Hello readers! We took a short break to pace out our interview releases and work on some other projects, but we haven’t forgotten about quenching your reading thirst. With that in mind, we bring you an interview with an up-and-coming Japanese pop/R&B singer who we connected with through mutual friends. Please welcome Riho!
Riho Furui (born April 10, 1991 in Hokkaido, Japan) is a Japanese pop, R&B and gospel singer. A graduate of Fuji Women’s University, Riho has long pursued her love of singing and music since her childhood and has been going after her dream with more fervour after returning to Japan from a brief time living in Toronto. Just before her return home, we caught up with the young songstress to find out what drives her passion in music and what kind of message she wants to leave with fans.
I’m Riho from Japan. I’m 23 years old, and I’ve been in Toronto for 10 months hoping to experience various things. Sadly, I’m returning to Japan soon. I want to share my love and happiness through my music.
How long have you been doing music?
I’ve been in a gospel choir since I was 11. I started writing my own music and performing as a soloist after my first year of university.
What kind of artist do you consider yourself?
I have a background in gospel music, R&B and Japanese pop. However I like to mix and match with different genres, thus writing my music in a very personalized way.
Gospel songs are the base for my music. They have been giving me my inspiration since I was young, and Mariah Carey made such a big impact on me when I first listened to her music.
You’re currently living in Toronto, what brought you out there?
Although I did not have a strong desire to come, for some reason, I was convinced that I had to come, as if God was leading me here. Furthermore, I wanted to have the experience of living abroad for my personal growth.
Going through the difficult times in Toronto made me a stronger person. I realized that though we may go through hard times in life, there’s always a reason behind those times. There’s really no need to worry when we are faced with challenges in life. So just like the song says, you just need to believe you’ll get through it all.
What sort of things would you like to get into, musically speaking, in terms of genres, concepts etc., that you haven’t done yet or explored to some extent?
I want to experience a lot so I can impact the people listening to my music.
When can fans expect new original material from you?
I’m working on some new songs and I hope to release them in a couple of months.
Honestly, I have no idea what is going to happen right now, but if I have the opportunity to sing, I would like to go wherever to do so.
What is your current guilty pleasure?
Eating ramen late at night!
What are your five most played songs currently?
You Get No Love (Faith Evans), Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran), Treasure (Bruno Mars), Crazy Love (Shota Shimizu), BABAY (Zion.T)
Who are some of your favourite artists?
Mariah Carey, Minnie Riperton, Usher, Utada Hikaru, Shota Shimizu.
I like to watch TV, listen to music and just relax at home.
Name one thing that fans may not already know about you.
People say that I seem strong and I’m always happy but honestly I’m really weak and I don’t like to be alone.
Any advice for aspiring singers out there? Especially those looking to break into the Japanese music market?
Just be honest to yourself. Don’t be led astray by other people’s opinions. Don’t forget who you are. And till the time comes keep doing what you need to do, don’t do nothing. I’m in that stage right now too. Let’s do our best!
Any final words for the readers/fans?
Thanks for reading! If I can, I want to be a singer who can share love and encourage others. I’m going to keep singing so if you have a chance, please listen to my songs!
Many thanks to Riho for taking the time to chat with us. Please keep an eye out for this rising star, as she’s shown a lot of promise with her vocals and passion. Until next time, this has been a rhythm.connection exclusive!