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Gackt Date of Birth: July 4, 1973 (unconfirmed) (Okinawa)
Active From: 1994
Group Involvement: Cains:feel, Malice Mizer, GacktJOB
Related Projects: Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII
Official Web Site: Gackt ~Dears~


Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Chris. The act of copying it without advance written permission is regarded as a copyright infringement. It was last updated on April 22, 2006.

Shrouded in mystery, Gackt Camui is a popular male Japanese singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, actor, writer, model, and J-Rock icon. Born in Okinawa, Gackt's true birthdate is subject to speculation, but believed to be close to July 4, 1973, despite the singer jokingly claiming to be vampire born on July 4, 1540. Gackt's childhood was traumatic; having reportedly developed extrasensory abilities after a near-death experience at sea at the age of seven, he required admission into a mental hospital after having hallucinations and claiming to be possessed by spirits. Music was nonetheless exposed to him from a very early age, due to his strict musically inclined parents that restricted his listening to classical music exclusively. Having taken piano lessons from the age of three, he initially expressed little and lacked the practical ability to play. However, he later excelled due to developing an extreme competitive edge after seeing a friend play better than him; constantly driven by the fear of losing, Gackt has said he does not want to be a winner, per se, but resents failure and favours a perfectionistic — perhaps obsessive — lifestyle. Despite this, he developed a sense of musical sensitivity and individualism during his adolescence, gaining a desire to express himself and move people emotionally, and went on to specialise in performance of the trumpet after seeing his father play. At seventeen, to the dismay of his parents, he developed a preference towards rock music and instruments, and, contrary to his initial aims to become a conductor, eventually worked for a recording studio and unknown band as a drummer, starting his career as a contemporary rock musician.

Prior to his solo career, Gackt was involved in two bands, Cains:feel and Malice Mizer. Gackt started the former with the help of guitarist 'You' and bassist 'Ren' in his early 20's while living in Kyoto; Gackt met the guitarist, to be a long-term collaborator, in a chance encounter after being astounded by him at a concert performance. Gackt ended up filling the void of vocalist after greatly impressing 'You' with his technical prowess and emotional expression, while another took on Gackt's intended role as a drummer. The band consequently adapted to suit Gackt's voice — regarded as too deep to suit the popular musical styles of the time — and released their only work, a demo-tape featuring three themes. This tape was the basis of Gackt being recruited as a vocalist by the already successful Japanese Gothic band Malice Mizer in 1995, which in turn resulted in the dissolution of Cains:feel. Active from August 1992 to December 2001, Malice Mizer had gained fame for their lavish shows, unique 'twin guitar' work, and emphasis on the malice and misery of humanity, but underwent the first of two major stylistic transformations with the entrance of Gackt; developing a more thoughtful and romantic sound, abandoning a Gothic image in favour of use of historical costumes, and demonstrating prominent influences from classical music and French pop music, the band became increasingly popular following the release of their second album Voyage ~sans retour~ in 1996. They attained their peak with their third album Merveilles, published by Nippon Columbia in 1998, and associated singles. They appeared regularly on popular TV programmes, taking part in many live concerts, and even having their own weekly radio show. Gackt departed the band in January 1999 on a high, though his reasons for doing so remain unknown.

Soon after, Gackt initiated a solo career and formed his own band GacktJOB, which included several past collaborators from Cains:feel and Malice Mizer. Throughout his solo career, Gackt has attained a level of popularity far exceeding that of his Malice Mizer years, now a national icon in Japan with many international 'dears' (as Gackt would call them) as well. With Gackt principally responsible for composition and vocals, GacktJOB also features Yukihiro "Chachamaru" Fujimura as lead guitarist and backing vocalist, 'You' on rhythm guitar and violin, bassist 'Ju-ken', drummer 'Ryu', keyboardist 'Igao', and choreographer 'Yosh'. Former members are 'Toshi' (bass), 'Ren' (drums), and 'Masa' (rhythm guitar). Ever since the May 1999 release of the mini-album Mizérable; Gackt has established a reputation for being a prolific musician, having released well over 25 singles, numerous DVD and VHS recordings, and a yearly studio album. Having nourished and expanded his fanbase with 2000's Mars and 2001's Rebirth, Gackt went on to produce the conceptually linked Moon and Crescent in 2002 and 2003, and, in 2004, released two collections of re-recordings to constitute a greatest hits compilation and an acoustic album. On Valentine's Day 2005, Love Letter was released, a unique item in his discography in that it principally featured love ballads and received a separate Korean release. Gackt's latest studio album is Diabolos, regarded by some as a maturing of his traditional style together with the realisation of a number of new concepts, though was sometimes criticised for supposed lack of cohesion and purpose. Now known to be starting a band with famous Japanese drummer and founding member of X Japan Yoshiki, a new era of Gackt is upon us.

Gackt's has had a long-standing relationship with projects related to video games as a surprisingly versatile figure. Having been rumoured to be the basis of Tetsuya Nomura's lead character for 1999's Final Fantasy VIII, Squall Leonheart, this long-standing association is said to be inaccurate, given Nomura has officially denied this, citing the late American actor River Phoenix as his inspiration. Nonetheless, Gackt and Nomura have recently collaborated on 2006's Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII, where Gackt was the game's official vocalist and the inspiration, video-capture source, and voice actor for the mysterious character G (Genesis), a supposed prototype of Sephiroth; Gackt wrote two well-received rock-based themes, "Redemption" and "Longing", for this project, both of which are included on the game's soundtrack and single, which had a limited edition release including a music DVD. Also on behalf of video games, Gackt has featured in commercials (and a dog tag) for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and has appeared on Taito and Red Entertainment's Bujingai, where he was largely responsible the appearance, voice, and actions of its main character, Lau Wong. Gackt has also produced themes for the animes New Fist of the North Star, Texhnolyze, and Zeta Gundam: A New Translation, and has acted in the Japanese drama Hero's Hero and the vampire movie Moon Child, which he co-wrote with 'Hyde', the vocalist of L'Arc~en~Ciel whom Gackt idolises. Certainly a versatile figure, Gackt is also the author of Moon Child: Requiem and several short stories, a runaway model for designer Yoshiyuki Konishi, a fashion designer of stage-wear, and the proprietor of his own private restaurant and bar, Tamaly Bar.

List of Songs for Related Projects

Song Title Game Featured In
Redemption Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII
Longing Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII

List of Albums for Related Projects

Album Title Catalog No.
Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII: Gackt - Redemption CRCP-10130
Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack CRCP-40139/40