The music of Japan is rich in diversity – a diversity that has never quite extended to country or bluegrass. Yet slowly, that is all starting to change. In Chiba, just east of Tokyo, a talented young singer named Zoi has been developing a likeable style of soft, acoustic country with a blue grass flavour and subtle Norah Jones-like jazz influences.
Zoi (pronounced ‘Zowie’) was born into a musical family, with both her parents accomplished musicians. Zoi inherited her beautiful voice from her mother, who used to sing Japanese folk music, and is also an accomplished Shakuhachi (Japanese flute) player. Her father played the Shamisen, a three-stringed instrument, whilst one of her brothers is a professional Taiko drummer.
Zoi’s mother was her first musical influence, recognising her daughter’s raw talent and encouraging her to sing at every opportunity. Zoi has been developing her singing voice since she was a girl, and as a child learnt to play the electric organ, yet it’s only in the last three years that she began her love affair with the acoustic guitar. She began to listen to Lean Rimes, the Dixie Chicks and Norah Jones – and started to develop a similar style, developing a likeable acoustic guitar sound to compliment her appealing vocals.
Another major influence on Zoi’s sound are the magical songs that are found in the Japananimation films of Studio Ghibli (‘Spirited Away’, ‘Porco Rosso’ etc). Zoi covers some of these in her set.
In late 2011, Zoi moved to Australia, and is now residing in Canberra. She has formed an acoustic duo with Canberra’s Damian Spencer. They have put together a set of originals and select covers. The key ingredient to every song is Zoi’s alluring and golden voice. Zoi & Damian's debut CD 'Puzzle Pieces' was released on 1 February, 2013.
Zoi is managed exclusively by Cowboy Col Music Management (ph) 0407 435 077 or email email@example.com