Shihori is an artist who started out life with what many perceived as challenges. She was born deaf in her left ear and it was later discovered that she also had a form of dwarfism and Asperger’s. Her family and those around her sought to correct these things but because of the unique combination of the Asperger’s and partial deafness, Shihori was largely unaware of these things as problems. What she called her “half-silent world” helped her develop her creativity and her extraordinary singing voice.
Many may not know this and it’s quite complicated, but the left ear is generally considered to be the “conversational” ear while the right is the “musical ear.” Since Shihori only ever heard out of her right ear, she only say the things people were saying to her as music.
Despite having to learn how to converse and how others heard, “I never hated my hearing in my life,” says Shihori, “because I love the sound of silence on my left side which always helps my creation. I have rather considered my deafness as a ‘gift’ and the other ear is a ‘gift’ as well because my right ear has a perfect pitch by nature.”
Shihori never fully understood why people saw her hearing and other differences as a problem. She pushed forward with her talent anyway and released a number of breathtaking singles in Japan to wide acclaim. Her song “TSUBASA” became the ending theme song of the anime Kishin Taiwan Gigantic Formula. She also has dozens of charted hits in Japan, she’s been Gold Disc Certified and worked with multiple top-notch producers both writing and singing.
In Japan, Shihori’s style was a combination of opera-style vocals, pop and musicals. She sings with a strength and freedom while maintaining perfect pitch that doesn’t often shine through in pop music. Unfortunately in Japan’s rigid society, she never felt fully accepted and the rigidity of the record label she worked with was fraught with control and even violence, resulting in her being kidnapped. She managed to break free and eventually move to New York City where she lives now and says she finally found the diversity and inspiration she’d been craving her whole life.
“I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, ‘oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn’t know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas…I am so happy to be surrounded by colorful people!”
Shihori’s singles since moving to the US are much more EDM-based but still with that operatic flare and her pitch-perfect vocals. For her latest single “Perfect Imperfection,” she teamed up with well-known EDM and pop producer to create a bold, beautiful future bass-style pop single. With both lyrics and music, Shihori expresses the culmination of everything she’s come to know about her journey and the amazing differences between human beings that don’t make them flawed but even more perfect.
Shihori is definitely an artist to pay attention to, not just because of her extraordinary talent and life but because of her positive attitude and incredible ability to not let anything stand in the way of her dreams. Her “Perfect Imperfection” helped her get here and hopefully she’ll help even more people realize that a difference can be a superpower.
“Perfect Imperfection” is available to pre-save or pre-order on a number of platforms by clicking here. It is also already available on her Bandcamp page with another single “Wonderful World.” All proceeds from Bandcamp sales will go to the Joyful Heart Foundation, which helps victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.