ILU GRACE was formed in 2010 by singer, songwriter and arranger Ayane, and drummer and rhythm maker Kazu. The pair met each other in Tokyo, and found out to their surprise that both of them hail from Miyazaki prefecture. Since teaming up, they have been pursuing their own original musicality rooted in overseas R&B. Ayane’s high-impact yet delicate voice mixes beautifully with ILU GRACE’s emotional melodies, producing a colourful and dynamic range of sounds.
Ayane was born in Miyazaki, and grew up listening to a variety of music under the influence of her guitarist father. At 8 years old, she decided to become a singer and started writing her own songs by her teens. After moving to Tokyo for university, she began performing her first live shows. Here she met Clyde Williams Jr., who broadened her musical perspective by introducing her to R&B and soul music.
Kazu was born in Los Angeles and raised in Miyazaki. He is the son of a protestant pastor, and was influenced throughout his childhood by Afro-Caribbean gospel music and hymns. From 8 years old he began to play the piano, and at 13 he started playing the drums under Cecil Monroe, Scott Latham and Hideo Yamaki. Even nowadays he regularly plays drums at Faith Christian Fellowship, an Afro-Caribbean church at a US air base in Tokyo.
To date, ILU GRACE has released two albums, Sun’s Egg and Unreality, performed at Japan Expo USA and has even opened for iconic R&B superstar Crystal Kay. If you’re keen for a taste of the new generation music scene in Japan right now, come along and check out ILU GRACE’s distinctive R&B and pop-inspired tunes on our HYPER Live Stage on Friday!
Click the video below for your recommended daily dose of R&B goodness: