By Yamato Tao | 21th Feb 2023 | “A six-member Japanese band like no other”
cロップ (cRup) is a dynamic and talented Japanese student rock band that formed in the city of Tokyo in 2022. With a diverse range of musical influences, the band covers various genres, including J-Pop, J-Rock, Rock, Indie, and Alternative music. The band consists of founding members of lead vocalist Liyu Miyakawa, keyboard and sub-vocalist Yamato Tao, drummer Kanata Mizutani, guitarists Itsuki Sun and Aoi Araki, and bassist Haruki Hirota.
What began as a strong friendship in 2018 eventually led the six to form their band, cロップ. This connection has helped the band to seamlessly blend their individual talents and skills to create a cohesive and powerful sound. Their musical journey began at their school festival, where they captivated a crowd of over 600 students with their stunning cover of the song “ブルーベリーナイツ” (Blueberry Nights) by マカロニえんぴつ (Macaroni Empitsu). At events across Tokyo, cロップ has been captivating audiences with their impressive musical abilities.
- Lead Vocalist
- Has a wide vocal range and is capable of singing very high notes
- Solid and stable vocals
- Key member of the band as the other members struggle in the high pitch vocals
- Backing guitarist
- Also a member of a duet artist, Autumn
- Has great stage presence
- Also plays the acoustic guitar
- Lead Guitarist
- Solid guitar solos
- Plays the stratocaster and SG type guitar
- Plays the stratocaster and SG type guitar
- Keyboardist and sub vocalist (harmony)
- Has perfect pitch
- Also plays the electric and acoustic guitar
- Transcribes songs into tabs for the band
- Started the bass in 2022, yet has stable performance
- Performs with an active 5-string bass
- Often called the “Genius Drummer” in the band
- Capable of learning new pieces within minutes
Why did the members decide to start the band?
We have been close since 2017, being in the same school in Tokyo. The members often took the same classes, and 5 of the members took part in the school’s soccer club. We had a strong bond from years ago and we often discussed the interest of starting a band. Especially members Aoi Araki and Yamato Tao had special interest in the field of Music, having hobbies such as singing, playing the guitar, etc. However, we struggled to find a bassist which prevented us from starting a band. In 2022, our member Haruki Hirota, started the bass and the six of us started the band.
Our band’s origins are rooted in a strong bond that we started developing from 2017 while attending the same school in Tokyo. We shared many of the same classes, and five of our members even played together on the school’s soccer team. Over time, we discovered a shared interest in starting a band and would often discuss our musical aspirations.
Two members, Aoi Araki and Yamato Tao, had a particular passion for music, and the two would often talk about creating music. All of our members had hobbies that included singing, playing the guitar, creating lyrics, etc. However, we faced a challenge in finding a bassist that would complete our lineup and allow us to start performing together. Finally, in 2022, our member Haruki Hirota, stepped up to learn the bass, providing us with the final piece we needed to launch our band. We were thrilled to finally come together and begin performing as a group. Our long-standing friendship and shared passions have only strengthened our bond, and we look forward to bringing entertainment to our fellow students and classmates at our school.
Tell me one special aspect of your band
We are proud to say that our band is truly unique and special in many ways. Our members are not only fluent in English but also come from diverse backgrounds, adding to the richness of our sound. While we primarily perform Japanese songs, we are equally capable of performing in English, giving us the versatility to appeal to a wider audience.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of our band is our ability to adapt and incorporate various types of music into our performances. With six members, our band stands out from the typical four-member band setup, which allows us to explore different instrument combinations to create a distinctive sound. When we cover songs from other bands, we take the time to modify each instrument’s sound to ensure a cohesive and harmonious performance.
For instance, we recently covered “おやすみ泣き声、さよなら歌姫” by CreepHyp, and our keyboardist played a crucial role in creating the perfect atmosphere for the song. By adjusting the keyboard’s low-end frequencies and reducing its high-ends, the keyboardist perfectly matched the song’s mood, and the guitarists used complementary tones to link with the overall sound.
Our band’s ability to adjust and modify songs to create a unique sound is undoubtedly our strength. It’s this adaptability that sets us apart from other bands and makes us truly special.
What was your best show your band has ever performed?
Although we’ve only performed twice so far, both performances were memorable in their own way. However, we’d have to say that our best performance was at the closing party of our school festival. We chose to perform the very first song we had practiced together, “ブルーベリーナイツ” by Macaroni Empitsu, which allowed all six of us to showcase our skills and talents.
Despite the excitement and nervousness of the occasion, our performance was not flawless, and we made several mistakes as our tempo fell apart. Nevertheless, what made this performance truly special was the incredible atmosphere of the event itself. We played in front of the entire high school division, around 600 people, who held glowing lights that illuminated the stage and made it truly magical.
As we began to play, the whole crowd erupted in cheers and chanted our names, making us feel like true rock stars. Even our friends and classmates shouted our names, creating an unforgettable moment that we will always remember. It was an incredible “debut” stage that we couldn’t have asked for anything better. This performance was truly one of the best experiences we’ve had as a band, and it has only strengthened our commitment to performing great music together.
What’s next for the band?
We have an exciting show coming up. We have been chosen as one of the 18 artists to perform at the “TEENAGE CARNIVAL” event, held by the Setagaya district in Tokyo. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our skills and talents to a wider audience. In preparation for the event, we have expanded our repertoire and will be performing three songs, including our first English language song. Our setlist includes:
- “ブルーベリーナイツ” by Macaroni Empitsu
- “I Love You So” by The Walters
- “おやすみ泣き声、さよなら歌姫” by CreepHyp
These songs have different vibes and styles, and we believe it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase our versatility and range as a band. We have been working tirelessly in our practice sessions to ensure that we deliver a flawless performance. We are confident that our hard work will pay off and we will be able to entertain the audience with our music. We are excited to take the stage and show everyone what we’re truly capable of.
As we are all 12th grade students, we are planning to perform at our graduation party.
– “栞” by CreepHyp
– “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay
What are some of the struggles your band faces? How did the band overcome these challenges?
Our journey as a band has been challenging, but we have managed to overcome these obstacles. Being students, we are not able to afford expensive studios for practice, so we practice at a cheap studio located very far from our homes. We have to carry our instruments with us, and it can be exhausting, but we are grateful for the opportunity to practice. Stages we perform on often have inadequate equipment, making this one of the largest struggles we face. This makes it difficult for us to hear our instruments and perform at our best. It is challenging for our vocalist, Liyu Miyakawa, to sing because he cannot hear his voice while performing. Moreover, Yamato, our keyboardist, faces additional challenges since it’s not always possible to bring his own keyboard to the performances. He has to perform with the keyboards provided by the event host, which can be vastly different in terms of sound, number of keys, and overall feel. In one of our previous performances, he had to make last-minute adjustments to the octave and EQ (Equalization and adjusting) the keyboard, and it was a disaster for him. Despite these challenges, we have persevered and continue to work hard to improve our skills as a band.
What would the band’s advice be to young students and artists?
Starting a band can be a challenging endeavor. We too experienced that challenge. It took our band more than three years to finally become active, as we struggled to find the necessary members. But once we finally found the right group of talented individuals, we were able to start performing. Today, we are one of the main rock bands in our school, consistently performing at large school events.
The first step in starting a band can often be the most difficult, as the future can seem uncertain. However, there are always opportunities to step into the world of music, such as performing at a school event or jamming with friends. In our case, we were surprised to discover that some of our members had hidden talents and skills that we never knew about. Taking these small steps can lead to unexpected discoveries of talents, and the finding of the right members to form a band that works well together.
However, forming a band isn’t the only way to create music. If you’re interested in music but can’t find the right people to form a band, try collaborating with a single friend who shares a similar interest. Whether it’s singing, writing lyrics, or playing an instrument, working with someone else can help you start your music journey that you never thought possible. Starting with covers of other people’s songs can be a great way to get started and gain confidence, and who knows – you might even end up creating your own original music with that friend. The important thing is to take that first step, find your passion for music, and let that drive your motivation and dedication.