The journey of Rié… so far

Tanyel Gumushan /
Oct 5, 2017 / Music

Rié makes a secret that even more exciting.

The London art-school grad has a magic about her that makes everything she sings in that delicate trill, feel like the most special secret that you’ve ever heard. High-rising falsetto is combined with an irresistible pop sensibility, and a rhythm that plays out like a lullaby, adding a subtle darkness to her thought-provoking lyricism of the world around us.

Taken from her forthcoming Levels EP, the Japan born artist continues to dazzle with ambient and immersive soundscapes as vibrant as her paintings and as moving as her stories.

This is her journey so far.

The journey of Rié... so far

“First tour as Rie fu, 2005: After my Japan debut in 2004, I had my first tour around three major cities in Japan. It was a special experience as a first ever tour, trying out painting live on stage in between the songs.”

The journey of Rié... so far

“Second album release, 2006: I was excited to see a huge poster of my second album in Shibuya, central spot in Tokyo!”

The journey of Rié... so far

“Recording in London with the members of the Pretenders, 2006: I had the privilege to record the second album in London with amazing musicians including members of the Pretenders. I had started to go to art school (Central St.Martins) in London, and got so much influence by the music scene there.”

The journey of Rié... so far

“Toured 40 cities around Japan with a legendary folk singer, 2009: I went back to Japan after graduating CSM, and had the opportunity to tour with a renowned folk singer, Yosui Inoue. We had a blast singing and visiting almost every prefecture in Japan, having the best gourmet experience as well.”

The journey of Rié... so far

“Joined an alternative rock band, Delofamilia, 2009: A guitarist from a Japanese pop band was looking for a vocalist for his side-project, Delofamilia. Influenced by UK rock such as Radiohead and Massive Attack, this project was a new approach to music and live performance for me, and soon joined as an official member.”

The journey of Rié... so far

“Last tour with Sony Music, 2012: By this time I had been recording and touring for around 7-8 years, and wanted to change the environment as social media and digital music was emerging; As much as it was a massive major label, Sony Music wasn’t adapting to that change so swiftly. After this tour, I started up my own label and management that made it a lot more flexible to release music digitally, as well as venturing outside Japan.”

The journey of Rié... so far

“Got married, 2013: They say that a partner could make or break your career. Ever since I met this charming man who grew up in the golden age of British punk-rock era, he has always pushed and inspired me to pursue my artistry, to think outside the box and most importantly, to believe in my own talent. Things have never been the same since then.”

The journey of Rié... so far

“Live in Singapore, 2015: My husband’s work brought us to this hub city of Southeast Asia, where I met some brilliant musicians and surprisingly, Rie fu fans through animations that I had been singing the theme songs for. I was truly lucky to have met them through my shows in Singapore.”

The journey of Rié... so far

“China Tour, 2015&2016: The Singapore gig lead to my first Asia tour, playing in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and the mainland China. Thousands of Rie fu fans that I didn’t know existed gave me a warm welcome in Beijing and Shanghai, and even invited us again the next year.”

The journey of Rié... so far

“Launch of Rié in the UK, 2017: A new chapter of my journey started this year in the UK, under a new artist name, Rié. We relocated to the UK solely for the purpose of pursuing my music career outside Japan and Asia. This has truly been an amazing journey, and hope there is much more to come!”

Words by Tanyel Gumushan

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