Kishi Bashi

Violinist; Composer; Singer
Class of 
1999
Alumni

Kishi Bashi '99 is a multitalented musician whose years at Berklee infused his music with cinematic lushness. He composes on violin, and sings and writes songs blending Japanese and English, and his performances include guitar, keyboard, vocal looping, and beatboxing. His solo albums, 151a and Lighght, demonstrated his versatility. On 2016's Sonderlust, he continued to showcase his talent, with NPR’s All Music Considered, descirbing the album as a rapturous mix of '70s soft rock, disco, and synth pop. His latest album, 2019's Omoiyari, seeks to reckon with America's use of internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. “I didn’t want this project to be about history," Bashi says, "but rather the importance of history, and the lessons we can learn.”

Bashi was born Kaoru Ishibashi in Seattle, Washington, in 1975, and grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, where his parents were professors at Old Dominion University. A 1999 alumnus of Berklee, he majored in film scoring.

Based in Athens, Gerogia, Bashi plays with the indie rock band Of Montreal as well working on solo albums, mostly on the Joyful Noise label, and solo performances. He was also the singer and founding member of the electronic rock group Jupiter One, and he has toured with Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and Alexi Murdoch. Some of his songs have been used to promote such products as Microsoft (“Bright Whites”), Smart cars ("Chester’s Burst over the Hamptons"), and a Sony tablet (“It All Began with a Burst”).