Meet Risa Kumon, a rising star in the world of R&B, Soul and Jazz. Born and raised in the culturally diverse city of Sasebo, Nagasaki, Risa's love for music started at a young age after learning how to play the piano at just three years old.

Despite losing her eyesight temporarily due to a bout of measles, Risa's passion for music never faded, and she found inspiration in the sounds of Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and many Jazz musicians her father would play.

Now based in Tokyo, Japan, Risa's musical career has been on an upward trajectory, including the release of a Jazz EP, a project of Christmas covers, multiple collaborations, an album with artist and producer Roro and her newest single, FREE. But Risa's musical talents extend beyond the stage, as she is also a multilingual radio personality, interviewing famous musicians and entertainers on their visits to Japan.

From her early beginnings to her current success, Risa Kumon's mission has always been to connect with her audience through her music, bridging cultural and linguistic gaps with her unique blend of sounds and voices. Join us as we take a closer look at the rising star that is Risa Kumon.

1. Hi, Risa - Can you tell us about your background and how you became a bilingual singer-songwriter?

Thank you for having me. My background is quite unique as I was born and raised in Sasebo, a city located in the Nagasaki prefecture in Japan. Growing up, I was surrounded by a rich mix of cultures and languages due to the presence of an American military base in my hometown. This exposure to diverse perspectives and languages has played a significant role in shaping who I am today as a musician. As a child of Japanese parents, I had the unique opportunity to grow up in a bilingual environment, speaking both Japanese and a little bit of English. This has been instrumental in my ability to connect with a wider audience through my music, as I am able to seamlessly bridge cultural divides and bring people together through my art.

I discovered my love for music in high school and have been honing my craft ever since. As a bilingual singer-songwriter, I am able to express myself and connect with people in a way that transcends language barriers. Music is a universal language, and I am proud to be able to use my unique background and abilities to bring people from different cultures together through my music.

2. How do you approach writing lyrics in both Japanese and English?

I like to write in both languages depending on the mood and theme of the song. I find that certain emotions and expressions are easier to convey in one language over the other, so I let the song dictate which language I use. But I also enjoy the challenge of finding the perfect words in both languages to convey the same message. I think it all depends on the content and feeling when writing. The music also plays a role. Some music might fit best for Japanese and some for English. I never put borders on my approach to writing music.

3. Can you discuss any unique challenges or advantages you've experienced as a bilingual artist in the Japanese music scene?

As a bilingual artist in the Japanese music scene, I've found that it can be both challenging and advantageous. On one hand, it can be difficult to find the right audience that appreciates both languages. On the other hand, being bilingual allows me to connect with a wider range of people and explore different styles of music. Sometimes Japanese people aren’t open to new things and are comfortable with the norm, but I think if you just focus on putting out great music, you will find your crowd. There’s a lane for everyone, you just have to find where you fit in.

4. How do you balance and blend different cultural influences in your music?

I try to find a balance between honoring my Japanese roots and embracing my American influences in my music. I also like to incorporate other cultural elements that I've experienced or been exposed to, such as soul music or R&B. I can sing in different languages fluently so I balance the blend by doing what fits best with the situation. For example, If I’m singing at an R&b based event, most of my music could be R&B/ Soul but if I’m singing at an Hawaiian based event, then I will sing more of their style to fit the venue without compromising on my style or singing.

5. Can you talk about a particularly memorable performance or project you've been a part of?

One of my most memorable performances was when I had the opportunity to showcase my singing talent in English at a venue in my hometown as a teenager. Despite feeling excited, I wasn't nervous, and I was eager to demonstrate my skills. In Japanese culture, it is common for people to hide their true emotions and hold back. However, during that performance, I let go of all inhibitions and sang from my heart. The feeling of freedom and fulfillment that I experienced during that performance was indescribable and solidified my passion for singing, making me feel like it was my true calling.

6. How do you maintain your connection with your supporters, both domestically in Japan and globally?

Building and maintaining a strong connection with my supporters, both in Japan and internationally, is of utmost importance to me. I believe that it's essential to be accessible and engaging with my audience, and I strive to do this through various means. Social media is one of the primary ways I

connect with my supporters, as it allows me to share my music, updates, and behind-the-scenes moments with a wide audience. I actively maintain profiles on Japanese and English platforms to ensure that people have access to my content in their preferred language.

In addition, I participate in international radio shows where I have the opportunity to interact directly with my people and share my music with a global audience. I believe that staying connected with my supporters is key to building a strong community, and I'm committed to continuing to find new and innovative ways to connect with my fans around the world.

7. Can you tell us about the radio shows you host?

Sure! I host three shows: R2 Radio, Risa's Select, and the newly introduced "Trendy Pickups by Risa & Roro". These shows are produced by R2 Recordz / R2 Radio Network and each offer a unique style and content. Risa's Select is a personally curated program that covers a variety of topics, while R2 Radio and Trendy Pickups are bilingual music shows co-hosted with my partner, Rolandis "RORO" Ramsey.

R2 Radio is a global program that features interviews with guests from the entertainment industry. The show is focused on music, art, culture, trends, and is available to an international audience with subtitles in Japanese and English.

Trendy Pickups, on the other hand, is more Japanese-centric, with a touch of English, and broadcasts from Tokyo's popular commercial radio station, Interfm89.7mhz. Each of these shows offers a unique perspective on arts, culture, and entertainment and I strive to bring fresh, engaging content to our audience in each episode. You can find more info at!

8. How do you see the role of music in bringing people and cultures together?

I believe music has the power to bring people and cultures together. It's a universal language that can transcend borders and break down barriers.

Before I was able to fully comprehend languages, I had already developed an appreciation for music. Through music, I have connected with wonderful individuals from various cultures and backgrounds, and I think that's what makes it so special. With its ability to evoke emotions and bring people together, music has the ability to unite people from all walks of life. Whether it's through shared experiences at concerts, dance parties or simply listening to the same song, music has a unique way of bringing people together and fostering a sense of community and belonging. By celebrating our differences and appreciating each other's cultural background through music, we can promote cultural exchange, understanding, and unity on a global scale.

9. How do you see your music evolving in the future?

As a musician, I believe that growth and evolution are an essential part of the creative process. My goal is to continuously challenge myself, both artistically and personally, so that my music reflects my growth and evolution as a person. I see my music evolving in exciting new directions as I continue to explore different genres, collaborate with other artists, and draw inspiration from my life experiences. I believe that music has the power to tell stories, evoke emotions, and bring people together, and I am committed to using my craft to create meaningful, impactful music that resonates with my supporters. I'm eager to see where my musical journey takes me in the future, and I'm confident that my music will continue to evolve in ways that inspire, uplift, and connect with people around the world.

10. Can you share a song from your catalog that you feel best represents you as an artist?

One of the songs in my catalog that truly represents me as an artist is my single, "FREE." I collaborated with my producer, Rolandis "Roro" Ramsey, on this track because we felt it not only reflected my experiences, but also

spoke to the collective experiences of the world. During the pandemic, music became a way for me to feel free, and the message of the song felt particularly relevant. At its core, "FREE" encourages listeners to embrace freedom and let go of things that no longer serve them, encouraging them to find beauty in all things and cultivate a positive future. Through this song & video, I aim to inspire people to embrace their own freedom and pursue their passions.

11. Can you discuss any upcoming projects or collaborations you have in the works?

I'm always striving to create new and innovative sounds that connect with my supporters. I'm thrilled to announce that I'm currently in the midst of putting together a new album that brings together my passion and creativity. The project has been a collaborative effort, involving partnerships with some incredibly talented people from various cultural backgrounds. These partnerships have been an incredibly enriching experience, as we explore new sounds and push the boundaries of what's possible. I'm eagerly looking forward to sharing the fruits of our labor with the world, and I'm confident that this new body of work will be well received by listeners old and new alike.

12. Is there anything additional you'd like to share?

Please check out my latest single "FREE". I invite you to give it a listen or watch and if it brings a smile to your face, please spread the word to your loved ones. It would mean a lot to me if my music can bring a little bit of joy into someone's day. Here is my music video: Streaming link:

Risa Kumon’s official website is, anyone can reach her on Instagram: @RisaKumon FB: @RisaKumonofficial and TW: @RisaKumon if they have any questions.

In conclusion, Risa Kumon is a true force in the music industry, using her platform and credibility to not only entertain, but also spread positive messages and make a difference in the world. With her unwavering drive and commitment to her cause, it's no wonder she has garnered a massive following. As the industry continues to evolve, it's evident that Risa will remain at the forefront, leading with determination and passion.