The talented Japanese singer Miou is a humanist who wants to heal people’s hearts and promote world peace through her music. Her uniqueness and originality were displayed before the SIGEF 2016 audience as a performer during the Horyou Foundation Dinner in Marrakesh, as well as a panelist discussing the power of art in promoting positive change in our society. In the interview below, Miou talks about her personal experiences, plans and dreams for the future.
1. Tell us about your relationship with music: have you always wanted to become a singer?
I have always loved music. I have played piano for 20 years and alto horn and trumpet in the school brass band club and took singing lessons. But it was always a hobby to me and I never dreamt of becoming a professional musician. I wanted to set up a band but I didn’t know what to do. So I asked my friends who had a band and they suggested to me to search for my band members on the internet. There was a website for that. So I did it and I met one person, listened to his songs and we decided to make a band together. His music was fusion Japanese, very unique, and reminded me of my experience as an international beauty pageant. I sang a Japanese traditional song as a national talent at the International pageant in Malaysia (Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International). All the contestants were from different nationalities. But even if they didn’t understand the language, they loved the sound so much and the reaction was so good. And I felt “I am Japanese”. National tradition made me feel unique and original on the international stage. Since then, I have been trying to fuse traditional Japanese sound and modern western beat together, to create a “East meets West” crossover.
2. What does music represent for you?
I was Miss Japan for various international beauty pageants and had a chance to represent my country and introduce Japanese culture to the world. Besides music, I studied education and medicine (nursery). I loved teaching and taking care of people in need. I have always liked to communicate with people. So I think my music is reflecting my personal experience and is a tool to convey my messages and communicate with people. I can teach and educate through music, I can heal people’s hearts through music as well. Music, culture and art have a strong power to convey messages and to change the world.
3. What would you like to achieve as a singer?
I would like to heal people’s hearts through my music. I want to convey positive messages and promote world peace. Love ourselves, love our country, love our neighbours, love this planet, love our lives. The most important message is ”Love”. I like travelling as well and I want to sing around the world. Part of this dream came true in 2009, when I sang at the UNESCO’s world heritage site, the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. I would like to do it more often!
4. You made a performance during the SIGEF 2016 in Marrakesh – how do you evaluate this experience?
It was a great experience for me. As a Japanese artist, I have always cared about our environment. I believe everything is alive on Earth and we have to respect life, this planet is our mother and our home. If we hurt our planet, it is going to be difficult for us to live. If we take more care of this planet, it will be a better place for us to live in. Everything we do to the earth will come back to us. Some of my songs are also reflecting my respect and feelings towards nature, and messages to rethink about the environment and take an action to protect our mother land and home. So coming to Morocco to SIGEF was a very good experience for me as I felt I shared the same feelings and messages. I was inspired by others and I want to be the one to inspire others as well. I hope SIGEF continues to bring messages of respect of nature and world peace for more years to come.
5. What does social innovation mean to you? Do you have any cause you identify yourself with?
The social innovation and technology we have been experiencing is a great thing. This new evolution is allowing more people to share their views and bring their voices and feelings to the world. This is helping everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from. It is also helping people like me, artists in general, as we now have more ways to reach out to our audience globally. As for me, I aim to bring Japan to the world with my music, and also share a message of harmony with the nature.
6. Do you have a project for 2017 that you would like to share with our community?
I am set to perform at Etna Comics 2017 in Sicily. When it comes to the Japanese culture, animes and comics are very popular and well known worldwide. However, we have not only pop culture, but also many other traditional and chic culture as well. I want to present aspects of Japanese traditional culture such as “KIREI(beautiful)” or “SHIBUI(chic)” “KAKKOII(cool)” styles at pop culture festivals as well. And I’m currently planning to write a song for an international movie about Japan.
7. Horyou’s tagline is dream, inspire and act. What do these words mean to you?
I think ACT is very important to make our dreams come true. Pursuing our dreams would INSPIRE others to take an action. We can always DREAM how we want to be. If we ACT, DREAM will become reality, our dreams will INSPIRE others to DREAM and ACT. Everything starts from dreaming, taking one action. We can inspire others to dream and act! Nothing is impossible.