Could you present yourself to our readers?
I am Haruka, a singer–songwriter and guitarist from Japan. I released my first single under a Japanese major label called Pony Canyon in 2008. However, I left the label after releasing 2 singles in order to create music with more freedom. After a break of 5 years, I finally established my own label Club Disorder and came back to the music industry. In October 2014, I released a new album “Anthems.” I would really like my music and I to be successful overseas, and I would love to be able to share my music with the world!
Can you describe your musical style?
My musical style is basically melodic rock. I have always been in love with Japanese and American hard rock bands such as Siam Shade, T-Square and Van Halen. They are my early influences. Today, I also listen to many other genres of music and I believe that such diversity in my music taste reflects on the music I produce myself. For example, my song “The Sound More Silent Than Silence [Gloria In Excelsis Deo]” sounds like gospel or a hymn. I am a Christian and grew up listening to that kind of music. “Sheep’s Lullaby” sounds a little like Celtic music, “Raise Your Voice” like funk, “Hometown” a little country and so on.
What inspires you to compose your songs?
In most of the cases, I write about my own experiences. For example, “Raise Your Voice” is about the period of time where I was making music under a major label. They tried to turn me into someone I wasn’t and tried to make me sing songs that other composers wrote for me. It takes courage to speak up, but sometimes we really need to do so. I try to encourage everyone who listens to this song to have courage to speak up, to be assertive. Any experience in my life can be a source of inspiration, but I feel writing, especially when I’m facing difficulties or when I feel hurt, can best communicate that inspiration. Of course it is hard to go through all those emotions I experienced during that time, but that’s where I can learn the most and the feelings I felt there can be the core messages of for my music.
What song do you like to listen to the most when you’re traveling?
I love listening to fast songs when I’m traveling! I often listen to Siam Shade’s song “Triptych.” It’s an instrumental song and the melody is very uplifting. But I can’t pick just one! I also love to listen to T-Square’s song “Omens of Love.” It’s also an instrumental song and it sounds so beautiful.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to do yoga. I practice it on a regular basis. I used to go to a studio, but now I try to do it on my own. It really refreshes my mind! I always feel so energized after doing yoga. I also love reading. I read all kinds of books from business books to novels, but my favorite writer is Paulo Coelho. Many of his books are about traveling and finding one’s self spiritually, which is something that I have been interested in recently.
Which country do you wish to visit the most?
I would like to go to Finland. I love the Moomins and I heard they have a Moomin Park there. It must be amazing! When I was in high school, there was one Finnish student in my class and I heard a lot about Finland from her. I would like to see the northern lights too.
Is there any artist you would like to collaborate with?
For the moment there is no particular artist, but I’d like to sing with a male singer sometime. I think male vocals would make my music sound different and that would be interesting.
If you would be stuck in a movie or an anime which one would it be and why?
I would pick “School of Rock.” I love comedies and I am a huge fan of this movie. All the kids in the movie are so cute and funny, and Dewey (Jack Black) is definitely the best teacher. I’d like to be one of his students!
How did you decide to become a singer?
I have been doing music from a very young age. I started to learn the piano at the age of 4 because my mom has a background in classical music and she decided to teach it to me. However, I never thought I would pursue my career in classical music. When I was in junior high, I started to listen to rock bands and I was really interested in their music. That was when I decided to become a musician. When I first listen to Drug Store Cowboy, a Japanese loud rock band, I knew that was the kind of music I wanted to create. I wanted to become a solo artist who writes songs that sound like rock bands’…not quite like a female singer-songwriter you would generally imagine – a woman with an acoustic guitar!
Could you leave a message for your European fans?
Thank you very much for being fans of Japanese music! It is such a pleasure to know many people in Europe are interested in our culture today. It is my dream to travel around Europe and have performances in many countries. I have visited 5 countries in Europe so far. The UK, France, Belgium, Hungary and Austria. Last year I had my first show in Hungary. I hope I will get the chance to perform in your country too. Hope to see you very soon!