Not many artists singing in Japanese have managed to gain recognition in the US and well-informed European indie circles as well. Haru Nemuri has achieved just that.
At the age of 17 she started playing keyboards in a band. In 2016, when she was in her early twenties, she made her mark as a solo artist in Tokyo's vibrant indie and punk scene. Their debut mini-album, aptly titled Sayonara, Youth Phobia, was released in October 2016.
Even then, their sound was difficult to classify: powerful synthesizer sounds merge with gentle vocals, rap parts, energetic screams, atmospheric J-pop moments and punk attitude. While the media often referred to Haru Nemuri as a "singer-songwriter" and "poetry rapper," she called herself the "singing ultimate weapon." This goes well with songs like "kick in the world" and "distort" from 2018.
Their live performances were and still are wild events. Haruna Kimishima, her real name, is often calm and likeable in interviews, but on stage she transforms into the wild Haru Nemuri. She sings sweet lines and shortly thereafter stands on a speaker grunting, only to then surf the crowd wildly roaring or rapping. In 2018, Haru Nemuri released her debut album "harutosyura", which was not only popular in Japan.
The US magazine "Stereogum" included her among the 40 best artists of 2018. She undertook her first major tours abroad and gained international fans with her follow-up album "LOVETHEISM". The "New York Times" named her one of the "Best Acts of SXSW 2021" at the South by Southwest Festival 2021.
Most recently, the album "SHUNKA RYOUGEN" was released in 2022 with a total of 21 songs, ranging in style from apocalyptic emo-rap ("Who The Fuck Is Burning The Forest?") to a mixture of hyperpop and punk ("Heart Of Gold") to atmospheric J dream pop ("zzz #arabesque").
Although the lyrics are still written in Haru Nemuri's native language, she invites her fans to get to know her songs better and understand their essence.
Next October there will finally be the opportunity to experience Haru Nemuri live in Germany. On October 23rd she will perform at the Badehaus in Berlin.