Yohio, 16 year-old guitar wonderkid from Sundsvall is blazing a trail of deserved recognition, especially in Japan. He is building on his success with ‘Seremedy’ the Swedish band, known for their Japanese -influenced ‘visual kei’ mode. Seremedy played two live tours of Japan last year, and were well-received. Their first full-length album ‘Welcome to our Madness’ is due for release on 25th July this year.
Yohio is continuing his role as guitarist and chief composer with Seremedy while launching his solo project. His following builds on intensive promo visits to Japan earlier this year. Influenced by ‘anime’ since childhood, he acquired the whole cultural package, becoming fluent in Japanese along the way. His live performances and media appearances have consolidated his international reputation.
On 24th of April, Yohio appeared on the Japanese TV show “waratte liitomo”, a program with over 10 million viewers, more than the whole population of Sweden! He trended on Japanese Twitter shortly after. 25th April saw the official release of his first solo mini-album: “REACH the SKY”. On 28th – Yohio played three outdoor performances at Shinjuku Station Square, before an audience of 6,000. Just a month afterwards, the flagship track ‘SKY*LiMiT’ has received over 400,000 views of the promotional video on Youtube.
This is a space rock/ astrology influenced song of unrequited love between two sentient beings from different constellations. It mashes bi-polar metal and pop. The content is visually represented by the yin/yang of different costume outfits as male/female characters. Yohio plays out the two roles of an alienista ”female” hence the interplayed costume changes between the Japanese ”Lolita” version and the more futuristic ”boyish” life-form. The changeovers are choreographed with the lyrics.
Naturally, attention has focussed on the visually stunning side of Yohio. But his ‘bishounen’ look and stage-costumes of elaborate dresses, make-up, and hair creation is not a gimmick. His musicianship is solid. Something of a prodigy, Yohio comes from a well-established Swedish musical family. He learned piano from age six. He was on guitar from eleven and has been demonstrating complex guitar shredding on ‘Youtube’ since he was in his early teens.
The rest of the new mini-album is a showcase of talent. Pop, heavy rock, ballad, and with an eloquent vocal range as well, balanced by neo-classical guitar and solo piano instrumentals. Sweden can be justly proud of its contribution to the world music scene, as demonstrated on the Eurovision Song contest. For Yohio, Japan is just the beginning. Tomorrow, the World!