Meet Rina Sawayama, the Japan-born, British singer/songwriter heralded as the UK’s latest pop tour de force. So much so that her debut album has earned her top billing on Sir Elton John’s 2020 playlist.
We caught up with the rising star in London, just days before her 30th birthday, for her first Australian shoot as part of the next instalment of our Aje Insider series featuring Spring Summer 20’s ‘Impermanence’ collection.
A passionate storyteller and advocate for many of this year’s most pressing social movements, Rina’s music is shaped by her early experiences of cultural stereotyping and systemic racism. In short, Rina’s personal journey to the recording studio is as unique as her sound. After moving to Britain from Japan at the tender age of five, she majored in psychology, sociology and politics at Cambridge University, before setting her sights on song. Now, firmly walking to her own beat, the singer’s self-titled album SAWAYAMA is a wild collision of genre, blending electro-pop, opera, house music, nu-metal and R&B, while her lyrics spotlight autobiographical struggles with identity, diversity and equality. No wonder she’s The Rocket Man’s vote for 2020 album of the year.
Rina's debut album SAWAYAMA is out now.