PHOTO CREDITRichard Taylor 



A few weeks ago…


I came across the music of Sakura and was compelled to pin her down to an interview. She has provided the time to talk about December – her stunning track released late last year. The songwriter talks about her Asian roots and the music she holds dear; what she has planned in terms of future material – how London, and its pace, affects her songwriting and drive.

Sakura tells me about future gigs and whether women get an equal shot in the music industry; some new artists to look out for; how she unwinds away from music; why Jeff Buckley is an influence – she ends the interview with a pretty hot song selection.


Hi, Sakura. How are you? How has your week been?

Hey, Sam! I’m doing great. It’s been a busy week; so I'm glad it’s Friday!

For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?

I’m Sakura. I’m a twenty-year-old Japanese/Chinese musician, based here in London. I love all things art and try and incorporate that within my artistry and my music. I try to be authentic and as genuine as possible with my songs - and I hope that comes across!

The track, December, was released last November. It got quite a big reaction! Were you surprised by the feedback it got?

I was! It’s always great when your music reaches people and it was just a little acoustic Christmas song that I put together with I was surprised, for sure.

What inspired you to write that song? Does it hold personal relevance to you?

We finished the whole production and music video for that song in less than a month - it was a really spontaneous decision!

I wrote the song because everywhere I went in London, I would see street sleepers in the cold and it really made me sad to know that so many people were out there, during what’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year. So; I decided to release a Christmas song and donate half of the proceeds to a charity working with street sleepers. It was so great that so many people got involved to help me create this vision that I had!

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PHOTO CREDITRichard Taylor 

What can we expect in terms of future material? What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on a four-track E.P. titled Roots. It’s quite a big jump from the music I’ve previously released, so I’m quite excited to see what everyone thinks when it’s out! It’s a little heavier and moodier than Evolve and December but I don't want to give too much away!

Fairly recently, it was International Women’s Day. Do you think women in music get the respect and parity they deserve?!

I think there’s a huge new wave of kick-ass female musicians in the Indie scene that’s really inspiring and are representing the diversity and lack of women in the music industry. It’s a step in the right direction!

You have Japanese and Chinese blood – born and raised in Hong Kong. How important is your Asian background in regards your style and musicianship?

It’s played a huge part in my development as a person, let alone music. It really motivates me to know that I am representing women of colour every time I pick up a guitar and play.

How different do you find London and the people? Do you take a lot of inspiration from the city?

It’s pretty different here. Haha! But, I feel like London is a melting pot for creatives and that’s definitely worth the move. There are so many gigs going on every day of the week here and it’s so easy to meet musicians too - there are also so many great talents that inspire and push you to work hard.

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PHOTO CREDITRichard Taylor 

I hear shades of Jeff Buckley in your music. Which artists did you listen to growing up?

Jeff Buckley was definitely a huge influence on my songwriting and lyricism! I really admire his musicality and the way he uses his voice as an instrument. Other favourites from growing up are Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman and, probably, John Mayer. I’ve learnt a lot about songwriting from John Mayer!

What do you hope to achieve in 2018?

I want to get everything ready for my E.P. release in early-2019 and I'm also really buzzed to start gigging with a full band in London!

Can we catch you perform anytime soon? What dates do you have coming up?

I’m heading on a solo adventure to Bali for a month to recharge myself and my creativity but, the night before that, I’ll be playing at the open mic that I host at The Monarch in Camden! It’ll be on April 9th and it’s on bi-monthly. ‘Open Mind Open Mic’ on Facebook for anyone that wants to come down and share their art with us!

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Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?

My favourite memories would probably be my first few weeks in London, playing open mic nights and gigs, meeting loads of amazing people; being exposed to so much live music and getting to develop a lot as an artist.

Or the release of my debut single, Evolve! The video shoot for that was a lot of fun. We went out to Surrey and spent a day in a beautiful park with the best crew!

What advice would you give to new artists coming through?

Be your most authentic self.


IN THIS PHOTO: Joe Traxler/PHOTO CREDIT: Clemens Neumeister

Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

There are so many amazing artists here in London, but a few that come to mind first are Joe Traxler, Julian LeBen and Chris Reardon.


IN THIS PHOTO: Julian LeBen/PHOTO CREDITSamantha Jane Photography

Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?

I love travelling so, every few months, I end up escaping London for a bit and doing some exploring!

Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).

I’ve fallen in love with a song by Japanese Breakfast called Boyish - so I think I’ll choose that! Thanks so much, Sam, for all these great questions, and for having me on Music Musings and Such


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