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Who The Hell is Yasuda Rei (安田レイ)

Hello, my music lovers! Today for “Who The Hell is”, we will be looking at one of the latest upcoming musicians in the music industry, Yasuda Rei (安田レイ).

She’s been on my radar for a few years, and is gaining a lot of exposure lately, so I thought it would be a great time to give more insight into the life of of this talented singer.

So, without ado. Y’all already know it. LET’S DIVE ON IN!

Growing Up

Yasuda became interested in becoming a singer after she heard her mother listening to Utada Hikaru’s, “First Love”. She was also influenced by other Japanese singers such as Takeuchi Mariya and Love Psychedelico. When she was in third grade, she developed an interest in American R&B and listened to artists such as Alicia Keys and Usher.

Although Yasuda was born in the United States, she moved to Japan when she was 3, and attended an American school up until the 6th grade at the Yokota Air Base. She spent the remainder of her education in the Japanese education system, plus attached a Japanese Kindergarten before elementary school. 

Yasuda Rei with her brother

While growing up in that environment Yasuda stated she everyone she grows up with at the time was from a different background, and those differences gave personality. She believed growing up in the environment before attending a Japanese school greatly influenced how she is today. Although Yasuda is half, unlike her brother who wasn’t particularly fond of being half, she took pride in her difference and claims that it’s “more fun.” 

Debut in Modeling and Singing

Before Yasuda was a singer, she started her career in the entertainment business as a model. In 2006, she appeared in a promotional campaign for Sony’s CMOS Sensors. When she was 13, she auditioned to appear in the virtual rock group, Genki Rockets. For her audition, she danced to BoA’s “Valenti” and sang “Happy Birthday to You”. And when she passed, they asked her to perform as a dancer and singer,

When joining the “band”, she portrayed the character Lumi, the band’s virtual vocalist. “Lumi’s” backstory was a weird concept but worked for the demographic. She was a 17-year-old girl who was the first human born in outer space on the International Space Station on September 11, 2019. Yasuda stated that although she was singing, her voice and appearance was heavily edited, but over time they toned it down, making her more recognizable. 

Her virtual band persona even went into the video game industry. Lumi was a character in the game Child of Eden.

Focus on Singing Career

After graduating from high school, Yasuda went on the pursue her career in music, and in 2013 Yasuda changed agencies and debuted as a solo singer under Sony Records officially using her Japanese name, Yasuda Rei. And Yasuda started strong with her debut song “Best of My Love”, which was the ending theme to 宇宙戦艦ヤマト2199 (Uchū Senkan Yamato Ni-ichi-kyū-kyū), or as others might know it as,  Space Battleship Yamato 2199. With the song being part of a big anime, naturally, it performed well on the Oricon charts, ranking 21 in the singles charts.

While Yasuda was working on her singing career, she molded as a side-gig and started the fashion blog “Nylonista” for Nylon Japan. (RIP Nylon) During this time she also released two new singles. The first being Brand New Day, and the second, Passcode 4854. Both of these songs performed decently, with their peak being 84 on the Oricon Single Charts.

While these songs performed well on the Oricon charts, the interesting thing when she released her first and second album, both albums ranked higher on the Oricon Album charts peaking at 15th place. In addition, they were ranked #1 on iTunes music charts. 

Yasuda Rei Today

As of now, Yasuda Rei isn’t breaking any records in her music career, but her relevance is heavily present in the entertainment industry. She continues to model and appear on variety shows. She’s even had a brief cameo in the Japanese drama, Kekkonshiki no Zenjitsu ni(結婚式の前日に). In addition, her song “Ashita Iro(明日色)“, was used as the ending theme. Outside of singing, Yasuda Rei also hosts a radio program called City Girls Music.

Yasuda’s latest album, Re:I was released on March 18th, 2020, and it performed well, ranking 44th on the Oricon Album Charts.

Her latest single was released earlier this year in February called “Not the End”. Compared to her previous songs, her voice is noticeably more powerful and mature, although you can hear the transition in her tone from her 13th single “Asymmetry”. This is where you can also hear a lot of Utada Hikaru’s influence in her singing style and musical tone. 

You can also watch The First Take’s version of “Not The End” on their channel, and I highly recommend checking it out.

Also be sure to check out the video version of this article on YouTube!

Enjoy Life, Enjoy Music

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