Rising Japan Music Festival 2023: Kaoru Miyazaki Talks Music and Future Goals

Most people change career paths or goals many times throughout their childhood, teenage, and early adult years. As their interests shift, so does their hope for what to be when they “grow up.” However for Japanese singer, Kaoru Miyazaki, her goal was crystal clear since her childhood. “You know when we were in kindergarten, and the teacher would ask what you wanted to be when you were older? My answer, even then, was always to be a singer.”

Growing up around the arts in London and Tokyo, Miyazaki learned classical ballet, trumpet, and piano as a child. Now, in 2023, she’s more than 10 years into her music career and still looking forward to the future. Despite being in London only at a very young age, the experience has allowed her to have more of an open mind when it comes to language and music. “Since a young age, I was surrounded by music, and I also learned to accept and enjoy English music [when overseas]. With all that at home, it’s given me good ideas, and I don’t draw a line between Japanese or English,” she shared.

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Going a step further, Miyazaki doesn’t want to limit herself to just Japanese and English, either, as she hopes to connect with her audience members of all ethnicities and races. Her appearance at this weekend’s Rising Japan Music Festival marks her first performance in the U.S., and only her second one outside of Japan. Wanting to keep the momentum going, she hopes to travel more soon. “Now, I cover English songs here and in Japan. In the future, I hope to perform in more places around the world, and I want to try to sing covers in Korean, or Chinese, or Spanish.” Wanting to explore more of the world and experiment with her music, one thing that’s never changed is her process and her passion. “I always compose my instrumentals first. I never work on the lyrics before the instrumental. My music is still the same as the beginning [of my career], but each year, as I get older and more experienced, the lyrics have changed. They have matured with me.”

When thinking back on the past ten years of performances and musical releases, Miyazaki easily pinpoints her cover of “To Love You More” by Celine Dion as her favorite. “I recently did a performance of this song with David Foster (one of the song’s writers), and he was playing the piano while I sang. It was a really great and memorable performance.” She treated Rising Japan Music Festival attendees to a snippet of an acapella rendition of the song. As for her own musical style, she describes it as the color yellow: “Yellow is a color associated with happiness and hope for the future, and my childhood home was also painted entirely yellow on the outside. To me, it’s a color that’s very nostalgic and brings back a lot of memories, but also encompasses my hopes for the future. That’s what I think my lyrics and compositions are about now.”

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