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Rina Sawayama

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The devil works hard, but Rina Sawayama works harder. Fresh off the triumph of her UK and US headline tour, which sold out the Roundhouse in London and saw five-star reviews from The Guardian and NME, the newly minted British-Japanese pop star is following up her celebrated debut album SAWAYAMA with Hold The Girl, a colossally ambitious and utterly original record that marries intimate storytelling with arena-sized tunes. In between SAWAYAMA landing on over 50 album of the year lists, including the New York Times (#2), The Guardian (#3) and Rolling Stone (#6), a “superstar-in-the-making”(NME) TV performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, starring alongside Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4, and sparking a change in the BRITS and Mercury Prize eligibility criteria to ensure non-British nationals like Berwyn could be nominated, you’d be forgiven for wondering when she even sleeps. But Rina – whose whole raison d'être is bending huge chart influences and blockbuster melodies to her will with precision-tuned songwriting and powerful vocals – is the rare pop artist for whom honesty is never not an option. Making Hold The Girl was a hardwon battle – one that didn’t come easy – and was written during a turbulent period in her life that saw her step back and focus on herself: “A lot of people ignore the symptoms of their emotional pain,” she explains. “It’s when I stopped that I was able to make something meaningful.

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