As the weekends since July 22nd pass us by, Hyper Japan continues to stand as more than just a memory to us all. The experience allowed us to reunite with friends old and new, and despite the stress that may have come with the bustling venue and the heatwave that pursued us all like the evil sun from Super Mario Bro’s, there has also been some undeniably incredible moments that we shall never forget.
One such memory comes in the form of MION, a singer-songwriter who hails all the way from Aichi, Japan, who currently resides in the UK in order to improver herself as a performer. With a sweet voice and powerful music that transcends the language barrier between us all, MION has been working hard since the beginning of 2022 to make a name for herself in the UK convention scene, and is only growing stronger the more she performs here.
With the memories of her music and personal interactions still fresh in our mind, Beyond Senpai’s Tom and Kelly are ready to reminisce about the heat of the Festival Stage at Hyper Japan Festival 2022, and talk about the impact that MION has had on them both.
As a lot of you probably know by now, I lean more towards the more heavier side of music, give or take a few exceptions. This past weekend at Hyper Japan Festival 2022 in London, I found a new performer to support.
I was introduced to an amazing singer-songwriter from Japan called MION, who stole the festival stage during her Saturday and Sunday live performances. Her setlist consisted of her own material and some Anime covers, both of which the audience loved, and her voice was truly beautiful, especially after we learned that she had damaged her voice a few years earlier and had worked hard to get back to where she is now as a singer.
One of the things that stood out most to me was her interaction with the crowd. MION really knows how to get everyone involved in her performance and make her audience a part of the show. Even the two sound engineers behind her were enjoying the show and having a good time whenever she played a song. From the live sets she did, one of my favourite songs had to be her Happy Birthday song. I really loved how happy and joyful it was, and when everyone began singing the chorus together, I thought it was such a wonderful moment to be a part of.
I got to meet MION during the event both before and afterwards at her merch table, where I was able to chat to her and see what a wonderful and lovely person she is. Her passion for what she does really shines through even when she speaks, and that’s what really got to me. I hope that I get to see her on stage again somewhere in the UK, and it would be even better if we could see her on the main stage at next years Hyper Japan event.
To all who read this, if you are ever given the chance to see MION live and in person, please go and support her. You will not be disappointed.
Prior to meeting her in person, I did not know much about MION or her music outside of some light research, and things that my friend Jenny had told me about her. For the most part, I wanted to keep myself surprised when it came to MION and her performance style, though I already knew she was a lovely person, which in hindsight, made me all the more nervous to meet her.
Of course, my first impression of MION was that of pure loveliness, and I was simply floored by how kind, gracious and adorable she was when I spoke to her for the first time in-person. I think it goes without saying that she is warm and personable, someone who wants to bring her audience and fans into her world of music.
And then she started to sing.
The warmth of MION’s personality extends to her singing voice. When she performs, you can hear in every note just how much music means to her, and with every lyric sung there is passion blazing behind her voice. To say that she became the musical highlight of Hyper Japan for me would be an understatement, because I was simply blown away by MION and her efforts. With her sweet voice coupled by energetic and heartfelt songs, MION is the kind of performer who will do all she can to engage with and include you in the performance.
It must be said that as a person, MION is also determined. As mentioned by Tom beforehand, MION revealed the struggles she has faced as a musician after damaging her vocals 6 years prior, and how she had to make a decision as to whether or not she would continue down the path as a singer-songwriter. With time and a persistence to continue down the path she had chosen for herself, MION was able to return to the stage she loved dearly, and has since performed on various other stages in her time as a singer-songwriter, including the Hyper Japan Festival stage that she had longed to perform on since even before coming to the UK.
To say that MION was the musical highlight of my time at Hyper Japan Festival, would be an understatement. Her drive for music incredible, and the way that she engages with her audience is nothing short of wonderful. MION truly loves what she does, you can see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice as she resonates with every word sung, and I am so thankful that I could witness this in person that weekend not so long ago.
MION is a true gem, and I look forward to when I can next see her perform. As of right now, I just hope that the next time she performs at Hyper Japan, MION will be standing on the main stage instead, because she truly deserves it.
Please be sure to check out MION’s own video digest of her time at Hyper Japan!
Article by: Tom and Kelly
Edited by: Kelly
Images by: Tom and Kelly