Esprit D’Air’s Kai discusses upcoming UK shows, creative inspirations and more

By Dom Smith
By February 13, 2023 Features, Interviews, News, York

Today, we chat with Kai from Esprit D’Air about the band’s forthcoming UK shows, creative inspirations, and MUCH more…

S] How are you doing today?

I am doing great! Really excited about the upcoming UK tour.

S] How important is the visual aspect of what you do? 

I see art in both the music and the visuals, so doing both in Esprit D’Air is very fulfilling. Whether you like it or not, people see you before they hear you, and first impressions count, from your style choices to the artwork you create. Not to say the visuals are more important than the music at all, but I would say they are almost just as important, really!

S] How do you define success as a person, and as a performer?

Success is a huge word, but I think it’s important to define your own success. It is a relative thing. I would always say, do not compare yourself with other artists, but compare yourself and the journey you have been on to constantly self-improve. Success is never ‘final’ to me, but a process.

S] What is the legacy that you’d like to leave as a musician?

I want to create art that lasts and I would like to think I am pioneering something. To be in the Official UK Charts with a non-English album without a record label or management is something that should be celebrated. My teacher told me music would be too hard for me; a record label told me Japanese bands can only be successful if we sing in English; and my dad said I would never get anywhere in life playing guitar. I guess what I am saying is… I want to make history in some way, to break the mold, and show that artists can ‘make it’ in their own terms just by being themselves without compromise or fear.

S] How are you looking forward to the coming UK shows?

I am very much looking forward to it. Almost every single show is sold out, and the crazy thing is that the tour was self-promoted. I don’t do managers, labels, booking agencies, or promoters. It has worked so far for me doing it on my own, from booking the venues, to designing the posters, and getting it out there to the world. It’s really going to sink in when I am finally on the road that the thing that I have planned for months is finally happening.

S] How do you look back at the success of ‘Constellations’ as a record now?

Constellations was something I was really proud of. At the time, I did not think I could top what I did, but that was my impostor syndrome denying that from me. The album won ‘Best Metal Album’ at the Independent Music Awards, judged by Slayer, Sepultura, and Amy Lee from Evanescence, so that is something that I am definitely proud of.

S] ‘Oceans’ has been well-received globally too, what does that record mean to you?

A great big deal! It took me 3-4 years to finish it because the progress of the album was lost due to the theft of my laptop in 2019. I went through a lot of depression with both mental and physical health issues, especially during lockdown. However, I worked my hardest and set a goal to release a song every six weeks in 2021 until the album was complete, and that’s exactly what I did. I did not expect it to stay in the Official UK Charts for several weeks in 2022, but it did! That’s insane. We must have sold thousands last year.

S] What is your message for your UK fans? 

Firstly, thank you for all the incredible support you have given me across the UK. We really can’t wait to see you in Cardiff, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, and London. We’re expecting at least most of the shows to sell out soon, so come see us and get your tickets early!

S] Is there anything you’d like to plug in and promote that I might have missed? 

Yeah! We’re working on dropping a new single this Friday, 10th February called 雫 (‘Shizuku’) feat. Misstiq. It is accompanied by a cinematic animated music video where I am drawn as a ‘hero’ with a sword and motorcycle! It’s going to rock, haha.

S] Thanks so much for your time!

Thank you, too!