Comic Book Legend and World Renowned Music Artist Join Forces
The heart of X Japan is Yoshiki - songwriter, drummer, and classically-trained pianist who also plays guitar, bass and trumpet. Yoshiki, who has been referred to by his first name only throughout his professional career, is arguably Asia's most influential musical artist and biggest rock icon. According to one industry insider, "Yoshiki is to Japan what Bono is to the UK." His double-record classical album, Eternal Melody (1993) was co-produced and arranged by the legendary George Martin, recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and remains one of Japan's most successful classical releases. For Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved, the 1994 KISS tribute album, Yoshiki arranged and produced "Black Diamond" as a piano concerto, prompting Rolling Stone magazine to comment in its CD review, "the ingenuity award must go to Yoshiki..." Yoshiki has produced some of Japan's most influential bands, including Dir En Grey and Glay. At the request of the Japanese government in 1999, Yoshiki composed a piano concerto and performed it with a 77-piece orchestra to commemorate the Emperor of Japan's 10th anniversary on the throne. In 2005, he was named the Music Director for the 2005 World Expo, composed the event's theme song, and conducted the orchestra at the opening ceremonies. Yoshiki also wrote the X Japan song "I.V." for the 2007 international blockbuster horror film, "Saw IV," which played over the film's closing credits.
Beyond music, Yoshiki is an entrepreneur and a true renaissance man. He started his own racing team - Team Yoshiki - with Honda in 2009, the Bank of Japan issued Yoshiki Visa card, and Yoshiki has overseen the development of a premiere line of Yoshiki jewelry. He collaborated with the California Mondavi family to develop his own wine, "Y." For the first time in its history, a Hello Kitty product line was designed after a person, creating a new name - "Yoshikitty," which became available in late May 2010. Yoshiki has graced the covers of more than 200 music, business and trade media outlets in Asia.