Kishi Bashi is the pseudonym of singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Kaoru Ishibashi. Born in Seattle, Washington, Ishibashi grew up in Norfolk, Virginia where both of his parents were professors at Old Dominion University. As a 1994 graduate of Matthew Fontaine Maury High School, he went on to study film scoring at Berklee College of Music before becoming a renowned violinist. Ishibashi has recorded and toured internationally as a violinist with diverse artists such as Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and most recently, the Athens, Georgia-based indie rock band, of Montreal. He remains based in Athens.
Kishi Bashi is also the singer and founding member of the New York electronic rock outfit, Jupiter One. In 2011, he started to record and perform as a solo artist, opening for Sondre Lerche, Alexi Murdoch, and of Montreal. He supported of Montreal on their spring 2012 tour.
Shortly after Ishibashi debuted his full-length solo album “151a” on Indianapolis label Joyful Noise Recordings, NPR All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen listed Kishi Bashi as his favorite new artist of 2012 noting that he created “a radiant, uplifting soundscape” with songs such as “Bright Whites.”
Kishi Bashi has since been invited to play in major festivals such as SXSW and Austin City Limits and gone on an extensive US tour with supporting acts such as The Last Bison (from his native Hampton Roads, Virginia). In early 2013, Kishi Bashi held a North American tour across the United States and Canada, continuing in EU and UK in spring 2013.
In 2014 Kishi Bashi released his own line of coffee through Jittery Joe’s called Royal Daark Blend. Each purchase comes with an exclusive song download. 2016 saw Kishi Bashi release his new album ”Sonderlust” live on NPR’s All Songs Considered.
His latest album, Omoiyari (a Japanese word for the idea of creating compassion toward other people by thinking about them), was released in 2019. He is currently co-directing a feature length documentary of the same name about minority identity and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans in WWII.
In 2020 Kishi Bashi scored the entire soundtrack for the touching Apple TV+ kids show “Stillwater” with composer Toby Chu, and released it as an album featuring 18 tracks of uplifting orchestral tunes.
His new Emigrant EP, a very special companion piece to ‘Omoiyari’ is out physically and digitally now. Arranged and recorded over the last year, ‘Emigrant EP’ serves as a time capsule of the 2020 condition and a continuation of the concepts explored in ‘Omoiyari’.
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