Kamijo is a Japanese musician, music producer, singer-songwriter, model and actor. His real name is Yuuji Kamijou but he is also known as Shoki. He was born in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture on the 19th of July, 1975. He can play a variety of instruments including guitar, piano and keyboards. Genres he works in are mostly symphonic metal, pop-rock, power metal and symphonic rock. He is most famous for being the lead singer of two visual kei bands named Versailles and Lareine. His music spans many genres. For instance, Lareine‘s music has a more pop-rock style and songs released with Versailles have a distinct power metal and symphonic sound. Kamijo has a large discography built up throughout the years through his work with the bands Lareine, New Sodmy and Versailles. His discography consists of 15 albums and not the mention the extensive amount of EP’s and singles. In 2013, Kamijo embarked on his solo career, releasing the song “Louis~Enkentsu no La Vie en Rose” as his debut single. He is currently under Warner Music Japan.
Kamijo was born to a family of musicians which paved the way for his own musical endeavors. His mother and grandmother both played the piano and his grandfather was a violinist. His adventures in rock music began in the 1990s, when he started working as a roadie for the visual kei band Malice Mitzer. He shared his job with a man called Mayu, a gutarist whom he later formed the band Lareine with.
In November 1994, Kamijo decided to form a band with Mayu. They called this band “Laleine ru cheri” a name which was inspired by the French Queen Marie Antoinette. Two more men went on to join the band, guitarist Sakuran and drummer Kyouta and later bassist Emiru completed Laleine’s first line up.
In March 1996, Laleine held a live concert for their first anniversary during which they changed the name of the band to “Lareine.” In 1996, they released the first recording of “Saikai no Hana” which was distributed throughout the concert, however limited to only 100 copies. After many years of being together and creating music, Kamijo during a short separation from Lareine went on to create a new band named New Sodmy recording two albums and five singles with them.
Lareine played their last live concert on the 31st of October 2006. In 2007, Lareine finally saw it’s end with their last recordings including 10 piano versions of their most popular songs throughout their career.
March 2007 saw the birth of a new band for Kamijo. Kamijo, Hizaki (formerly part of Sulphuric Acid)and Kageyema Yuuichi/Jasmine You(formerly of Jakura) formed Versailles. Later on Teru and Yuki (past members of Aikayuru and Sugar Trip respectively) joined Versailles.
Autumn of 2006 saw the creation of the concept of Versailles by Kamijo and Hizaki who both spent six months gathering members who they felt best expressed their vision. The band’s concept is stated as “the absolute youshikibi(beauty of form) sound and extremes of aestheticism,”
On the 30th of March 2007, details on Versailles were released through the internet. Promotional material was produced and the band also set up a Myspace page through English and conducted several interviews with foreign press. Versailles made their first appearance through a showcase on the 23rd of June, followed by their first performance on the 24th of June. On those dates, they released their first single and dvd single entitled “The Revenant Choir.” Versailles went on to sign with the German CJL record label and released “Lyrical Sympathy” on the 31st of October in both Japan and Europe.
Their song “The Love From A Dead Orchestra” appeared on a compilation album called Toyko Rock City released by Sony BMG in Germany in November of 2007. On the 23rd of September 2007, Kamijo became a runway model showcasing clothing for the brand. Alice and the Pirates at the Individual Fashion Expo IV. In 2009, Jasmine You sadly passed away which ceased Versailles activities as a band for a while. The band has stated that Kageyema Yuuichi(Jasmine You) is an “eternal member” of Versailles.
In January 2011, Kamijo and the rest of the members starred in their personal mini drama entitled “Onegai Kanaete Versailles” (Fulfil My Wish Versailles). The show aired on Manichi Broadcasting System and TV Kanagawa until March. On the 20th of December 2012, Versailles gave their last concert and ended all activities as a band. Versailles released four albums, one EP, two live albums, eight singles, ten music videos. They also released compilation albums and several DVD’s.
In January 2013, Kamijo announced he would embark on a solo career. Making “Louis~Enkentsu no La Vie en Rose” his first release as a soloist on the 27th of August. Kamijo sang backup vocals on Aisenshi’s debut album entitled “Heartstrings” in 2013.
Kamijo has started his world tour this year and he plans to visit Paris again (previously he held a concert there) among many other places in Europe as well as stopping in South & North America! I If you do happen to go to see him, bring a red rose as he has previously left that as a message to international fans during an interview with Japako! Please show the multi-talented Kamijo a lot of love!
Mary Katherine – April 2015