Very few can say they had their hand prints cemented on the famous TCL Chinese Theatre floor. From the early silent film star Norma Talmadge, added in 1927 to the most recent ceremonies of director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau. Now, international musician superstar YOSHIKI has been forever Immortalized at TCL Chinese Theatre, becoming the first Japanese person to do so.
Who is YOSHIKI?
Yoshiki is a pianist and drummer best known for forming the globally famous band X Japan, which he started with the band’s lead vocalist, Toshi in 1982. You do not have to be a fan of X Japan to see the band’s influence on Japan’s rock subculture. X Japan is often credited as the pioneer of the visual kei movement. Visual Kei, often compared to Western glam, is a movement that originated in Japan during the late 1980s, influenced by glam rock and other 1980s rock music styles. Visual Kei can be a style, music genre, or music scene.
X Japan often included a mixture of speed metal and symphonic or ballard elements within their music making them stand out from any other rock band in Japan at the time. In 1989, the band achieved their breakthrough success with their second and major debut album, Blue Blood and as a result, X Japan became an instant hit.
Five studio albums later and over 27 sold-out concerts and 16 sold-out tours, on September 22, 1997, X Japan announced that they would disband.
Yoshiki Goes Solo
As a solo musician, Yoshiki released his first solo album, the classical studio album Eternal Melody, which was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and produced by the Beatles producer George Martin. Around this time, Yoshiki began learning about jazz improvisation and orchestration. In 1994, Yoshiki worked with Queen drummer Roger Taylor on a song he composed, “Foreign Sand,” for which Roger wrote the lyrics; the song was performed at The Great Music Experience in May of that same year.
That same year, Yoshiki also contributed an orchestral arrangement of “Black Diamond” played by the American Symphony Orchestra. The song was featured in KISS’s tribute album “Kiss My Ass“.
In later years, Yoshiki would go on to perform and collaborate on numerous musical projects with artists such as George Martin, Bono, will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, St. Vincent, Stan Lee, Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen, Gene Simmons and KISS, Nicole Scherzinger, and recently Sarah Brightman.
New Band Formations
In July 2006, Yoshiki announced the formation of a brand new band, S.K.I.N.S. which would include JRock (Japanese Rock) stars, Yoshiki (drums, piano), Gackt (vocals, piano), Sugizo (guitar, violin) & Miyavi (guitar, shamisen). This new band was unique from the start, as it was the first Visual kei band based in the U.S., specifically Los Angeles. Uniquely, S.K.I.N.S has only performed once during their debut performance on June 29, 2007, at the Anime Expo 2007 in Long Beach, California. S.K.I.N.S has since been inactive, and no new announcements have been made.
Yoshiki would later be involved in projects that included composing the 69th Golden Globe Awards theme and composing anime and film soundtracks to Attack on Titan and Saw IV.