Interview: Vicke Blanka on Music Career and North America Tour

Artists are fascinating to speak to because of all of the unique ways life makes its way into their music and artist Vicke Blanka absolutely exemplifies that. Anime fans will recognize him for his incredibly popular work on anime OSTs. Specifically, Vicke Blanka is well known as the artist behind “Black Catcher” (2020) and “Black Rover” (2018), the two opening themes for the Black Clover anime that have been continuous hits worldwide. Vicke Blanka started 2024 with his very first North American tour, beginning in Vancouver and ending in New York City. We got the chance to catch up with him about the origins of his music career, his approach to creating art, and the many inspirations along the way.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Q: When you first began singing and became a musician, what or who was your main inspiration? 

That’s when I was an elementary school student. I already loved to sing and dance in front of a lot of people. I saw music videos of Michael Jackson and I was shocked! I mimicked his moves and songs and taught my classmates how to do them. I was an influencer by heart.

Q: When was the moment when you first realized “I want this to be my career” and acted on the thought?

I made a song for my mom’s birthday. I let her listen to it and she cried. Because of that, I thought that perhaps I have an ability to create strong emotions with my music.

Q: Have you encountered any big surprises performing in North America vs elsewhere?  

It’s easy to compare North America and Japan. Japanese fans don’t ever sing together with me when I sing ballads, but North American fans do. I love that attitude so so much! North American fans gave me brand-new experiences. And they kept screaming during my whole live performance. That was so aggressive and powerful. It drove me crazy, though very much in a good way!

Q: Can you talk about the impact different places around the world have had on your music? Have any been much stronger impacts than others?

All of the cities I visited left me so impressed. Sicily, Paris, Riyadh, Krakow, Barcelona…I made many songs inspired by these places. Of course, my North American tour means a lot to me; these experiences force me to create new music and I like being in that situation.

Q: It’s quite rare to see musicians who write lyrics, compose, and arrange their songs themselves. How do you balance filling so many roles alongside performing?

It was my routine for a long time to do every part of creating music so I haven’t thought about it much. I feel more comfortable when I can control the whole essence of my song. Otherwise, performing feels like chasing the ideas on stage in real-time. So creating and performing need totally different fuel from my mind.

Q: Can you talk about the order in which you create most of your songs? Do you think about lyrics, instrumentation, melody, etc. in a certain order? Or is it different each time?

I always start with the melody first and the fundamental arrangement second. Lyrics I do at the end. I think this is the best way to stay in a creative mode. For me, if I start with lyrics I’m gonna use my brain too much and get stuck with my pen on the paper.

Q: What songs would you most recommend to fans of yours who primarily know you from Black Clover?

They should listen to “Snake.” Thankfully, it was so popular during my North America tour and I and my colleagues didn’t expect that. The second song I would recommend is “Sad in Saudi Arabia.” This deep, danceable track made everyone move their feet so much and I was happy to see that.

Q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into music as a career or someone extremely early in their career?

Everything has to be based on confidence. So build your mind and don’t let others’ wind tilt it.

Q: What kind of music and anime do you personally listen to and watch?

I used to listen to house music while driving my car. It feels so great and gives me a lot of ideas.

Q: What kind of music and anime do you personally listen to and watch?

I’ve watched the Black Clover and Yu Yu Hakusho anime and read the Marriagetoxin and Dandadan manga…But unfortunately, I’m too busy to watch new anime series recently. Do you guys have any recommendations for me?

Recommending anime is always difficult, but three I recommended were Hunter x Hunter, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, and Bocchi the Rock!. We’d like to thank Vicke Blanka for taking the opportunity to speak with us during an incredible and busy tour. You can listen to his music on Spotify here and pick up DVDs of his performances here.