*The Following Press Release Was Issued By Independent Music Promotions*
7 August 2020
|Embrace who you are.
A singer-songwriter who overcame multiple disabilities and kidnapped experience sings beauty of “Perfect Imperfection” with her charity project for supporting victims of DV and child trafficking.
The only way out is through.
Having persevered through immense trials and tribulations from overcoming disabilities to being kidnapped, Shihori‘s very existence is an act of bravery, one that permeates her music and artistic approach. There is no separating one from the other. Through her music she aims to uplift others who may be facing their own mental health challenges, encouraging them to stand alone as individuals and use their innate creative skills for self-healing. Overcoming the past, accepting your true self and embracing your beauty of “Perfect Imperfection.”
Combining big melodies, cinematic pop electronica and a base in beautiful folk music, Shihori is an artist poised to make a big splash in multiple genres. Having overcome multiple disabilities including partial deafness, Shihori has a voice that rivals Kate Bush or Tori Amos and a quirky, folk-based style to match. Shihori has explored many styles from heartwarming pop to classical, rock, jazz, Broadway-style belters and subtle indie folk. Her newest track “Perfect Imperfection” sees her teaming up with electronic and pop super-producer Dibs for a big, bold collaboration of indie pop and electronica that straddles genres and will likely introduce Shihori’s extraordinary talent to the world.
Inspired by her own experiences of having left-ear deafness, dwarfism and Asperger’s Syndrome, the lyrics of “Perfect Imperfection” drive home Shihori’s philosophy that no one is actually flawed and sometimes it’s our differences that can make us the most special. She uses herself as an example:
“(My) half-silent world got me into extreme concentration; I lived in my own imagination world. I didn’t hear anything, just created…people thought I was ignoring them many times, but I just didn’t hear anything from my left side and my other ear was only for my imagination. I never hated my hearing in my life, because I love the sound of silence on my left side which always helps my creation. I have rather considered my deafness as a “gift,” and the other ear is a “gift” as well because my right ear has a perfect pitch by nature.”
While Shihori provided her gorgeous vocal tones and poignant lyrics for “Perfect Imperfection” as she always does, it’s her collaboration on this song with electronic and pop producer Dibs that really brought out her talent and made it shine in a whole new and very emotionally raw way.
“Shihori is one of those rare artists that can combine emotion with musicality in a way that hits you at your core. With a beautiful voice and a powerful story to match, Shihori’s music is truly something special and I have no doubt it will touch the hearts of so many,” Dibs said recently. Their combined fans will likely agree.
For “Perfect Imperfection,” Dibs and Shihori took her classic style and added a future bass beat with lots of ambient musical accompaniment to a classical piano melody. It straddles pop and EDM in its form as it has the structures of both genres built into it; a verse-chorus-verse composition to highlight Shihori’s extraordinary voice but also builds, breaks and drops like an EDM song. This production makes it viable for lots of formats, including radio and raves.
‘Perfect Imperfection’ is an indie pop gem with a message of radical self-acceptance. As 2020 barrels forward and the tidal wave of conflict and negativity rises, self-care is often forgotten. This song is a reminder to connect with and care for ourselves so we can better help others during stressful times.
Shihori will be donating all Bandcamp proceeds from the single to Joyful Heart Foundation (http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/), who help victims of sexual abuse, DV, and child abuse.
Bandcamp (Order): https://shihori.bandcamp.com/album/perfect-imperfection-wonderful-world
Shihori Artist Biography:
“I lived in my own imagination world,” says Shihori, “I didn’t hear anything, I just created. I had no friends, but I didn’t even notice. People thought I was ignoring them many times, but I just didn’t hear them, especially from my left side, and my right ear was for my imagination…everything sounds like music to me.”
Despite being largely quiet and being in her own creative world, Shihori discovered her musical gift early on.
“When I was seven, I found people stopped like stones and stared at me when I sang. That was the first time I really recognized other people around me and it was quite shocking to me. That interaction still happens between myself and my audience every time I sing.”
It seems almost inevitable that Shihori would become a singer and songwriter with that feeling of connection with her audience combined with her extraordinary voice. Despite Shihori being comfortable with her conditions, she still faced struggles being accepted. Her parents elected to have her subjected to invasive treatments for her dwarfism and her ear’s appearance.
“I had to have plastic surgeries to make my left ear look ‘normal’ when I was nine and 10, although it didn’t turn out to be a success…but that was a big surgery (to go through) as well,” she said of her ear condition.
“For the dwarf syndrome, I took growth hormone shots every day for seven years when I was a child and that treatment did work. I knew my parents really worried about me and they did everything out of love, so I have appreciated it but (with so much emphasis on my perceived flaws) I found much later that I was also hurt deep inside. It turned into an eternal sorrow. I thought, ‘Why do I have to change my shape to be the same as everyone else? What’s wrong with looking different from others? I am not miserable!! I like how I was born!'”
Despite creating her own confidence in this way, Shihori also had trouble in school and the strict Japanese society around her. Even with the best of intentions, medical treatments in early childhood can lead to trauma and the child feeling like they’re “broken” far into adulthood. Shihori’s strong nature helped her rise above it, but there were more challenges than just her parents and the medical procedures.
“I wasn’t allowed to just be myself,” she remembers. “Japanese culture forces you to be the same as everyone else, so I was bullied…because I was very different from other kids. Through those experiences, ‘love who you are’ became the core message of my music…and now I think America needs this message too. What does it matter if your skin color is white or black? What matters more is what your SOUL looks like.”
Once again, Shihori rose above the criticism and followed her dream to become a professional musician.
“It was very difficult to become successful as a singer in Japan not just because of my physical differences but also because of my character. In Japan, people like more ‘cute’ and ‘meek’ type of personality and appearance in female music artists. Producers told me to act ‘not as strong’ or ‘look cuter.”
That restrictive culture with producers and management companies even led to domestic abuse and kidnapping for Shihori, but that strong nature they were trying to push down allowed her to persevere. In 2016, 11 years after the initial traumatic experience, Shihori bravely opened up about her experience being kidnapped.
“I still had PTSD but I came out about this finally. I’ve wished to help young people who are in similar situations and actually I’ve helped younger artists to escape from bad company or taught them psychological or legal strategies.”
Shihori went on to find success in Japan, contributing to a wide range of projects and collaborating with some of the country’s best talents.
Shihori made her major debut as a singer songwriter with the 1st single, “TSUBASA” which was used as the ending theme song for the TV anime, “Kishin Taiwan Gigantic Formula” in 2007.(Under the name of “Sena”) Her 3rd major single “Never End Wonderland” got 5th place in the daily rankings of the Japanese Oricon Hit Chart.
Since then, she composes and sings for movies, video games, TV commercials and anime shows which include “FAIRY TAIL,“”The Irregular at Magic High School,” “Macross Frontier,” “My Little Pony,” “Ultraman R/B ” and so on.
Dozens of her songs have made it into the hit chart and for 11 of them, Shihori has received Gold Disc Certification, having sold more than 1 million CDs total.
Shihori has written songs for some of Japan’s most famous contemporary artists such as Nana Mizuki and Momoiro Clover Z and has collaborated with worldwide famous music creators such as Kohei Tanaka (composer of world-famous anime series “ONE PIECE“) and Yoko Kanno (music producer, composer of “Ghost in the Shell”) as a lyricist.
People often describe her performance and voice as a “physically heart-shaking song.”
Shihori is a frequent performer at venues all over Japan and North America includes Otakon in Baltimore 2010, Santa Fe JIN Festival 2012, Tekko con in Pittsburgh 2019, San Japan in San Antonio 2019 and so on.
She moved to NY in January 2018, started her performing and recording career in the U.S.. She has held Solo Concerts in Manhattan four times, and released her first EP in the U.S. titled “Angel in the Garden” September 2018, released her 1st single “Let Me Go” August 2019 and 2nd single “Jungle – Cyber Mix” September 2019. SHIHORI released her first self-cover album in February 2020, including anime songs and hit songs.
“I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, ‘oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn’t know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas…I am so happy to be surrounded by colorful people!
All of Shihori’s experiences have not only driven her to become a musician but they’ve also colored her work. All of her recent singles have lyrics which contain her unique perspective on the world and her experience. Her upcoming singles cover a range of subjects from embracing our differences to seeing others in a better light to support for domestic violence and COVID mask charities, but the heart of them always comes back to the “love who you are” philosophy Shihori developed early in life and that has fueled her amazing journey.
“You are the person who you’ll be with the rest of your life; that’s your most important relationship, so you are the one you should care for the most, your true life partner.”