artist who I have always wanted to play live with. USHI is a member of a band I used to produce, and is a drummer who not only plays drums, but also speaks fluent English. I am delighted to be touring Europe with such great band members.

The setlist of this tour is largely made up by fans, isn’t it? Was there a particular reason why you asked your fans to suggest the songs they wanted to hear?
KAMIJO: It’s been a while, so the requests were very helpful. I’ve included songs in the setlist that I wouldn’t have played if it wasn’t for everyone’s answers. I am filled with such great happiness that I can meet people who I wanted to meet before the tour, but couldn’t. I feel that I have sympathy with all my fans, not just in music, but also as people. As I have seen in many social networking posts.

Despite the suggestions from fans, you still have the final say in the setlist. Since the most recent album “OSCAR” couldn’t be promoted in Europe at the time, is there more of a focus on this album, or not at all? I personally hope to see “闇夜のライオン” (Yami Yoru no Lion), for example.
KAMIJO: I’ll do “闇夜のライオン” (Yami Yoru no Lion) lol! I’m choosing from all my 10 years of solo work for this tour.
雪 (Yuki): I can’t wait to see it! 😊


“I look forward to hearing everyone’s voices on the tour.”

You might have seen that we’re also doing a bit of promotion for “The Anthem” with our “Behind the Mask” series, in which we do a deep dive into the story of Louis XVII. I already know the conclusion of this series from our end, but I am personally really curious to how his story continues…
KAMIJO: Louis returns as king, warmly welcomed by the people of the world. But… Look forward to the mini-album that will be released in the summer.

This isn’t related to the current tour, but you’ve been extremely active in Japan lately. I don’t have to tell you that, I’m sure. One of the side-projects was JVM Roses Blood Symphony – a project I personally would love to talk about in more detail, but now is not the time for that. I do want to put one quick question about it in this interview: what are your thoughts about it now it’s finished?
KAMIJO: It was a very wonderful project. I will treasure the tears of emotion from that day for the rest of my life. I think it was a very important memory for all artists.

You’ve been a delight to ask questions this interview, but how about we turn it around this time, because we’re almost at the end of my list?
KAMIJO: I want you to name my music, apart from KAMIJO and the Epic Rock Orchestra.

This means we’re now at the end of the list, but to close off the interview, do you have a message for everyone?
KAMIJO: Thank you very much for reading to the end. It was a very enjoyable interview. I look forward to hearing everyone’s voices on the tour. Please sing with me!



🎂 07/19

🎂 08/05

🎂 07/12

🎂 09/24

🎂 06/19


雪 (Yuki) is the owner and driving force behind Arlequin.
She originally started the project in 2009 as a photographer under the name of Arlequin Photography, but developed an interest in journalism and translation ever since. Because of these interests interviews and reviews were added to the project, until it eventually hit the limits as a "photographer" in 2021, and Arlequin Magazine was added to the mix.

雪 (Yuki) is a native Dutch speaker with a graphic design degree, which means she is also the main person behind Arlequin Creations.
After all these years she is still the main person who does interviews the interviews and live photos that you see on Arlequin, but also a large chunk of the reviews and behind-the-scenes work and communication goes through her.

She speaks Dutch and English on a native level, but also understands Japanese and German.

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