Since so much of Ichika Nito’s online content comprises gravity-defying six-string sketches that make people question the laws of physics, it’s sometimes easy to forget the Japanese virtuoso is also a formidable solo artist.
In a display of his fierce compositional prowess, the Ibanez artist has debuted his new single Away, which sees him swap his ICHI10 signature guitar for Ibanez’s intimidating headless seven-string guitar model.
Through the fanned frets of the Antique Brown Stained QX527PB Q Series guitar, Nito carves out a classically clean tapestry of chime-y taps and crystal clear upper-register melodies, the clarity of which is exacerbated by the guitar’s Ibanez Q58-7 pickups.
In just over 120 seconds, Nito flexes his chops with pinpoint picks aplenty, and showcases his devastating dynamic grasp by taking his Q Series seven-string on a journey from glass-like delicacy to out-and-out strumming storms.
Prior to Away’s arrival, Nito posted an in-depth Q&A to his YouTube channel, in which he discussed his love for metalcore, djent and the early 2010s metal scene, as well as how he started playing guitar in the first place.
“My father loved music very much, and he had guitar and bass and so many CDs, like Iron Maiden, Van Halen [and] David Lee Roth,” he recalled. “He loves metal and hard rock. He used to make me listen to Metallica all the time when I was in my mother's tummy.
“I started playing music because my family was like that and I wanted to play metal music myself.”
Away is Nito’s second solo single since Blossom, which arrived in July. For that track, the instrumental master opted for his usual six-string ICHI10 signature model, which headlined Ibanez’s first-ever headless guitar range when it arrived last year.
Blossom and Away both follow Awakening, Nito’s six-track EP from June this year, and his first longer-length effort since 2020’s Until the End.
Back when Blossom arrived, we hypothesized that a long-awaited debut album from Nito was nigh, and while a studio record has still not been confirmed, it’s a theory that we stand by.
After all, Nito now has a number of EPs and multiple standalone singles to his name – a full-length album is the obvious next step.
Until that day comes, though, expect more of the same quick-fire wizardry that made Nito a household name in the first place. Highlights from his portfolio include a solo composed using one finger, a solo composed using one string and a futuristic shred on the Casio DG-20 digital guitar.