- Season 1
- April 2016
She creates music with the intention of giving hope to others. Her visceral songs are written to console, but also to uplift her audience with lyrical messages that connect all of us through our shared struggles in this tumultuous world of constant conflict.
MASUMI’s sound echoes recent contemporaries like Ingrid Michaelson, Priscilla Ahn, and Tristan Prettyman, but is set apart by her soulful contralto voice, which is more reminiscent of India.Arie or Lauryn Hill, adding a sense of realness that draws listeners in and truly communicates the emotion behind her songs.
A child of both the United States and Japan, with band members from Brazil and Mexico, MASUMI melds the unique contributions of a talented and collaborative band with her deeply personal songs. The diversity in her music reflects her own life experience, growing up between Japan and the United States. Originally born in Palos Verdes, California, MASUMI moved to Japan when she was five years old, then moved back and forth to the U.S. living in New York, Washington, D.C. and Texas, and returned again to Japan for college where she studied Psychology and Anthropology at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan.
MASUMI’s life redirected towards music in 2011 when she personally experienced the devastating 2011 Tohoku Earthquake that shook her home country of Japan. She felt the 9.0 magnitude tremors while trapped in an underground cafe in Tokyo and watched on Japanese television as the subsequent tsunami washed away homes and lives in the Sendai region. The emotion of the experience brought MASUMI a clarity of mind and heart, and inspired her to pursue the art that made her feel alive. Driven by her passion to sing, she moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in Los Angeles College of Music.
While At LACM, MASUMI began to collaborate with various musicians including the Swedish singer-songwriter Mona Najib and developed a songwriting collaboration called BLOOM. Their debut EP was produced and recorded by GRAMMY Award-winning producer and engineer J.J. Blair and renowned vocalist and producer Dorian Holley, who has worked with Michael Jackson, performed on The Tonight Show and served as a vocal coach for American Idol. BLOOM toured Sweden in 2014 to promote the EP, which was released the same year. MASUMI also met Swedish independent band Melpo Mene while living in Los Angeles and began performing and recording with the band, whose music now tops international music charts and has been featured in film and television projects.
In 2014, MASUMI also toured in Japan performing her own music with band members Bruno Justi and Diego Ruvalcaba. The tour included the support of GRAMMY-nominated artist Nathan East. After the tour, MASUMI returned to California to perform at the 2015 NAMM Show, where she opened for the keynote speech by Moby. She has spent the remainder of 2015 recording her 2nd EP, which will release in 2016.