If you’re like me, up until a couple of months ago you’d never heard of our choice for Nice Boy of the Week. Up until a January 13th you may never even have seen him. But the people of Japan and the rest of the Asian and European world are very well aware of who Yoshiki is. In fact I may get some hate mail for admitting that I was completely ignorant of his existence, not to mention his metal rock band, X Japan. But on January 13th the United States and the rest of the world who did not know this amazingly talented man, were introduced to his lovely music when he wrote the theme music for the 70th Annual Golden Globes.
But wait, that’s not even the bottom of my ignorance barrel. Imagine my horror when I found out that Yoshiki and X Japan made their U.S. debut IN MY OWN HOME CITY! That’s right, back in 2010 the band rocked Chicago in that year’s Lollapalooza, sharing the main stage with talent like Lady Gaga and Green Day. What?! Who are these people?
So I tapped the only really reliable source I had for information about Yoshiki: my sixteen year-old daughter. She was listening to this song on YouTube that I thought, “Hmm, reminds me of the bands I used to listen to back in my day.” When I asked her who singing, she looked at me with that pathetic look teens often give their parents, patted me on my wittle head, and said, “Mom, that’s X Japan.” How did she find these guys? Through Yoshiki by way of Gacht, who did a song for [easyazon-link asin="B00000JRSB"]Final Fantasy VII[/easyazon-link], one of her favorite video games.
[easyazon-link asin="B00105303S"]Saw IV[/easyazon-link] fans recognize the song which was written by Yoshiki and performed by X Japan, I.V., specifically for the film. Let’s see, what else, oh yes – Yoshiki has his own branded Visa and Mastercard cards, a race car team, jewlery, wine (!), fragrance line and a Hello Kitty doll, which was created especially for him. Did I mention his wax figure at Madam Tussauds Hong Kong?
I not only missed Yoshiki in Chicago, but a year later he was at San Diego Comic Con where he along with Stan Lee and Todd McFarlane, revealed the new comic series, Blood Red Dragon, which features Yoshiki as the main character.
I’ve talked about Yoshiki as the drummer in X Japan, but I haven’t told you yet that he is classically trained on piano, has composed music for the Emperor of Japan, the World’s Fair in 2005 and of course, the Globes. His gentle piano music is a direct contrast to his energetic drum playing, yet he has been able to marry both with X Japan, much like Queen, the Beatles, ELO and Moody Blues.
No, I had never heard of Yoshiki before it was announced he would create the theme for the Golden Globes this year, but I’m getting a crash course from my daughter and I find I’m liking it. Yoshiki plays piano that would make you weep, and drums that recall the likes of John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) and Neil Peart (Rush).
Musician, composer, fashion designer, entrepreneur, producer, songwriter. Yoshiki wears all of these hats and runs his Yoshiki Foundation America which benefits earthquake victims and various other charities. Who better to have as this week’s Nice Boy?
Follow Yoshiki on social media and his official website: