Rina Sawayama Drops New Video For Japanese Fans to Get to Know Her

31.March.2020 | MUSIC

Lady Gaga chose two of Japanese-born British icon Rina Sawayama’s tracks for her “Women of Choice” playlist on Apple Music, STFU! and Cherry. Other acts on Gaga’s curated list include Charli XCX, Grimes, HAIM, ROSALÍA, St.Vincent, TOKiMONSTA, and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.


Rina is described as an “experimental pop visionary who refuse to play by the rules” in the playlist.

Rina Sawayama’s international fame has continued to skyrocket over the past year. When she signed to Dirty Hit in November 2019, Matthew Healy, the front man of The 1975 who are on the same label, called her a member of the family.

Her presence in Japan continues to grow as well. She performed on the MBS television show Jonetsu Tairiku last year. She was also chosen as one of Vogue Japan’s “Women of the Year” for 2019. Her song XS was included in Spotify Japan’s “Early Noise 2020” list.


Rina is now set to garner even more fans in Japan with the release of an introductory video entitled “Who is RINA” which was posted on the official avex YouTube channel.

American-Japanese model and actress Kiko Mizuhara, who is an old friend of Rina’s, spoke of her: “She’s an audacious woman whose music shows people around the world the importance of being yourself.” (*Comment translated from Japanese)


Rina Sawayama will release her debut album SAWAYAMATwitter on April 22, 2020. Rina said on her official page: “I put my heart and soul into it, writing and producing it across 2.5 years with
Clarence Clarity and many others. It contains all my memories from 29 years.”


  • Rina Sawayama’s New Album Debuts at #3 on UK Charts, a First for a Japanese Artist

    30.September.2022 | MUSIC

    Born in Niigata and living in London, international singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama released her second album Hold The Girl on September 16. Incredibly, the album debuted at #3 on the UK Albums Chart, marking a record achievement for the artist. 


    This is the first time in history that a Japanese artist has reached #3 on the UK Album Chart. Sawayama expressed her joy on social media, thanking anyone who bought or streamed her music in the past. 


    Hold The Girl also hit #1 in weekly analog record sales in the UK, and reached #1 in the alternative genre on both iTunes and Apple Music in Japan. 


    Sawayama has also announced that she will hold her first solo Japan tour in January 2023, stopping in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka.

  • Rina Sawayama Releases Music Video for ‘Hurricanes,’ Studio Performance of ‘This Hell’

    28.September.2022 | MUSIC

    Born in Niigata and living in London, international singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama released her second album Hold The Girl on September 16. The album has already received rave reviews from media outlets worldwide, with NME calling it “the best British pop album of the year.” 


    Sawayama has now released the music video for her single Hurricanes, which can also be found on her newest album. The impressive video features an incredibly powerful performance with the band in the middle of a violent storm. Be sure to check it out below!


    Hurricanes – Rina Sawayama (Official Music Video)



    A studio performance version of the song This Hell, the first single from the album and a fan favorite, has also been released. The video features incredible dancers and a live band.


    This Hell (Live) – Rina Sawayama | Vevo Studio Performance



    Sawayama has also announced that she will hold her first solo Japan tour in January 2023, which will stop in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. 

  • Rina Sawayama Releases Second Album, Announces First Japan Tour

    22.September.2022 | MUSIC

    Born in Niigata and living in London, international singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama released her second album Hold The Girl on September 16. The album is Sawayama’s first in two and a half years and was written and recorded over the past year and a half. With an overarching pop sound, the album blends other genres expertly, from country, electro, and R&B to folk, metal, and rock. Hold The Girl manages to track Sawayama’s personal growth, sharing her goals for the future while fully accepting her past. The album has already received rave reviews from media outlets worldwide, including Rolling Stone, The Times, DIY, The Mail on Sunday, and more. “Among contemporary pop stars, Rina Sawayama certainly stands out,” The Times reads.


    Sawayama has also announced that she will hold her first solo Japan tour in January 2023, stopping in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. Her performance at Summer Sonic 2022 was a smash hit, so don’t miss your chance to see her live if you couldn’t make it!

  • Rina Sawayama Releases Song ‘Hurricanes’ Ahead of Album Release

    16.September.2022 | MUSIC

    Born in Niigata and living in London, international singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama has released the single Hurricanes! The track will be included on the singer’s second album, Hold the Girl, to be released on September 16, 2022. In addition, a live performance video showing Sawayama in the studio has also been released.


    The latest single, Hurricanes, is a fun pop-rock song about overcoming life’s hardships and just having fun. It’s uplifting and perfect for boosting your mood!


    The release of the new album Hold the Girl will be followed by the Hold the Girl Tour which will take the singer to stages around the world. During her performance at SUMMER SONIC 2022, Sawayama announced that she would be returning to Japan on tour in 2023!

  • Rina Sawayama Releases Title Track from Upcoming Sophomore Album ‘Hold the Girl’

    01.August.2022 | MUSIC

    Rina Sawayama is a Japanese singer/songwriter born in Niigata Prefecture. Now based in London and active internationally, the artist has just released the title song from her upcoming album Hold the Girl, which will hit shelves on September 16, 2022. An audio video was also released. 


    Hold the Girl – Rina Sawayama (Official Audio)

    Sawayama gave a comment about the new track.


    “Hold The Girl was the first song I wrote for the album at the end of 2020. I went to therapy and had this revelation that inspired me to write it…that was how it came to be. I was crying before I went into the studio.” 


    Originally scheduled to release on September 2, Sawayama’s second album Hold The Girl will now hit shelves on September 16. In addition to 13 songs including the previously released tracks This Hell and Hold The Girl, the Japanese version of the album will include the previously unreleased Flavor of the Month (Demo) as a bonus track. Special bonuses will be given to those buying the album at particular stores as a gift from the artist to her fans. These will be available while supplies last, and more information can be found on Rina Sawayama’s page on the Universal Music Japan website.


    Sawayama will visit Japan to perform at SUMMER SONIC 2022 in August.

  • Rina Sawayama’s 1st Album SAWAYAMA Gets Limited Edition CD and Blu-ray Release in Japan

    16.June.2022 | MUSIC

    Rina Sawayama, a Japanese singer-songwriter based in London and active worldwide, will release a Japan-exclusive Commemorative Edition of her first album SAWAYAMA on August 3, 2022.


    The artist’s first album was released on Sawayama’s Dirty Hit label, which has also released music by The 1975, Pale Waves, and Wolf Alice. It quickly became a worldwide sensation, receiving high praise from a number of media outlets, with Rolling Stone hailing it as a “thrilling adventure in music” and the New York Times calling Sawayama a “model musician for the streaming age.” The BBC named SAWAYAMA album of the year, saying that the musician “is a uniquely compelling artist who deserves all the attention she gets.”


    The album was also named Album of the Year by Consequence of Sound, NPR, Paste Magazine, Rough Trade, and Uproxx.


    Comment from Rina Sawayama

    “Ultimately, this album is about family and identity. The theme is about self-understanding in the context of belonging to two different cultures–for me, both British and Japanese. It’s important to find a place where you can be at ease inside–where you can break free of stereotypes and simply be yourself without hiding your flaws.”


    Sawayama was named Vogue Japan’s Woman of the Year 2019 and was the winner of Spotify Japan’s Early Noise 2020 award. The song Chosen Family, featuring Elton John, was used during the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. She is scheduled to perform at Summer Sonic 2022.


    Chosen Family (with Elton John) – Performance and Lyric Video

    SAWAYAMA (Deluxe Edition) -Japan Exclusive Commemorative Edition- includes a 2-CD set containing 27 tracks, including remixes by SEKAI NO OWARI’s global project End of the World, acoustic tracks, and the aforementioned Elton John collaboration track. It also comes with a Blu-ray featuring music videos. On September 2, Sawayama will release her second album Hold The Girl.


    Expectations are high for Rina Sawayama going forward, so keep an eye on this incredible artist!

  • Rina Sawayama’s Releases Live Footage of New Song ‘This Hell’ Performed at Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2022

    02.June.2022 | MUSIC

    Niigata-born singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama recently announced that she would be releasing her long-awaited new album Hold The Girl in September 2022. The artist, based in London, recently performed at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2022, a popular U.K. music festival. Her new track, This Hell, was met with massive fanfare, and those who missed her performance in person can now watch it on YouTube!


    This Hell – Rina Sawayama (Big Weekend 2022): https://youtu.be/42iGscAMjTo 


    Along with the live performance footage, Sawayama has also revealed a lyric video for This Hell. The video is what fans would expect, harnessing the artist’s incredible creativity.


    This Hell – Rina Sawayama (Official Lyric Video): https://youtu.be/yZKThkBA42M


    Rina is scheduled to perform at SUMMER SONIC 2022, which will be held in Tokyo on August 20 and Osaka on August 21.


    The song This Hell is the first to be released under a new partnership between Rina Sawayama’s Dirty Hit label and Universal Music Japan.

  • Rina Sawayama Drops New Track ‘Bad Friend’ Along With Karaoke Video

    17.April.2020 | MUSIC

    Rina Sawayama dropped a new single yesterday entitled Bad Friend which is taken from her new debut album SAWAYAMA which released today.


    In Bad Friend, we hear Rina pour out her emotions via velvety vocals and a smooth beat as she sings about a past friendship. The song is already been played over and over in Japan on SONAR TRAX on J-WAVE and New Fire!! on InterFM897.

    Rina has not been shy in sharing on social media how Bad Friend is a super special one to her. She explains the track was inspired by a best friend she used to have, but she unfortunately ran from that relationship in her early 20’s. She said that anyone can end up being a bad friend, but pondered why.


    Rina Sawayama – Bad Friend (Karaoke Video)

    Rina has also announced a new set of UK and US tour dates, see below and mark your calendars.

  • Rina Sawayama’s ‘Chosen Family’ is a Love Letter to the LGBTQ+ Community

    04.April.2020 | MUSIC

    Rina Sawayama has graced us with yet another track from her forthcoming debut album Sawayama which is set to hit shelves on April 17, 2020.


    Chosen Family is the name of the new song from the singer-songwriter and it dropped on April 3. The penultimate track of her album and the last one she wrote for it, the song comes after Rina asked fans to interpret the meaning behind the song before its official release. She posted the chords and lyrics for it and asked fans to get creative while self-isolating. Rina followed up the track’s release with a video on her YouTube channel showing fans how to play it.

    Chosen Family is produced by PC Music’s Danny L Harle who has worked with artists such as Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX. It also has Jonny Latimer on board, who has co-written tracks with Ellie Goulding and done studio work with Sam Smith.


    The song is an ode to the LGBTQ+ community who Rina considers her chosen family. Speaking about her inspiration for the track, Rina says: “Chosen Family’ is a very special song for me. The concept of a chosen family is, to me, a queer one – people are often kicked out of their homes or ostracized by their family, friends, and community after coming out. This can be an incredibly painful experience that can be remedied by finding a new ‘chosen’ family.”


    She continues: “The chorus lyrics ‘We don’t need to be related to relate, we don’t need to share genes or a surname’ is an invitation for anyone that feels that sense of otherness to find their chosen family, where they can truly be themselves and feel loved. I dedicate this song to my queer friends who I now consider family – it’s essentially a big thank you to them, as I love them so much and I genuinely don’t think I would be alive right now if it weren’t for them.”


    Rina’s popularity continues to grow worldwide, including in Japan. She performed on the MBS television show Jonetsu Tairiku last year. She was also chosen as one of Vogue Japan’s “Women of the Year” for 2019. Her song XS was also included in Spotify Japan’s “Early Noise 2020” list. Her debut album is now available for pre-order.

    Speaking about Sawayama, Rina says: “The album ultimately is about family and identity,” she explains. “It’s about understanding yourself in the context of two opposing cultures (for me British and Japanese), what ‘belonging’ means when home is an evolving concept, figuring out where you sit comfortably within and awkwardly outside of stereotypes, and ultimately trying to be ok with just being you, warts and all.”


    Rina Sawayama as born in Japan. She and her parents moved to the UK when she was 5-years-old. She discovered her love for music and studying in her teens, and went on to study at the University of Cambridge. She began to notice the differences in culture between people of different races, and what exclusion was. Rina carved her own identity from these experiences, tying her Japanese and Western roots together, and evolved into an artist that defines her unique pop style.


    Sawayama will be released on April 17, 2020 via Dirty Hit.