From aspiring drummer to established musician, at 31, Keina Suda is making waves with his self-composed tracks and versatility within music genres. His most recently participated in the opening of the Japanese animation Tsukimichi -Moonlight Fantasy Season 2. “Utopia,” released January 8, put Suda in the eyes of the world with his lyricism and creativity as a composer. 

In a recent email interview, EnVi spoke with the Japanese artist who discussed his creative process, the story behind “Utopia,” and his most recent project “April.”

The Beginning Of Keina Suda

For most rising artists, finding their tone and color in music can be quite the challenge. As setbacks happen in life, they tend to find ways to grow and create their own opportunities. They open doors to a world of successes and the possibility to make something new. For Keina Suda, this is a reality. Over 13 years in the music industry have shaped him into the artist he is today. After only making melodies and working for other artists, in 2017, Suda decided to start incorporating lyrics into his music, which is now a key element in his work. “I value melody and lyrics above all else,” he explained. 

When it comes to his work, the self-proclaimed creator of the “ultimate bedroom pop music” is making a statement of himself as both an artist and a person. “Music can reflect 100% of the scenery in your mind,” he wrote. Suda himself is in charge of every part of the production process, from lyrics and composition to the very release, as music has become a way to reflect what’s on his mind. For him, the boundaries that could hold the creative process are not important. “One of the advantages is that you can complement the scenery with sounds and rhythms.”

In the process of finding his voice and messages he wants to convey, Suda doesn’t shy away from experimenting with music, branching out to find what fits his objective better. “I think I spent a great deal of time just searching for my favorite sounds and melodic habits,” he explained. When asked about the process behind the arrangements, he said, “I often start by creating a rough draft with just vocals and guitar before working on the track.” He continued, “I find that following this process helps to highlight the power of melody and lyrics.” 

Creating “Utopia”

After working on his solo music, developing his sounds, and getting more experience in the industry, it was in 2023 that Suda got the opportunity to create the opening for the second season of Tsukimichi -Moonlight Fantasy-, a story about a boy who finds himself in an alternative universe looking to understand his new powers and purpose, surrounded by gods, dragons, and more non-human creatures. For the opening, Suda’s vision bleeds into the bittersweet lyrics. He explained, “Even if someone arrives at the utopia that they envision, once they get used to the environment, they will seek a new utopia, and eventually, it turns into a dystopia.”

For musicians, taking inspiration from different sources is key to creating music. When it comes to projects like these that reflect a story, it’s important to keep in mind the characters they represent. For Suda, the character that best embodied his idea was the angel. “There’s a main character, an angel, whose space represents the utopia in this work,” he expressed. “She embodies the idea of being in a world without dissatisfaction yet yearning for the outside world. That aspect was expressed through her character.” This is represented in the music video of the song, where the angels’ perfect world slowly breaks down. 

“Utopia” solidifies Suda as a versatile artist, as the upbeat track with its energetic melodies explores different styles and genres — a feat that Suda celebrates in his music. “While I make music in a variety of genres, I pack every song with catchy elements,” he explained. For this song, he took a different approach to his usual work to create something different. “Compared to the other pieces, this song is very simple and straightforward. Rather than a technical approach, the music strongly reflects the passion of each musician,”he said. 

Now with two full-length albums and over a million monthly listeners on Spotify, Suda’s hunger for more persists. Much like the characters of the animation, he has also pondered what his Utopia would be, with music at the backbone of it all. “It would be a world where music becomes even more integrated into daily life than it is now,” he confessed. Continuing on, Suda shared his thoughts on how he believes music could make a difference in his country.“In Japan, there are many people who don’t even listen to music in the first place. It would make me happy if people could easily immerse themselves in the existence of music,” he explained.

A New Journey Begins

Starting the year with these new projects, it’s safe to say there’s more to expect from Suda. He has a long way to go in his journey as a musician, and 2024 looks promising for him. With his purpose clear, he feels listeners can expect a lot from him beyond his normal limits. “I want to make music that is more expansive, that transcends age and language barriers. I’d also like to collaborate with other musicians.”

The message of pushing his limits and aiming for more solidified when his latest single “April” released on March 29th. The single emphasizes the already cemented sound of the artist. As for his fans, the singer couldn’t help but express how grateful he was, sharing a warm message to his international fanbase. “Thank you very much for reading! I released a new song “April” on March 29. It’s a song about encounters and partings. I hope you’ll listen to it a lot. Someday, I’ll visit your country for a live performance,” he finished.

If you want to know more about Keina Suda make sure to check out his latest releases, here!

Want to learn more about new artists? check out EnVi’s latest Artist Spotlight with Jen Mana, here!