Miku The Dude (JPN), Artist, Tokyo

‘In Japan, there are a few boxes you need to tick before you can call yourself a rapper. If you think that sounds stupid, it’s because it is, but that’s what I was told when I started rapping. So I decided to distance myself from that title and started calling myself a singer-songwriter. I’m probably not meeting those standards either, but fuck it, it gives me more freedom to do what I want.’

‘I have always felt the need to do things my way. I ended up in Tokyo when I was 17. I didn’t have a place, so I crashed on my friend’s couch. Except on Saturdays, that’s when his girlfriend stayed over, so I had to find another place to sleep. Crazy times, but things worked out in the end.’ 

‘One of the tattoos on my face says sorry. It’s for my mom, for all the pain I caused her. I used to have a bad temper, so I got into fights now and then, so actually, there are a lot of people that deserve an apology. But I have learned to cope with stress through making music, drawing and cooking. These things balance me. So no more throwing and breaking stuff. No more frustrated yelling. No more fights. Life is fun now. But still, I made my mother go through some hardship. And although she’d be just as happy with a thank you for all the good times, I prefer saying sorry for the bad. Even if it is by getting it on my face.’