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Hideto Takarai (寶 井 秀 人, Takarai Hideto ?, January 29, 1969 in Wakayama, Japan), known until the beginning of 2002 only as Hyde , is a Japanese musician. He is best known for being the lead singer of the j-rock band L’Arc ~ en ~ Ciel since their group in 1991, as well as forming VAMPS and owning a solo career since 2001.
Hyde is characterized by the different tones of voice that he uses in the interpretation of his songs, going from serious tones to extremely high pitches with the same ease, characterized by recurrent use of the falsetto technique in many of his interpretations, one of the most remarkable is “Secret letters” from his solo album “Roentgen”, due to the almost instantaneous change between low and high tones, being one of the personal hallmarks that have led him to be known in the West.
He has always kept his personal data secret, to the extent that he did not even include his real name on the official page of L’Arc ~ en ~ Ciel, but in spite of that many aspects of his private life are known by the different interviews he has given. This way of acting claims to have imitated her from one of her musical idols, BAKI, vocalist of the missing Japanese band Gastunk. It does not bother him that they know his personal data, but he prefers to keep them anonymous because otherwise he thinks that the fans would lose curiosity about his person, besides that with it, he can preserve his privacy and that of his relatives. he has managed to remain anonymous, but that curiosity has increased more than he has been talking about, making various media broadcast more information about him over the years. In spite of the fact that in numerous media the name of Hideto Takarai and date of birth are attributed to him January 29, 1969, these were never provided by the artist directly, until the date of publication of his autobiography, on the day of his birthday ( revealing the actual date), in 2012.
He is an only child and his parents owned an establishment (probably a restaurant) in Osaka. It is said that they always wanted to have a girl so they often used to treat him as such. As a teenager he combined studies with temporary jobs, as a dependent in a burger joint or giving drum lessons even without knowing how to play especially well. He is a very good drawer, so he entered the art school, although it is not known if he graduated or left. During those years music occupied a second place in his life, it was just a hobby.
Around the age of 20 he formed a band called Jersalem’s Rod, where he occupied the position of guitarist. Shortly after, Tetsu (leader and bassist of L’Arc ~ en ~ Ciel) saw him play in a pub in Osaka, their hometown, and was very surprised by his voice. That night Hyde had to replace the sick vocal of his group. Every night Tetsu approached him at the end of his performance, tried to join Laruku as a vocalist, to which he answered being a vocalist is the most boring part of a band.
He finally accepted, although he continues to say that Tetsu seemed a stalker in those days., becoming not only the voice of the group but the main lyricist and active composer, as well as over the years being a renowned musician inside and outside of country, collaborating and producing other artists as well as starting his solo career.
After having released 9 albums together with L’Arc ~ en ~ Ciel, take advantage of the rest they give themselves as a band to start a solo career. It is at the end of 2001 when the single “evergreen” is released to the Japanese market, surprising all its fans by the radical change of style. Accustomed to Laruku’s vibrant rock songs, the sound of this and the next two singles that would make up his first album ROENTGEN is called melodic and acoustic, bringing many of his songs to jazz.
After this, in 2003, Gackt, a famous Japanese actor and musician, offered to play the role of Kei in the movie Moon Child, and as he had done years before with Tetsu, he refused saying this time that his was not the interpretation but music. After insisting, Hyde agrees to shoot some scenes to know if in fact he would be able to act in a movie. Satisfied with the result, he finally stars with Gackt and performs a duet with him in the song «Orenji no taiyou», only included in his partner’s discography.
During that year he also works on his second solo album, titled 666. This one is completely different from the previous one, formed by rock songs for which the singer relies on two more musicians: Hiroki (bass) and Furuton (drums) , who accompany him on his first solo tour HYDE 「2004 FIRST TOUR 666」. This disc counted on two singles: “HELLO” (where it counted on the collaboration of the guitarist KAZ, that later it would be united to its band) and “HORIZON”.
Shortly before the release of this album he returned to be part of the cast of a film, this time it was Kagen no Tsuki (Last Quarter), based on the manga of the same name by the author Ai Yazawa. His role is that of Adam, a British musician who has in his discography the song “THE CAPE OF STORMS” (included in ROENTGEN and later on the soundtrack of the film in two versions: piano and acoustic guitar.
Only a year later, HYDE went back to working with Ai Yazawa, this time as a musician. In 2005 another of the manga of the author (NANA) was released on the big screen, and Mika Nakashima (singer and actress of the main role in this film) would release a single under the name of «GLAMOROUS SKY». The composer of this song was HYDE, being the first time he composed for another artist.
On the 29th, 30th and 31st of that same year, HYDE organizes three concerts at CLUB CITTA, an event called HALLOWEEN OF THE LIVING DEAD where he himself would perform with other artists: OLIVIA, HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR, UVERworld, MONORAL ( who attended the three nights and were under production) and as special guests Yasu (vocalist of Janne Da Arc) and Mika Nakashima, in addition to acting together as JACK O-LANTERN doing covers.
After dedicating two years to L’Arc ~ en ~ Ciel he returns with the singles «COUNTDOWN» and «SEASON’S CALL» (opening of the anime BLOOD +), and finally his third album FAITH, in which half of the compositions they are from KAZ He joins the other supporting musicians, Jin Saito (arrangements and production) and HYDE on a tour throughout Japan, with the addition of four more concerts in the United States. This tour comes to an end with the show at the Yokohama Arena in Japan, where its DVD FAITH LIVE was released for the month of November.
At the end of 2007 the return to the soloist stages was announced on his website after a year dedicated to the band L’Arc ~ en ~ Ciel, but this time in the form of a new band called VAMPS.
On March 18, 2009, a compilation album called HYDE BEST ALBUM is released in Japan, with several of its hits including an English version of the song “GLAMOROUS SKY”.
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