Toshikazu Maruno (Singer / Songwriter)
Born October, 14, 1969 (in Kagoshima Prefecture)
Smooth, heartrending, and strong. Toshikazu Maruno’s voice reverberates in one’s heart. He creates musical works and holds performances under the theme of love and hope that overflows in everyday life. With special fondness for music since childhood, Toshikazu spent his days singing whenever he was in the mood. However when he was 14 years old, he got his first guitar and started up a band. It was at this time that Toshikazu chose a musical path. In the autumn of his 15th year, Toshikazu sang on the stage during his junior high school cultural festival, and decided to move to Tokyo to pursue a career in music.
After moving to Tokyo in the spring of 1988, Toshikazu spent the next 8 years as the vocalist in a band, which mainly played in-house live performances.
The experience gained during this time served as the foundation to become a vocalist and songwriter.
However, the band broke up in 1995, after which Toshikazu began working as a solo artist, giving live performances. From then on, Toshikazu’s live performance style was to sing solo, accompanied by his lone acoustic guitar.
In January 1998, Toshikazu released his acoustic album, IN THE NAME OF LOVE, featuring his acoustic guitar. This album contains “Melody mo Uta mo nai Love Song” (“A love song without a melody or poem”) which was awarded the monthly grand prize in the radio show “Music Challenger” by NACK5 FM radio station in December 1998.
As a result, Toshikazu’s activities widened, leading to deeper exchanges with many local people, including those that contribute to society, mainly in the Kanto area. In August 2000, Toshikazu was honored to compose the image song for “New Generation Countdown Concert” sponsored by Saitama Prefecture.
Toshikazu produced a new CD which included the song, “Power of the Future,” which expresses his feelings of children who carry the future.
The CD was released in October, and he appeared in many countdown events and the activities continued into 2001. However, since 2002 Toshikazu took a break from activities, even though he continued with his creations.
In August 2008, overcoming grief from the loss of his father and with many twists and turns, Toshikazu announced a mini album, STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN, which contains five songs about thoughts of his hometown and the bonds of family.
After releasing the album, Toshikazu once again began his activities from Kagoshima and into the world.
In March 2010, Toshikazu’s beloved mother passed away. With the dying wish of his parents in his heart, Toshikazu once again began activities to express himself through music.
In October 2010, Toshikazu returned to his alma mater Ijuin Junior High School and performed “Talk & Live.” At that occasion, he sang “Good Luck” which was inspired by the students, and presented each student with a copy of the CD.
In December 2010, Toshikazu was commissioned to produce the cheering song “Victory Road” for Hokkaido Japan Ham Fighters’ (current as of 2014) pitcher, Hiroshi Kisanuki, from the same town.
In 2011, along with the sale of a photo album of sumo yokozuna Sho Hakuho photos, Hokuho’s cheering song, “Power of the Future” was chosen for the Hokoho Photo Project.
In October 2011 continued from the previous year, Toshikazu performed “Talk & Live” at his alma mater, Ijuin Junior High School.
In the summer of 2012, Toshikazu wrote the song “Kimimachi Zaka” with lyrics by Singer Songwriter Toshiro Takaba, ocarina flute instrumentalist, and produced the CD.
From May 2013, “Kyou Ichiban no Egao de~ Best Smile~” was chosen as the opening song for “Museca♪Style” on FM Ginga (Kagoshima community radio).
In February, 2016, American music contest The Akademia Music Awards, run by The Akademia awarded his song “Thank You For Being a Friend” with their February award in the category of Best Pop Rock/Best World Beat Song.
In October 2016, he held his first American concert in San Diego’s Kaffee Meister, and appeared on the LA talk show STEREO LOVE Rock Talk Live Show, which served as an opportunity to increase his visibility in America.
“~KIZUNA~” was released in August 2011, and the album “Graduation Songbook ~Departure~” was released in March 2012. The albums were released internationally through My CD Store
Toshikazu has many overseas fans and listeners.
And in 2014, the album “Gratitude” will be released with feelings of appreciation for his worldwide friends and fans.
Today, based in Japan, Toshikazu continues to sing live with his guitar, appear in various events, and transmit and carry on activities in music with the world in mind.