Gackt Camui (ガクト; but most often written in Latin alphabet) is a Japanese songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. He began his rise to fame fronting the band Malice Mizer.
Gackt Camui was born in Okinawa, Japan, on July 4th (year unknown, although there is speculation he was born in the year 1973). He has an older sister and a younger brother. Although his mother's vocation is unknown, Gackt has stated on more than one occasion that his father was a jazz musician that played the trumpet.
Gackt was a rambunctious child and enjoyed doing dangerous things. At seven years of age while swimming off the coast of Okinawa, he nearly drowned. After his near-death experience, Gackt claimed the ability to see the dead and speak with deceased family members. His family did not take it seriously but as three years passed, Gackt began to feel uncomfortable with the dismissive treatment and perceived himself as an outsider.
Contrary to popular belief, Gackt has not been institutionalized for claiming to possess a sixth sense. When he was ten, however, he collapsed and was hospitalized for an unknown gastrointestinal problem. According to his autobiography, he was isolated for an extensive amount of time in a pediatric ward of a hospital for extremely sick children. This was a very difficult time for him, as what few friends he had the opportunity to make died soon afterwards from terminal illnesses. He became mentally imbalanced and was denied release. Desperate to escape what he felt was a prison, Gackt imitated his doctors until he was released.
When Gackt was three, his parents initiated his classical piano education. By age seven, he had grown tired of the piano lessons his parents forced him to attend and rebelled. Gackt fought with his teacher until when he was finally allowed to quit at eleven years of age.
Gackt's competitive streak drove him back to the piano at 14 when he realized how skilled one of his friends was. As a result, he began learning to play instruments that deviated from the classical standards of music, eventually focusing on contemporary rock. After many years of having no real interest in his parent's classical lessons, his competitive nature made him want to master the piano.
Gackt's musical career started when he became the drummer for Cains:Feel. He had started singing when Cains:Feel's guitarist YOU (who later became the guitarist for GacktJOB) jokingly put him up to it. He took on the task and continued with voice lessons. He was approached by Mana, who asked him to join the visual kei band Malice Mizer in 1995 as vocalist and pianist. His style at that point was considerably darker and more gothic than that of his work during his solo career.
His induction into Malice Mizer marked a new period for the band's musical and visual style, which became brighter, more romantic, and began to incorporate elaborate costumes and scenery onstage. Along with a change in style, the band's popularity also increased and they managed to secure a major record label contract. Along with this increase in popularity however, the differences between the band members became greater. Gackt mentioned in his autobiography he wanted to participate in creating music for the band, rather than just singing and writing lyrics. There were other rumors involving affairs with the management that have, as of yet, been unsubstantiated. Gackt left Malice Mizer shortly after their last major single, "Le Ciel," was released and disappeared completely from the media for about 8 months.
After leaving Malice Mizer, Gackt started his solo career in 1999 backed by "GacktJOB," initially consisting of You (violin/rhythm guitar), Yukihiro "Chachamaru" Fujimura (lead guitar/effects), Masa (rhythm guitar), Ren (bass), Toshi (drums), Yosh (choreographer/dancer), and Igao (keyboards). GacktJOB later added Ryuichi Ryu Nishida and Ju-ken. His official fanclub is named DEARS.
Masa parted abruptly with GacktJOB accompanied by Toshi in early 2002 to pursue solo activities following the release of "Another World," the first single for Gackt's "Moon" Album. Although Masa has continued his own solo career, Toshi still occasionally provides percussion for Gackt in the studio. For live appearances and the majority of studio recordings, Ryuichi Ryu Nishida has otherwise taken Toshi's place.
Bassist Ren announced during Gackt's "Jougen no Tsuki" tour during the summer of 2003 that he would be taking a break. Later that year, Ren posted assurences to fans on his blog that he would not be leaving GacktJOB permanently but wanted to return less inundating indies scene with his own band, LiN Clover for a while.
Throughout the first and second quarters of 2004, magazine shoots were conducted only with the remaining four members until a TV appearance in March which featured a new bassist. This was later revealed to be Ju-ken, who has been GacktJOB's bassist since then.
Despite often being labeled as "pop", few of his songs can be clearly said to belong to that genre. Gackt's music is characterized by a wide variety in musical styles which can range from heavy rock to romantic ballad. Traditional instruments are often used to accentuate electric guitar, piano, and other modern instruments. For these reasons, it is difficult to clearly assign Gackt's music to a specific genre.
On May 25, 2007, the formation of the supergroup S.K.I.N. was announced which, including Gackt, consists of fellow pop/rock artist Miyavi, former Luna Sea guitarist Sugizo and X Japan co-founder Yoshiki. The group gave its debut performance at the Anime Expo convention in Long Beach, California on June 29, 2007 and plans to release an album.