Written by: Stevie - MasaKarasu
Edited by: Ben & Cynthia - MasaKarasu
The KAVKI BOIZ are a group of artists with whom miyavi formed a band between fall 2006 and fall 2008. Though the band itself was comparatively short-lived as a project, it nevertheless served as a vehicle to carry miyavi’s music, message and style to a larger global audience than ever before. Furthermore, the KAVKI BOIZ includes a number of bright new talents who are sure to make their own, individual impacts in the worlds of Japanese music, dance and art.
After the breakup of Dué le quartz in 2002, miyavi went on to experience considerable success as a solo artist. His musical style continued to evolve and diversify exponentially over the next four years, but perhaps the most drastic advancement in his work came in the fall of 2006. That September, miyavi performed for five nights straight in Ikebukuro, in celebration of his 25th birthday. “The 25 Shūnen Kinen Koen Tokyo Geijutsu Gekijo 5 Days ~Dokuso~” concert series came fairly close on the heels of Miyabiuta -Dokusou- (雅-みやびうた-歌～独奏～), his fifth full-length release as a solo artist - but these shows were hardly one-man endeavors. Instead, miyavi brought a diverse and talented group of performers to the stage with him – a beat-boxer, a bongo drummer, a tap dancer, a DJ and a Taiko drummer, as well as a traditional western percussionist and a bassist.
On the final night of the concert series, he announced his intention to spend some time abroad, and spent most of the following year traveling back and forth between America and Japan. He told correspondents for Arena37c in the spring of 2007 that, "this year, I’m planning to go with the concept of ‘Neo-Visualizm’. If it all goes as planned, it should be quite a show. The US was part of that project. Anyway, I want to do all sorts of experimental stuff. Aside from the project, I want to get a band together too. Thanks to the growth I got to do(experienced) with the Dokusou show." 1<
And that's exactly what he did; just a few months later, in July 2007, miyavi's pan-genre experimentation birthed both the KAVKI BOIZ in their final incarnation, and a brand new full-length remix album, aptly titled "Seven Samurai Sessions -We're KAVKI BOIZ-". Though this album featured remixed versions of some of miyavi's solo work, including "Girls, be Ambitious", and "Kimi ni Negai wo (君に願いを)", he and the KAVKI BOIZ soon ventured into new and original territory with their music that challenged the boundaries of both genre and culture.
"I don't think that genres matter at all," said miyavi, in the same spring 2007 interview with Arena37c. "The thing that I always feel when I go to another country is that I am Japanese. Then I really came to be conscious, in a way that I never was before I went to another country for the first time, of being Japanese, and now I'm more conscious of Visual Kei too, because Visual Kei is part of Japanese culture. I'd love to be able to link that [to] Japanese Kabuki." 2
miyavi and the KAVKI BOIZ released the single "Sakihokoru Hana no You Ni / Kabuki Boiz" (咲き誇る華の様に / 歌舞伎男子) in June of 2007. The title songs of the single are packed chock-full of the same genre and culture conscious ideals that miyavi professed to Arena37c’s correspondents. Less than a year later, in March of 2008, the band’s first full-length release, titled "This Iz The Japanese Kabuki Rock" was released, with plans for a world tour already well in the works. "I was just trying to figure out and mixing(mix) up my own style, which is influenced by western culture and Japanese traditional style. That’s the way I can break new ground. At the same time I just… this is what I want to say, I want to smash the stereotype of VK, to reach out to the mainstream," miyavi told reporters for a San Francisco-based webzine in May of 2008. 3
The rest, as they say, is virtually history – over the summer of 2008, miyavi and the KAVKI BOIZ traveled to over a dozen different countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. They were the first ‘Visual Kei’ band to play a successful show in South America. Though the band announced after the tour that they had no definite plans for future projects together, it’s certainly worth taking a look at the ecclectic and talented group of artists that broke new global ground for the Japanese music industry right along with miyavi.
Defining the KAVKI BOIZ comprehensively is no easy task; between the autumn of 2006 and the spring of 2007, miyavi worked with a variety of artists from across the globe, and more than one talented dancer, beat-boxer and DJ has contributed to the unique style of the band. Information on these ‘auxiliary’ members of the KAVKI BOIZ is relatively sparse, but many of the performers who made the most considerable, long-term contributions to the KAVKI BOIZ are accomplished up-and-coming artists in their own rights.
Position: Drums / Taiko
Official site: http://ryoyamagata.com/
Official MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ryoyamagata
dadad’s Official site: http://www.myspace.com/xxxdadadxxx (Shige-chan’s band)
kobose’s Official MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kobosesan (Shige-chan is the vocalist for kobose)
Saro (Sadahiro Yokoyama)
Position: Tap / Percussion
Official site: http://www.saro-chap.com/
Official MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sarochap
Ameblo blog: Saro-chap
DJ Teddy Loid
Turntables / Human Beatbox
Official site: http://www.teddyloid.net/
Official MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/djhanger
Official site: http://www.mynameisyorke.com/
Official MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mynameisyorke
MC Dag Force
Official site: http://dagforce.com/
Official MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dagforce0577
Tap / Percussion
Official MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/djonetwo84