INTERVIEW: Behind the Alicia Keys of Japan – Miho Fukuhara

We asked Japanese music artist Miho Fukuhara to tell us more about her recent and upcoming collaborations, her music and influences, and what’s next for her as she embarks on her ‘Sun On My Wings Tour’ next year.

Known as the Alicia Keys of Japan with her soulfully beautiful and captivating vocals, the Japanese music artist recently collaborated with Singapore’s very own singer-songwriter Charlie Lim to release the texturally calming and bilingual song ‘Ashes’ late last month.

Recorded during the “isolation of COVID” around the world, the love duet, which “became a eulogy of sorts, as a way to grieve, but also a reminder about what matters most”, is sung in both English and Japanese.

Also read: Charlie Lim unveils new duet with Miho Fukuhara

Last week, an acoustic home session video of the duo was released.

We spoke to Miho to ask her more about ‘Ashes’ and to find out more about her music.

AL365: Hi Miho, Vanessa here from AsiaLive365. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Congrats on your new collaboration release ‘Ashes’ with Charlie Lim. We love the song a lot! Tell us more about its inspiration and working with Charlie on the song?

Miho: I listened to his music after my husband told me that Charlie was a great musician and had a wonderful personality. I’m a fan of his, I love his music. When we first started writing the song, Charlie was planning on leaving for London for six months. We had talked about making a love song that would make you want to see your loved ones

AL365: We understand that the idea for the song came last year while you were in Singapore, and its creation took flight over the course of the next few months. Considering that this was before COVID and then during COVID, how do you feel the change in circumstances have moulded the evolution of this love song?

Miho: I think the pandemic situation that followed turned out to be a message that was applicable to everyone in the world, including myself.

AL365: If you could choose one song from all your songs to introduce a new listener to, what would it be?

Miho: If you like the atmosphere of this song, I would recommend songs ‘Don’t Take It Away’ or ‘Apologies’ which are both in Japanese.

AL365: What sort of music did you grow up listening to?

Miho: My dad listened to a lot of blues and country plus the Beatles. My older sister liked ‘90s r&b and that’s where I picked up my singing technique. However, the musicians who influenced me the most were powerful artists such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding.

ASL365: What is it like being in your own independent label?

Miho: It’s a place where I can play music at my own pace. After having my daughter four years ago, I think this was a better choice for me.

AL365: What can you tell us about your upcoming single ‘Sun On My Wings’?

Miho: The music was written first and the lyrics were finished during this pandemic.

Many people around the world are fighting for their rights. This song has a message of chasing the light and carrying the sunshine on our own wings as we go move forward.

AL365: We understand that you also have an upcoming song which will be out on the 40th anniversary album of legendary Japanese rocker – Hotei. What was it like working with him for that track?

Miho: When I was 17 years old, I formed my first band and covered a song called “Talking Loud” by Incognito. When leader Bluey’s new band, Citrus Sun, came to Japan for a tour, I joined the band as a singer and this collaboration came about because Bluey also produced Hotei’s track.

Of course, Hotei is a legendary musician, but for me, Incognito and Hotei was a tremendous partnership, and it was a great honor to work with both of them.

AL365: You have a Japan tour coming up as well. How excited are you about this and what do you miss most about touring and live shows?

Miho: I’m very excited. I can’t wait to finally see all my fans again in person.

AL365: Besides this new tour, what’s next for you?

Miho: I want to further brush up on the music I have been making in 2020, and plan to release it in 2021. I’d also like to go back to play more gigs in the summer.

AL365: Is there anything that you like to say to our readers and your fans out there?

Miho: After meeting Charlie, I made a connection with Singapore. He told me that he would have a band for me, and I would love to have the opportunity to go to Singapore and play a show there one day.

AL365: Thanks again Miho. Please take care and we hope to see you in Singapore soon. Looking forward to your new single!

Miho: Thank you! x

Follow Miho Fukuhara on Facebook and Instagram for more updates on her upcoming releases and tour.

Cover photo: Kazuhiko Tawara 





Let me know what’s up!

Be up to date of the news and events from Asia Live 365