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Kazha Vital Stats
Kazuha Oda
Kazuha Oda - Vocals
Birthday: December 11
Birthplace: Yokohama
Blood type: A

Hideki Matsushige
Hideki Matsushige - Guitar
Birthday: February 9
Birthplace: Osaka
Blood type: O

Zen Takamura
Zen Takamura - Bass

Masaya Kondo
Masaya Kondo - Drums


(2010 Members)

Yota Sato
Yota Sato - Bass
Birthday: June 21
Birthplace: Tokyo
Blood type: B

Rui Aranai
Rui Aranai - Drums
Birthday: December 3
Birthplace: Aomori
Birth type: A


Wake Up song sample

DISCOGRAPHY

Overture
Overture (2010)
1. Wake Up
2. Believe
3. Unmei
4. I Still Remember
5. Red
6. Give It Away
7. Another Day
8. Close To You
9. Breathe Through Your Dreams
10. Silver White Sunshine

Order from CD Baby.


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Kazha Interview

Kazha - click for full size

"Hideki is just really good at interplaying with my melodies. I was very impressed and actually cried when I listened to his work on Another Day." - Kazuha Oda

When the vocals of one artist flow perfectly with the sounds of the guitar, bass and drums of a band you have found something that no amount of corporate backing can create -- magic. We've heard a lot of that magic in songs like Close To You, I Still Remember and Another Day from the group Kazha. Composed of Kazuha Oda on vocals, Hideki Matsushige on guitar, Yota Sato on bass and Rui Aranai on drums, this new group released their first album "Overture" in 2010 and are currently touring the US.

With music that is both elegant and emotional, we think this new band may well be making some major waves in the near future.

On June 3, 2010 the members of Kazha were kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of Kazha.


(On January 10, 2011 Kazuha gave us a follow-up interview announcing that Zen and Masaya had joined her band. The original interview can be found immediately after.)

Kazuha, it's been about seven months since we interviewed you as part of your band Kazha. Can you give us an update?

Kazuha: Oh, there are so many changes! as you know... We have performed in so many cities in US and now we have our great friends came back and came into the band! :)

Can you tell us the story of how you and Zen first started playing together?

Kazuha: We were in a different band together. Hideki was there too. We've been together for very long time now... Well, Zen is a quiet person but he was much quieter when I first met him! That's all I remember XD

Zen, how did you come to re-join the band?

Zen: We have always been good friends but unfortunately I wasn't in a "perfect" condition to make it to the tour. But I am great now! I have never wanted to leave the band.

Can you tell us about your background as a musician?

Zen: I was influenced by iron maiden. But I moved to various genres... industrial or alternative, but still, Metal has always been my influence.

What are your plans for the new year?

Zen: I want to make an album.

Masaya, how did you and Kazuha meet?

Masaya: I met her while ago when she was doing solo. We collaborated sometimes.

What about her made you want to join forces?

Masaya: Hahaha! Kazuha is the greatest singer and Kazha is the greatest band!! And... I love cute girls.

Can you also tell us about your musical background?

Masaya: I have been playing in a lot of bands including visual-k. But I was a hair makeup artist for a long time. Longer than being a drummer.

Kazuha, what are the plans for the band for the new year?

Kazuha: As usual, plan the "bigger tour" is our plan.


(Original interview from June 3, 2010.)

You're in the middle of a long tour of the US. How have the shows been going so far?

Kazuha Oda: We are having a great time. We are visiting many cities which we've never been to so it definitely will be one of the greatest ventures for us.

Is this the first time all of you have toured together? Are you learning things about each other you never knew before?

Kazuha: Yes, it is. And we are learning lots of things about each other, mostly the habits :) both good and bad.

Your former bassist "Zen" was recently replaced by Yota Sato. Yota, can you tell us how things are going as the newest band member?

Yota Sato: I think there are many things I can do no matter if I'm new or old so I've never really thought about that, but I am learning lots of things from band members and trying to build my solid basis in the band.

Do you have any rituals you all do before each performance?

Kazuha: Hmm... it's secret.

Kazha

What has been the most unexpected thing to happen on the tour so far?

Kazuha: We all love American foods but we all got sick from eating too much hamburger the other day.

Have you had any "favorite moments"?

Kazuha: When we are driving. The view is just great.

Once the last show is finished what do you plan to do next?

Kazuha: We'll just plan the next tour!

Your album "Overture" is now available at CD Baby. How big of a moment was completing all the songs for everyone?

Kazuha: We were all very serious most of the time just because we knew that it was going to be the introduction of our music.

How would you describe the album's musical style?

Kazuha: Soft and Heavy.

Close To You really leaps out as a signature song. Can you tell us what the song is about and what it means to you?

Kazuha: It is about the people who are close to us, like family, friends or our fans. When I wrote that song, I was thinking about my family. Since I've lived far from them for most of my life until now, I sometimes miss them so much but I've never felt lonely because I always feel them close to me.

With the song, I wanted to express how people are connected and how strong the relationship could be.

Kazha

The interchange between the vocals and guitar work is very smooth and powerful. Can you tell us something about writing and recording the song as well?

Kazuha: Since I started this band with Hideki, I had this idea that we should feature not only the vocal but also the guitar. Because I believe he could be a legend. :) And my vocal style and his guitar style is opposite but very close in some ways.

I Still Remember has a more melancholy feel to it. Can you tell us more about the song and its origin?

Kazuha: I used to have this nightmare when I lived in the huge house in LA , and I kept having a similar experience the very next day... That's about when I wrote I Still Remember. But for some reason, I stopped having that nightmare after the song was complete.

The guitar work on Another Day also shows a masterful interplay with the vocals. Can you tell us something about the song we may not know?

Kazuha: Hideki is just really good at interplaying with my melodies. I was very impressed and actually cried when I listened to his work on Another Day.

Another Day

Sometimes I look around and think
It may be different from what it seems
I tried to say these words to you
But slipped away with tears

Sorry, but I tried
I tried to make it through
Another day you'll see how I wanted us to be

Sometimes I write the songs of life
You may hear them from someone
I'm trying to send these words to you which slipped away in tears

Even though I try
I try to sing them through
Other words would fall
I just want to see your smile again

Found my way to be
Another way for my life
I changed who I used to be
Bye my closest friend
Another day for your life
I'll always wish for you

Sorry, but I tried
I tried to make it through
Another day you'll see

Cause I found my way to be
Another way for my life
Far away from you
I changed who I used to be
Bye my closest friend
Another day for your life
Far away from you
I'll always be with you

© 2010 by Kazuha Oda


Can you give us a feel for what the writing and recording sessions for "Overture" were like?

Kazuha: We were always so excited maybe just because it was the first time for all of us to work together.

Tell us the story of how the band formed.

Kazuha: I used to perform with lots of musicians. But when I happened to perform with Hideki, I just had this idea that my songwriting could be better if I work with him. Before we started "Kazha", we used to sign with the label in LA and after we started, we went back to Japan to see other musicians.

Kazha

What other groups or projects was everyone in before joining up?

Kazuha: I used to be a solo singer and have played with many great players.

Hideki Matsushige: Hmmm... don't remember. :)

Yota: I used to play in bands of other genres such as Alternative, Pop, Irish and Funk.

Rui Aranai: Rock band.

What are the band's plans for the rest of the year?

Kazuha: We will perform at some conventions in US and Mexico, and we might plan some Europe tour as well.

Let's get to know everyone a little more. Can you each tell us about your hometown and what it was like growing up there?

Kazuha: I have 3 hometowns. One is in Brazil (Sao Paulo), one in Japan (Chigasaki) and in US (New York). Even though I had some hard times between those cultural differences, I had great experience and opportunity to learn lots of things.

Hideki: I grew up in a big city "Osaka". Because there were both good things and bad things, I've lived a very difficult childhood. So I became so tough!

Yota: I am from the countryside of Tokyo. But it still has both country and urban side of the city. It is very beautiful which I miss a lot.

Rui: I grew up in the north part of Japan which always had a snow. Because I still have so many good friends there it is very important for me.

Kazha

How did you first get into music?

Kazuha: I don't remember when or how but my parents told me that I was already singing when I was three.

Hideki: My aunt always brought me the tape of the newest hit songs. That is the reason I started listening to the music.

Yota: I was tone-deaf and I hated people telling me that I am... So I started playing instruments.

Rui: My Father had lots of LPs so I used to listen to them. Also, he gave me the cassette player and I loved it.

How did you pick the type of instrument you play?

Kazuha: I don't even remember... but like I said my mom told me that I started singing when I was three or four years old. I loved singing since then. Oh, but to be honest, I love being a princess... a singer could be a princess sometimes, especially when other band members are all gentleman. :) haha

Hideki: My father used to play the guitar so there was a guitar at my house. It was just natural that I choose guitar besides any other instruments.

Yota: I was 14, I started playing bass to start my first band. Before that, my brother gave me a guitar but I wasn't satisfied with playing it but when I started playing bass, I was so shocked with the experience I just played all day all night... I didn't even go to school sometimes :).

Rui: I started playing drums when I was 13. I don't know why but I loved playing any percussions, it didn't matter if it was a drums or something else. But the first reason I started drums was because my friend started playing guitar. I chose drums for no reason. Even when I don't have drums in front of me, I just used anything, magazines or garbage cans to practice.

What do your family and friends think of your musical activities?

Kazuha: They all support me and waiting for me to be big :)

Hideki: Everybody is happy about it. And they all love our music.

Yota: My parents tell me that I have to challenge whatever I can to success.

Rui: Everybody is supporting me.

Who have been some of your greatest musical inspirations?

Kazuha: Carole King.

Hideki: Jerry Cantrell

Yota: The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hiromi Uehara, Joe Hisaishi.

Rui: Stevie Wonder.

Kazuha you've had a pretty international life so far. Can you give us the rundown on the different places you have lived, and what influences each of them has had on you.

Kazuha: From when I was 3 to 10 years old, I lived in Brazil (Sao Paulo). For me, it seemed that people there were so happy and positive all the time. I think my personality was made by them. I am a very, very happy person... I'm never in a bad mood, even in the morning:))

Through high school, I lived in USA (New York). I'd only listened to Japanese rock before I moved there, but my friends introduced me to some great rock bands in US and I suddenly thought those were the REAL rock! And I realized that I just needed to go out to see the world.

If you look at the world, there are so many people with different cultures. But in the relationship, sometimes the culture itself doesn't even matter at all. I love communicating with people who have different thoughts or habits because they teach me lots of things which I can never learn on my own.

And for me, I think that the greatest part of having an international life is that I can always realize that "the general idea" is not always so "general". Everybody has their own mind and you need to at least try to understand "them" first, because you already know yourself. And... I just don't know how much I should thank my parents for giving me such a great opportunity.

Outside of music what do you do for fun and relaxation?

Kazuha: For relaxation, I sleep... or just be lazy. But for fun, I love reading, writing or drawing.

Hideki: Fishing and cooking.

Yota: Taking pictures, drinking alcohol, playing video games... Oh, and talking to somebody makes me relax.

Rui: Skiing, riding bicycle andů drinking!

Do you have anything else you want to bring up or comment on?

Kazuha: Hmm... it seems like some people take us as a Visual band but we are not! Haha -- the guys made me say it.

Hideki: No. But if you have anything you want to ask, call me anytime. :)

Yota: I want to explore every kind of music while I am alive!

Rui: Eating is very important! haha

Do you have a final message to all your fans?

Kazuha: Thank you. And I love you all.

Hideki: Rock on! Have good rockin' days!

Yota: With anything, you will lose once you give up.

Rui: Don't miss it! (I don't know what it means but the guy in guitar center said it.)


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