'It's like a summer vacation': Japanese rockstar Miyavi loves visiting Singapore but has to leave before his 'brain starts melting'

He’s coming to Singapore for a concert this Saturday (July 22), but this isn’t Miyavi’s first rodeo here.

The Japanese singer-guitarist last rocked our shores during his Day 2 World Tour back in 2018, and this time he’s back for his Return of the Samurai Guitarist World Tour.

Miyavi, whose real name is Takamasa Ishihara, spoke to AsiaOne last Friday (July 14) and discussed his favourite places to visit in Singapore.

“Marina Bay Sands, where else?” the 41-year-old said. “I’ve been to the trees (Gardens by the Bay) in front of Marina Bay Sands. I love the kind of vibes there, even the pool and bar on the rooftop.”

He added: “The temperature and weather, everything is really special in Singapore. Every time I go there, I feel like it’s a summer vacation… but I gotta get out before my brain starts melting.”

He also considered Singapore “one of the goals as a human being” to visit, not only due to the vibes but because of its status as a financial hub where “many things are happening”.

Miyavi will be performing at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre for Marina Bay Sands’ inaugural Where Music Takes Over festival, with local singer-songwriter Inch Chua as his opening act.

The festival also features the likes of The 1975 on July 18 and 19, Sabrina Carpenter on July 27 and The Strokes on Aug 2.

Other highlights include A$AP Ferg on July 21, Gryffin on July 28 and Latinfest 2023 on July 29.

When it comes to the local food he enjoys, Miyavi picked satay.

“I didn’t even know that satay is a Singaporean food, but that kind of sriracha or coconut flavour, I don’t know why but it makes me feel nostalgic,” he explained.

Though he said he can get Singaporean food in Tokyo too, having it here is special because of the people.

When he asked AsiaOne what other local food we have in Singapore, we suggested chilli crab.

“I think I’ve had it before, many times,” Miyavi responded. “I love that kind of high-protein food and that’s something we’ve never had in Japan.

“With [food], you can see the kind of culture there, how people communicate or get together and have a good time.”

‘A month is the longest I’ll be away from my family’

While Miyavi is best known for being a guitar virtuoso, he also acts — working alongside Angelina Jolie in Unbroken (2014) and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019).


He also lent his voice to Netflix animated series Arcane (2021), based on the video game League of Legends, and performed an original soundtrack for the show, and has been a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 2017.

With his busy schedule, one way Miyavi manages to spend time with family is by bringing them along where he goes — including Los Angeles, where he was during our interview.

“They’re here with me now, and when I have a movie shoot, they’ll be there with me too,” he said. “It’s a balance, I can’t just keep working, and vice versa, I can’t keep having a vacation either.

“I like a quick tempo change, even in one day.”

Miyavi married J-pop star Melody in 2009 and they have three children together — non-binary Aily, who turns 14 this month, daughter Jewelie, 12, and son Skyler, 2.

He told us a bit about how his day went, balancing work and family time.

“I had a remote meeting at 8.30 in the morning, and after that, I was spending time with my family, just checking properties in the neighbourhood,” he said.

The family used to live in Los Angeles, before moving back to Tokyo during the pandemic.

Miyavi then took Aily and Jewelie to check out the headquarters of Riot Games, the developer of video games League of Legends and Valorant, before coming for our interview.

Afterwards, Miyavi said he had a screening to attend.

“To be honest, a month is the longest [I’ll be away from my family],” he said. “I did two months in the past, but that was too long.”

Miyavi performs on Saturday, July 22 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Tickets are $88 without booking fee, and available through the Marina Bay Sands website.



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