Japanese vocal artist moved to New York in 2018 and found herself in love with the diversity of culture but soon came in contact with the struggles and discourse that are often a result of that diversity. Now living in one of the hotbeds of COVID with limited access to studio time and the creative outlets that normally make her happy, Shihori is as determined as ever to always take the higher ground and she does so beautifully with her new single, “Soul Trip.”
Even before she moved to the United States, Shihori’s life was fraught with hardship. Overcoming multiple disabilites, bullying because of said disabilities and the brutal abuse intrinsic in the Japanese pop music machine, Shihori learned early on that the best way to fight is oftentimes to let go. She now applies this philosophy liberally in her life in New York City and in her new single, she advises others to do the same.
With an uplifting and soulful musical backing produced by Killian Cruiser, “Soul Trip” is a trap hip hop song bordering on trip hop at the core of its beat. For this unique backing track, Shihori has done an amazing job of adapting the bombastic, Celine Dion-like sound she belted out in her last single “Perfect Imperfection” to a softer and more subtle nu soul or jazz sound. There’s also a bit of pop there in the halting way she almost speaks her vocals in the introductory verse. During the future bass-backed chorus, listeners are still treated to a more measured version of that belter of a voice.
Music theory buffs will notice even more vocal styles used by Shihori in this song but just as important are the lyrics. Shihori has admitted that another struggle she’s faced in the new iteration of her music career is writing songs in English, which makes the point of “Soul Trip” even more poignant. Not just about letting go when there are obstacles, “Soul Trip” counsels listeners to take care of their souls, find a higher vibration and “seek the lighter side” in her own words. She certainly found it with these lyrics, and most listeners would never know Shihori wasn’t a native or fluent English speaker. She certainly proved herself right.
Shihori sees “Soul Trip” as a donation of freedom to her fans in lockdown. We may not be able to travel much or even at all in some cases, but as long as we have our mental freedom, we can always take a “Soul Trip.”
“Soul Trip” is out now and can be streamed with Shihori’s other breathtaking songs on Spotify.