Kiyoshi Graves

Kiyoshi Graves

BandRockSinger/Songwriter

Modern rock with a touch of Americana. Kiyoshi Graves blends hard-driving guitar riffs with heartfelt, intimate lyrics and always delivers a performance filled with passion and energy.

Biography

Kiyoshi Graves has the spirit of a poet and the heart of a rock musician. With a unique lyricism that ranges from uplifting and full of hope to questioning and full of doubt, Kiyoshi delivers an uncommon passion and honesty in every line of his songs. Kiyoshi is a rising artist who combines a diverse set of influences from Paul Simon to Radiohead to The Who, resulting in a unique sound that seamlessly blends elements of Modern Rock, Classic Rock and Americana.

Kiyoshi has built a strong and loyal following by playing in front of tens of thousands of fans at dozens of clubs, coffee houses, bookstores and festivals including B.B. King's, Borders Books & Music, Molly Malone's, The Derby, the Los Angeles Street Fest, the Harvest Moon Festival and the Lunar New Year Festival. “With whatever energy, passion and charisma I have, I want the audience to know that I am really grateful to be playing music for them and that rock music is something that should agitate, invigorate and motivate. It should be a give and take between the audience and the artist where, together, we go someplace we couldn't have individually. I'm not sure where we go but when things work, it's somewhere not on this Earth and I absolutely love that.”

His first full-length album Chase (jd8 Records, 2006) is a collection of 10 original songs featuring stories of journey and discovery. The songs range from high-energy and adventurous as on the title track “Chase” to atmospheric and introspective as on the track “Finish Line.” The album also features the tracks “Everything,” an angst-ridden response to those who doubt your pursuit of your dreams, “Reckoning,” a song that pays tribute to our soldiers but questions the purpose of the wars we wage, “So Much More,” a teenage crush anthem, and “Line,” a reflection on how each of us can make a difference by starting on an interpersonal level.

The Chase LP was produced by Evan Frankfort (Liz Phair, The Wallflowers, Pete Yorn, Orson, The Bangles, etc.) and features the organ playing of Rami Jaffee of The Wallflowers throughout the album. “Chase is the beginning of my journey into realizing what I am capable of, what is possible and how I might realize my true potential. It's a statement that we don't have to settle - that we can pursue our dreams and ambitions without compromise. People may try to tear us down, either consciously or unconsciously, but we can rise above that. The album is a collection of songs that I want to inspire action and give hope to those that hear it.”

Lyrics

Chase

Written By: Kiyoshi Graves

Sunrise, there is a heavy pounding
The room is filled with the sounding
Of voices that call out for us there's only moments
To rise, grabbing what we are able
We jump on the kitchen table
And escape out an open window
The chase has found you

Will we see what we're shown
Will we learn what is known
Will we have the chance
To make mistakes and the wisdom take
Will we hear what's been said
About the race that waits ahead
Cause if we do
Then the ones that chase us will be the ones we chase

This flight started when we discovered
A secret kept undercover
About a power that holds the key to set each one free
Alone, we survived day by day
Just running til came our way
A man leaving cryptic clues showing what to do but

Will we see what we're shown
Will we learn what is known
Will we have the chance
To make mistakes and the wisdom take
Will we hear what's been said
About the race that waits ahead
Cause if we do
Then the ones that chase us will be the ones we chase

There are times when I lose hope
But it's your strength that makes me go
Into a world that I can't see
And in that world is what we need

Will we see what we're shown
Will we learn what is known
Will we have the chance
To make mistakes and the wisdom take
Will we hear what's been said
About the race that waits ahead
Cause if we do
Then the ones that chase us will be the ones we chase

Finish Line

Written By: Kiyoshi Graves

Always I struggled and searched to find my home
But always, I felt myself trapped fighting alone
Then you came along and showed me the one
That was waiting for me to see
And soon I could find the stars fall into line
Lighting the way I never thought I could make til now

Finally, I can see the walls are falling surrounding me
And gazing out the dream once lost is found

Never did it seem like this winding road would end
Still never could I let myself stop from trying again
So time after time I walked down that line
With your strength as my only guide
And soon I could hear the voice of doubt disappear
Signalling change that is happening today because

Finally I can see the walls are falling surrounding me
And gazing out the dream once lost is found
In the race, lost my place
By stumbling out of the starting gate
But with time we all find the finish line

And I only caught a glimpse of the outside
Left imagining the blessings
That could pass before one's eyes
Cause I kept myself locked up away
Trying to make up for the errors of my ways
Til your presence revealed the key

Finally I can see the walls are falling surrounding me
And gazing out the dream once lost is found
In the race, lost my place
By stumbling out of the starting gate
But with time we all find the finish line

Who's To Say

Written By: Kiyoshi Graves

I have been tryin' for much of my life now
To figure it all out
I have been given' all that I can give
To build something lasting

And more than a few times
Someone has claimed
You're wastin' your whole life, but

Who's to say it makes no difference
To try and make a difference
Who's to say what's right and wrong
When it comes to the dreams in your heart
Who's to say you weren't always heading in
Exactly the right way
Who's to know it's only you
Who can say what things are true

I can see you searchin' lookin' with purpose
For your destination
And it can be frustratin' to struggle alone
With no confirmation

But each thing you reach for
Is one step closer
To turning that corner, cause

Who's to say it makes no difference
To try and make a difference
Who's to say what's right and wrong
When it comes to the dreams in your heart
Who's to say you weren't always heading in
Exactly the right way
Who's to know it's only you
Who can say what things are true

Now my friend there's no need to comprehend
Each stray opinion
You only need what's in your soul
Just let it take control
To guide you through the troubles you may find
And leave all those who doubted you far behind

Who's to say it makes no difference
To try and make a difference
Who's to say what's right and wrong
When it comes to the dreams in your heart
Who's to say you weren't always heading in
Exactly the right way
Who's to know it's only you
Who can say what things are true

Goldrush

Written By: Kiyoshi Graves

With a little hope I'll set off
And never go back
No I don't feel sorry 'bout that
Cause with clear eyes I made a choice
To be my own man
And stop bein' pushed along
Like wind blown sand
So I packed up my bags
Turned one last time
But I couldn't bring myself to say goodbye
For when I looked back all I saw
Was the life I lived
And that life screamed out the failure I'd been

After the goldrush there is
Nothin' but ghost towns
All the faces are clouded by frowns
After the big parade when
All big plans are laid
All that's left is confetti fallen to the ground

We had come searchin' for a dream
Thrown our sense aside
Wagering all we had for treasure soon to find
But our picks fell on hard ground
As the truth emerged
Reality beneath the dream was just plain old dirt
There had been a time not long ago
When our futures seemed to hold
A thousand stories yet untold
Well we dug down to the final few
Stories left to read
And what's written there I fear to see because

Now I know many men who
Can't bear to think too long
About how many ways
Their lives have gone wrong
In their younger days
These men were sure and bold
But now both have lost
Chasing towards their gold

After the goldrush there is
Nothin' but ghost towns
All the faces are clouded by frowns
After the big parade when
All big plans are laid
All that's left is confetti fallen to the ground

After the goldrush there is
Nothin' but ghost towns
All the faces are clouded by frowns
After the big parade when
All big plans are laid
All that's left is confetti fallen to the ground

So Much More

Written By: Kiyoshi Graves

I'd see you walking the halls
With your head held down and your eyes to the floor
And that seemed like no way at all
For someone like you to be saddened and small
When I'd pass you I couldn't speak out
And tell you the things I was dying to say
For when I went to call on my strength
I lost all my nerve as fear got in the way

And I don't even know if you're an only child
But I want to learn that and more
If you would stay with me a while because

I've got so much more to say
Than words can offer
If you'd smile at me today
You would see my face brighten
Times when you're near me I turn away
It's cause I'm only frightened
But should you take the time and stay
You'd see it's all worth while

I'd ask myself what can I do
To make you see all of the things I've gone through
For there's been a strong pain all of my own
That stiffens me cold from each insult I'd known
It seems like outside is where I've always been
Looking and wishing for keys to get in
But never do I seem to get a real chance
To show what I feel and the person I am

I've got so much more to say
Than words can offer
If you'd smile at me today
You would see my face brighten
Times when you're near me I turn away
It's cause I'm only frightened
But should you take the time and stay
You'd see it's all worth while

Feeling lonely as a child
I'd stay locked up inside my room
Never knowing where I fit
Or what I was supposed to do
But those hours made me aware
Of the thoughts of those alone
And I can feel your pain as near
As I feel my own

And I don't even know if you're an only child
But I want to learn that and more
If you would stay with me a while because

I've got so much more to say
Than words can offer
If you'd smile at me today
You would see my face brighten
Times when you're near me I turn away
It's cause I'm only frightened
But should you take the time and stay
You'd see it's all worth while

Everything

Written By: Kiyoshi Graves

There's no turning back now
The words have left now there is no doubt
I thought you were my friend
Trusting enough to let my guard down
You took what I gave you
And told me it meant nothing to you at all
And I should've known better
Cause just like the rest you want to see me fall

Everything I learned I learned from you
About lies and deceiving and all your cold dealing
Every time I tried you cut me down
With cries of derision that clouded my vision

For whom were you looking
One who clear and plain just more of the same
I don't fit that makeup
And leading me on was your way to have fun
There were promises given
About what you'd do how you'd help me through
In the night it seemed alright
But when the sun rose I was all alone

Everything I learned I learned from you
About lies and deceiving and all your cold dealing
Every time I tried you cut me down
With cries of derision that clouded my vision

I can't take it much longer
There's no one who'll accept me
My defenses are falling
And the future I can't see
Is this what you really wanted
To take everything I loved
For now it's your little victory
But I won't ever give up

It was never enough to try to fit in with you
If I played either side only the other would do
So I'll leave all the doubt, it's just a tired old game
Saying I can't win, your own fear's to blame

Everything I learned I learned from you
About lies and deceiving and all your cold dealing
Every time I tried you cut me down
With cries of derision that clouded my vision

I'll take every word and commit it to heart
That'll serve as reminder of all that I'll fight for
And with every day there'll be one piece more
To prove you are the one who is wrong about everything

Discography

Chase LP (2006)
Past, by its waters EP (2004)

Set List

Set lists are customized for each show and Kiyoshi can perform sets of anywhere between 15 minutes to over 1 hour.