Emergency Tiara is the art pop/doo wop experiment of Tokyo-born/NYC-based artist, Juri Jinnai, whose forthcoming record, “Unsophisticated Circus”, will be out September 13th, produced by drummer and musical director, Dave Cole (formerly of Rubblebucket), and engineered by Jeremy Loucas (Xenia Rubinos, Esperanza Spalding). Jinnai is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, classically trained in voice and piano, and driven by the power of music to uplift audiences, having established her love of singing through early performances with Japanese classical vocalist, Ken Nishikiori, on La Damnation de Faust, conducted by Seiji Ozawa (now musical director of Vienna State Opera).
No stranger to fashion, Jinnai developed an early adoration for Lesley Lawson, the British cultural icon widely known as "Twiggy": "I adore late 60's fashion. She's been my favorite since I was a late teen. I love those bold colors & bold prints. I really don’t know where that came from, but it’s been my favorite style of fashion ever since," states Jinnai. Emergency Tiara has performed at a handful of prestigious NYC fashion parties, including Fendi, Bulgari and Escada. She's since categorized the ET kingdom and fanbase as "royalty" in a more inclusive simulation that seeks to educe euphoria from all parties involved on the dance floor. "This world is so fucked up. If I can provide any moment, any second or any opportunity, I want everyone to feel like a prince or princess." Authenticity is paramount to the ET kingdom, with or without fashion; Jinnai may be adorned in custom Pierre Cardin garb or changing into brash 60s mod fashion, but she's never masquerading. "I want everyone to feel special," Jinnai reiterates. "We've been fortunate enough to perform largely for LGBTQ and fashion communities, who treated us like superstars, and it's been an absolute honor and thrill to play for these crowds."
Unsophisticated Circus is a collection of sassy, anthemic and unapologetic pop songs, powered by self-bravery. Replete with breezy, uptempo 60s serenades, ragtime and unceremonious idealism, ET impresses wisdom and self-discovery with directness. Jinnai underscores both gratitude and self-empowerment, while her gleeful poise gives way to earthshaking vibratos, akin to Cindy Wilson. "I wanted to create a title that represented so many different people with so many different personalities in one setting. I felt like the circus could be the place for majesty, mystery, entertainment and beauty," says Jinnai. Emergency Tiara's bubbly escapism, self-reliance and acrobatic falsettos form a unique alliance to rage against the mundanities of everyday life.
Jinnai studied a wide range of genres during her time at Berklee College of Music, from jazz and Latin, to African and hip-hop. "Also, I'm Japanese. I grew up listening to J Pop. Whenever someone in the family had a birthday, we'd go to dinner and then do karaoke. So I like the idea of singing with people you love, and having a good time. Call and response, and all forms of communication through music for that matter, is really important to me," says Jinnai.
"Tokyo is wild. It's beautiful and so weird. There are so many things I love! People are so detail oriented. People are so responsible. People are so respectful. It’s a really convenient city to live, since everybody is so organized. Everything goes smoothly. Trains are never one minute late. But it’s also very stuffy. There are so many rules, and you have to be a certain way to be considered respectful. I felt that I couldn’t be completely myself with some of this stuffiness. I have my opinions, and I was not really allowed to express them. There’s also still a whole lot of ‘women following men’ culture, which is definitely not me. I have probably upset a few people, just because I wanna be treated equally--so when I say what’s on my mind, my mom is rolling her eyes (laughs). So there’s a beautiful side of Japan and a stressful side of Japan, and both have impacted my music. I definitely take everything very seriously, with care and detail. That’s definitely what I learned form being in Japan, but also having to rebound from not being able to express what I want to express," says Jinnai.
Juri Jinnai is the lead singer, queen, curator, and ringleader extraordinaire of the ET kingdom. "Emergency Tiara is about exploring what's been suppressed. When I’m on the stage, it’s like I have a free pass to be who I am and do what I want to do, without worrying about hurting feelings or being polite. On the stage, I can be more self-involved, in a healthy way, and just allow myself to be who I am. So, it’s very freeing for me, and hopefully everyone at the show."
Emergency Tiara's debut LP, “Unsophisticated Circus”, is out September 13th.