Fusing Japanese traditions with a modern spin, Tokyo-based Wagakki Band blend elements of J-pop, folk-rock, metal, and ancient instrumentation with vocals influenced by Japanese poetry and theater.
Fronted by shigin vibrato singer and multi-instrumentalist Yuko Suzuhana, the octet is rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Machiya, tsugaru shamisen player Beni Ninagawa, koto player Kiyoshi Ibukuro, bassist Asa, shakuhachi flautist Daisuke Kaminaga, and drummers Wasabi and Kurona. In 2013, Suzuhana recruited Ibukuro and Kaminaga to form the trio Hanafugetsu. They evolved into Wagakki, incorporating the other five musicians to create the new project. Wagakki Band issued a covers album in 2014 (Vocalo Zanmai) before issuing their official debut, Yasou Emaki, in 2015. The following year, their track "Kishikaisei" was used as TV Tokyo's theme for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The band also embarked on their first U.S. promotional tour. Their sophomore effort, Shikisai, which included "Kishikaisei," was released in 2017. Later that year, they issued the compilation Best Collection. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi