In Tribute: Isshi of Kagrra,
If you’ve been a fan of Japanese Visual Kei music in the last 10 or so years, chances are you’ve heard of Kagrra,. They were unique from other bands in their genre both musically and in personal style, taking on a more traditional route. Not only did they often appear in traditional kimono and kabuki costuming, but their music was a mixture of modern rock and Asian instrumentals, especially that of their home country Japan.
What really tied it all together was their vocalist, known onstage as simply Isshi. It’s nearly impossible to explain the sounds he emitted, but its encouraged that everyone listen at least once. I cannot name a single vocalist to my personal knowledge of music that comes close to sounding like Isshi, or even matching the beauty and smoothness of his range.
Unfortunately, it was announced that Isshi had passed away in his home on July 18th, to the utter shock of his friends, fans, family, band members and essentially anyone who knew of him. No cause was given, but it was safe to say it was very unexpected, even moreso because he was only 32 with a full life ahead of him.
Kagrra, had recently disbanded, but I had always hoped in my heart of hearts I would get to see them in concert someday. I became a fan in my early teens, and followed them closely until very recently. I have fond memories of falling asleep to their music like it was a lullaby, or attempting to sing along in broken Japanese with one of my best friends. I truly hope their music will not be forgotten, for its beauty and its timelessness, and especially for the contribution Isshi made to the music world with his beautiful voice.
And for the record, one of my favorite Kagrra, songs.