Can I sound off for a second about how one of my favorite musicians ever is obsessed with French History, particularly the French Revolution?
Kamijo is a
sexually ambiguous Japanese singer (and producer!) who is all about visual kei (‘visual style’, an aesthetic and subcultural movement that tends to involve androgynous looks elaborate costumes paired along with music, usually some form of rock music…also there’s a trend toward homoeroticism as well as crossdressing). He’s pretty into historical-inspired fashion, vampires, and French history (particularly the 18th century).
He was the lead singer in a visual kei rock band called Lareine beginning during the mid-90s.
(music video of their song 'Fiancailles')
They called themselves Lareine because of Marie Antoinette. Another Frev connection— they did a cover of the intro to Riyoko Ikeda’s anime Rose of Versailles, ‘bara wa utsukushiku chiru’, and she ever drew the cover art for the single. Also Kamijo looks like Oscar.
Later in the 2000s Kamijo co-founded a visual kei symphonic metal band called Versailles. He became the leader singer for Versailles. They were all about vampires and aristocrats and well Versailles.
(link to the music video for their song ‘Ascendead Master’)
(yes they’re all men)
THEY. WERE. CALLED. VERSAILLES. Many of their costumes were inspired by rococo stylings. I mean obviously there are twists and lovely exaggerations, but there is definite inspiration going on there.
Anyway these days Kamijo is solo, and his first solo single was called Louis. Initially I thought the name was inspired by Lestat and Louis since Kamijo is all into vampires and Interview with the Vampire. But it’s more than that!
He literally means Louis XVII.
In the music video there are paintings of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVII.
(the music video to Louis)
Kamijo is playing Louis XVII. The story is that he survived the French Revolution as A VAMPIRE.
Kamijo said in an interview:
What is the new single about? Could you please tell us more about the stories behind Louis and Grazioso?
KAMIJO: The story is based on my idea of what if there was an immortal vampire during the French Revolution and he actually had contact with Louis XVII, who was held captive at the Tour du Temple (The Paris Temple).
Is Louis part of a large, ongoing story like your previous releases? If so, could you please describe it for our readers?
KAMIJO: Yes, that’s exactly how it is. Louis is only part of an altered history. This is the beginning of a grand vampire chronicle that will tweak human history to a rosy tint.
Also Kamijo’s wish in life
If you could go back in time, where and when would you like to go and what would you do there?
KAMIJO: I would go back in time to save Louis XVII who was imprisoned during the French revolution. (source)
Fun fact: in this storyline Louis/Kamijo has a friend named Ludwig (who is basically Beethoven) who is saves Louis/Kamijo from execution and teaches him about music. All of this storyline is told in a 7-piece movement that was put together as a mini-movie vampire-story thingy called Symphony of the Vampire.
(sidenote they touch hands in the video and basically somehow Kamijo has made Louis XVII and Beethoven kinda gay vampires because why not)
One more thing: one of his latest solo singles includes a song called Bastille. From an interview:
KAMIJO: “BASTILLE” is an intense song. When I say “Destroy,” you say “BASTILLE” at live shows.
(link to the song)
I. Am. Done.
Can I be there for that?!?! I saw Versailles live once during 2008. But I like need to see Kamijo solo because he connects so much with my interests oh my gosh. There’s gay, and there’s French Revolution. I’ve also been a massive fan of visual kei for years now.
Now if only Kamijo could become aware of Saint-Just’s existence.
To conclude I leave you with this image I found on Google: