Sakura Rising

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"Sakura Rising"
Single by Wagakki Band with Amy Lee
from the album TOKYO SINGING
Released September 18, 2020
Format Digital download
Recorded February 2020
Length 3:47
Label UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC
Producer Wagakki Band
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General Information

Written by: A. Lee, Machiya (町屋) and Suzuhana Yuko (鈴華ゆう子)

Sakura Rising is a song from Wagakki Band's sixth studio album, Tokyo Singing, featuring Amy Lee which is set to be released on October 14, 2020.[1] It was rumored that it was written and performed exclusively for Wagakki Band's "Premium Symphonic Night Vol.2" concert where Amy performed as a guest. This orchestral concert took place in Osaka, Japan on February 16, 2020.[2] However, the song wasn't performed at the concert and was originally penned for Wagakki Band's new album.

On September 11, 2020, Amy posted the following statement on Facebook:

Vin1.jpg The last time I got on a plane was in February, when Wagakkiband invited me to Osaka to perform with them in a very special concert featuring a full orchestra. For those of you who don’t know their music, they mix traditional Japanese instruments with hard rock to create an epic fusion that is totally unique. Yuko is a fantastic singer and the whole concert was mesmerizing to watch. I joined onstage for a Wagakkiband version of Bring Me To Life, as well as a bit of their song “Senbonzakura” which was my first time singing in Japanese. On the trip, we also wrote a song together that will be on their new album, “TOKYO SINGING,” out 10.24.[3] Vin2.jpg


On the next day, Waggakki Band posted a anime clip containing a 18-second preview of the song teasing a September 18, 2020 release.[4] Amy published a similar clip depicting New York, whereas the first clip depicts Tokyo.[5] On the 14th, a 30-second preview was published on both artists's social media accounts.[6] The lyric video was released on September 18, 2020. Watch it here.

The song was produced and recorded the day before their orchestral show, but it was finished through file sharing due to the coronavirus pandemic.[7]

Amy on the collaboration:[8]

Vin1.jpg Working with Wagakkiband was a completely unique and very special experience for me. They invited me to Osaka to perform with them in a symphonic concert, and while I was there, we thought it would be fun to try and write something together. I really didn’t know what to expect. Even though we speak different languages, and only had a couple of days together, the creativity just flowed and we ended up with a really cool piece of music. After I flew home, Yuko and I began writing each other lyrics back and forth, interpreting and reflecting on each other’s meanings. As the pandemic hit, we wrote about the same experience from two perspectives, and in two languages. The heart of the song is about unity. We are all the same kind- humankind. We have to fight together instead of fighting each other. And though we have been pulled apart, we are still together on a deeper level, in spirit. Vin2.jpg


Suzuhana's comment:

Vin1.jpg In collaboration with Evanescence’s Amy Lee, our new song is finally finished.

About two years ago, Amy watched our concert video and asked us to meet her, so Machiya and I flew to Los Angeles to see her concert in person. At the time, we promised to collaborate someday.

About a year and a half later after her concert, we invited Amy as a special guest to our concert held in Osaka-jo Hall. During Amy’s visit, we were able to go into the studio and finally create the framework of the new song together. After Amy went back to the US, we exchanged emails and data back and forth; and Amy and I had many enthusiastic talks about the lyrics.

Affected by the new coronavirus, we prayed for each other’s safety and always exchanged information about the situation in each country. Then, overcoming the language barrier and time differences between us, this song was finally born.

Because of the equal situation in the world today, we could relate to each other more than ever; and it’s become a song that we could only make now. It’s a sound that WaggakkiBand never had before. Crossing the oceans and wishing for peace together, this song is filled with our desire to be united as one to usher in a new era together.[8]

Vin2.jpg


Machiya's comment:

Vin1.jpg Having the opportunity to collaborate with Amy has finally been realized! Thinking back, it’s been about two years since we first met, so I would say the feeling is closer to, “We finally made it!”. Performing together in February at Osaka-Jo Hall, where we had the chance to create together face-to-face was amazing!

Amy was overflowing with so many different ideas that approached the concept from a different perspective, it was a very meaningful experience to be able to share ideas and spend time together! When we went into the recording studio to work on our concepts, I was overwhelmed by hearing Amy’s vocals in person! Even just her humming, I was like “Wow, how awesome!” you know [laughs].

I was super excited and inspired, and I made sure to give all my energy to this piece of work. I devoted my heart and soul to respond to Amy’s amazing talent and presence. With ideas from Yuko and myself, we put every effort into creating harmony!

I have loved Evanescence ever since modern alternative rock music first came to Japan. It has been a great honor for me to be able to work with Amy on this album, and I am very grateful for this encounter and opportunity![8]

Vin2.jpg


In an interview with Billboard Japan, Amy talked about the song's meaning:

Vin1.jpg This song is about unity, and hope. From opposite sides of the world we face the same problems, and we need to fight together instead of fighting each other.[9] Vin2.jpg


Versions

Studio Versions

Sakura Rising with Amy Lee of EVANESCENCE

  • Recording date: February 2020
  • Status: Released on September 18, 2020
  • Released on: Tokyo Singing (track #5)
  • Length: 3:47

Lyrics

I see you
孤独な部屋で 蔓延する
情報渦に 迷走する
天秤かけて
Nothing can stop what we started

想像は (Your light)
域を超えていく 密接な (Shining from the bright side)
関係は言語道断に (I feel like I'm in endless night)
歯止め効かず
But nothing can stop what we started

混沌の (No lies)
中で争う 葛藤も (We are all the same kind)
善悪じゃない 敗北も (It's time to stand and fight this together)
立ち上がれ今
Nothing can keep us apart

最前線 (This time)
戦う君へ Just sing for you (We're fighting on the front lines)
明日の為 We just sing for you (And even if we can't be together)
時代を刻め
Nothing can keep us apart

SAKURA 咲け 儚げに
涙の空へ
SAKURA 咲け 舞い上がれ
We will find our way again
(ハラヒラリ Find our way again)

双方に (Bright white)
次の一手は 大胆に (I don't want to see you die)
言葉の壁も 細胞に (It feels the same in every language)
刻み込んでく
Nothing can stop what we started

構想は (This time)
2人を繋ぐ 友愛が (Let me into your mind)
世界を変える 存在が (We don't have to stay down forever)
軌道修正
And nothing can keep us apart

SAKURA 咲け 海を越え
(Don't give in, it's not the end) 届けよ 君へ
SAKURA 咲け 舞い上がれ
We will find our way again
ハラヒラリ
(Find our way again)

I will find you again
I will find you again
I will find you again (I see you)

And nothing can keep us apart

References

  1. "The original album "TOKYO SINGING" will be released for the first time in two and a half years on Wednesday, October 14!" (in Japanese). wagakkiband.com. August 15, 2020. https://wagakkiband.com/contents/335153.
  2. "Grammy winning artist Amy Lee from EVANESCENCE will join "Premium Symphonic Night Vol.2 Live & Orchestra ~ in Osaka Castle Hall 2020" as a Special Guest!" (in Japanese). music-lounge.jp. January 27, 2020. http://www.music-lounge.jp/v2/articl/news/detail/?articl=2020%2F01%2F27-13%3A15%3A00_f7a8fb262137eca108b1a4966f98de7b&fbclid=IwAR1E1YSCbdx0xGKrt6iJA_CAq_0nwy1E1lhvgq3ZXzC9pBEFbz3HI3uetwk.
  3. Lee, Amy (September 11, 2020). "The last time I got on a plane was in February...". Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/AmyLeeOfficial/videos/993318584474453/.
  4. "#20200918_from_tokyo". Twitter. September 12, 2020. https://twitter.com/WagakkiBand/status/1304706315575533569.
  5. Lee, Amy (September 12, 2020). "#20200918_from_NewYork". Twitter. https://twitter.com/AmyLeeEV/status/1304815228123836416.
  6. Lee, Amy (September 14, 2020). "#20200918_SakuraRising with @WagakkiBand". Twitter. https://twitter.com/AmyLeeEV/status/1305542786368843777.
  7. "Wagakki Band releases teaser video of new song co-starring Evanescence's Amy Lee" (in Japanese). M!-ON MUSIC. September 17, 2020. https://www.m-on-music.jp/0000432717/.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Wagakki Band and Amy Lee (Evanescence) released a lyric video for their collaboration song "Sakura Rising" co-produced by Japanese and American illustrators" (in Japanese). Spice.eplus.jp. September 18, 2020. https://spice.eplus.jp/articles/275917.
  9. "Japan's Wagakki Band & Evanescence's Amy Lee Sit Down to Talk First Impressions and Collaborating". Billboard. September 29, 2020. https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/international/9457206/japans-wagakki-band-evanescence-amy-lee-interview.