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Japanese Artist Miyavi Launches World Tour Supporting New Album ‘No Sleep Till Tokyo’

Japanese singer-songwriter-guitarist Miyavi is launching a 22-date world tour with a show at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on July 25. The tour has 15 North American dates and seven European shows…

TOKYO — Japanese singer-songwriter-guitarist Miyavi is launching a 22-date world tour with a show at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on Friday. The tour has 15 North American dates and seven European shows planned. Miyavi will hit Sony Hall in New York on Aug. 19.

The shows are supporting Miyavi’s first solo album in three years, No Sleep Till Tokyo, which drops Thursday.

Internationally Miyavi is known for his inventive and energetic slap-guitar playing style, his eclectic songwriting and his acting career, which includes a role in Angelina Jolie’s upcoming October blockbuster Maleficient: Mistress of Evil.


The musician tells Billboard why he was first attracted to his long-standing slap-guitar style. “To me it’s all about the energy or the passion, just like karate or aikido or even sumo. I realized that impact, of course there’s a groove, but that passion explosion is the key. It’s like the first impact in sumo.” Miyavi explains that three or four years ago legendary American producer Terry Lewis told him to concentrate more on melody, as his string-slapping technique made him focus on rhythm. Still, he didn’t take it onboard until now.

“The more I create…the more I realize, oh, melody is the one that lasts…in memory,” he explains. “As a guitarist I’m more comfortable to express myself with the guitar as opposed to singing.” Indeed, Miyavi’s new disc is more melodic and varied than his past work. There’s less percussive guitar playing and more accomplished songwriting.

Miyavi is also heavily involved with refugee work, having been urged to become active on the issue by Jolie. In March of this year he visited the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya, which now has over 180,000 refugees, according to a report by the UNHCR. Miyavi notes, “The majority of the refugees are from South Sudan… I had never been to Africa to witness the problem so I went there. There is a school Angelina built so I visited that school. It’s a shocking, eye-opening experience.” He stresses that he wanted to contribute with his musical skills. “There are young kids, musicians, there so we had a concert.” Miyavi collaborated with the camp musicians to perform. “I was blown away to make music with them, not for them, with them.”


Miyavi’s new album is laced with songs and emotions from the refugee camp visit, especially the touching “Under the Same Sky.”

Of his film work, Miyavi notes it’s not so different from his music career. “It’s all about story right? Movie, music, fashion. It’s really close. It’s a different pleasure to be part of that creation. As a musician we are always ourselves. I have one character, Miyavi, and I’ve been playing that the whole time. As an actor I need to get rid of it, to cleanse myself, and install somebody else, some other life and story.”