Actor, humanitarian, and samurai guitarist MIYAVI has released his newest EP Bang! from his upcoming album Holy Nights. Bang! is the first of three EPs featuring songs from the album to be released. The EP Need for Speed will be released on April 8th to be followed by the EP Holy Nights on April 15th.
Holy Nights is the first installment of a double album set to drop later this year on April 22nd. It marks the musician-turned-actor’s first album release since his transfer to the Japanese talent management agency LDH.
For those unfamiliar with MIYAVI’s music, you might recognize him from his role as Byakuya Kuchiki in the 2018 live-action Bleach film, Mutsushiro “the Bird” Watanabe in Unbroken, or Udo in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
Or, maybe, you recognize from his impressive philanthropic work as Japan’s first Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) where he supports various UNHCR campaigns including #WithRefugees and the Nansen Refugee Award—traveling in 2018 to work with some of the nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
MIYAVI’s career has been incredibly diverse and impactful. He has seen a great deal of success collaborating with brands. In 2019, he was named the brand ambassador for American Airlines.
His work has been featured in films and television commercials. He produced the main theme song for the Japan version of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation as well as music used in HONDA commercials. His latest work is seeing similar acclaim.
Bang! was chosen as the commercial music for Rakuten Mobile in a move MIYAVI called, on Instagram, an “honor to be part of” as he praised Rakuten’s CEO Mickey (Hiroshi) Mikitani for pushing boundaries.
A lyric video for Bang! was also released on MIYAVI’s official YouTube channel—featuring both Japanese and English lyrics.
The lyrics provide an insight into MIYAVI’s refreshingly optimistic worldview. He expressed how his imagination and creativity are getting him through these difficult times,
“When I have a hard time or face an obstacle, I always try to imagine first how I will be like and what I will see there after I eventually overcome everything. Sometimes people may say it is just too optimistic or unrealistic and to just deal with the reality. But I do believe that the imagination and the feeling of excitement is the only way to get across to the future. And that’s what we artists materialize with music.”
MIYAVI, like many of us, is currently stuck at home. That didn’t stop him from rocking out with his family in a special, short “FamBand” version of Bang! the father of two posted across his social media accounts. The version features the guitarist alongside his two duaghters, accompanying him on keyboard and drums.
— MIYAVI (@MIYAVI_OFFICIAL) March 28, 2020
The guitarist offered the following bit of encouragement and advice to fans,
“We just do whatever we can do now and move forward no matter what until when we can get through everything and rock together like we always do. Hope the music we make can help you somehow and accompany you in your life.”
Bang! is already available for streaming on Spotify. You can listen to it below:
The full album, Holy Nights, is scheduled to drop worldwide on April 22, 2020. The album features original material, covers of iconic Japanese pop and rock songs that have been reinterpreted through MIYAVI’s unique style of guitar playing, and rearrangements of some of his most famous compositions.
The complete list of tracks was recently released, giving fans something to look forward to.
Holy Nights Tracklist
- Holy Nights (Intro)
- Need for Speed
- Holy Nights
- Bang! ＊Rakuten Mobile CM Song
- Heaven is A Place On Earth
- Danger Danger
- Tomaranai ha-ha
- Perfect Storm (feat. Amber Liu)
- Live To Dream (feat. FÄIS)
- Hands To Hold
- DAY 1 (Reborn)
Holy Nights is currently available for pre-order in three editions including the standard edition, two limited versions—each with unique cover art.
Limited Edition “A” will be packaged with a live concert DVD from MIYAVI’s No Sleep Til Tokyo Tour World Tour 2019 Japan at Zepp Diver City.
Limited Edition “B” will include a special documentary DVD with backstage footage and interviews from the No Sleep Til Tokyo Tour.
A third Universal Music Limited Version will come with a specially designed Holy Nights original clutch bag alongside the standard edition.