Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023

rina profile shot

Born in Niigata, Japan, and raised in the United Kingdom, Rina Sawayama has been making waves in the music industry with her genre-blending sound and thought-provoking lyrics. Rina’s music, a unique blend of pop, rock, R&B, and electronica, reflects her multicultural upbringing and her nuanced understanding of contemporary society. In this article, we delve into 14 intriguing facts about this rising music star.

Table of Contents

Japanese Roots, British Upbringing

Rina was born in Niigata, Japan on August 16, 1990. At the age of five, she moved with her family to London, England, where she grew up. This bicultural experience has deeply influenced her music and artistic vision.

A Passion for Music

Rina’s love for music started at an early age. She began writing songs in her early teens and was deeply influenced by artists such as Avril Lavigne and Christina Aguilera. These early influences are evident in her powerful vocal performances and emotionally charged lyrics.

A Cambridge Graduate

Rina is not just a talented musician; she’s also academically accomplished. She studied politics, psychology, and sociology at the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s leading academic institutions.

Interweaving Academia and Music

rina in arizona concert
Image from Facebook

Her academic background plays a significant role in her songwriting. Her songs often explore complex social and psychological themes, making her music not just entertaining, but also thought-provoking.

Debut Album – ‘SAWAYAMA’

Rina’s debut album ‘SAWAYAMA’ was released in April 2020 to critical acclaim. The album is a bold mix of genres, with tracks that range from pop and R&B to metal and punk.

Genre-Defying Style

Rina’s music is celebrated for its genre-blending style. She seamlessly incorporates elements from diverse musical genres into her work, creating a sound that’s uniquely her own.

Recognition and Praise

Rina’s work has earned her several award nominations and widespread praise from critics. In 2020, she was nominated for the Mercury Prize, a prestigious award for music in the United Kingdom.

LGBTQ+ Rights Advocate

As an openly pansexual artist, Rina is a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. She uses her platform to raise awareness and promote inclusivity.

Mental Health Activist

Rina has been open about her own struggles with mental health and is a strong advocate for mental health awareness. Her song “XS” discusses society’s excessive materialism and its impact on mental health.

A Model in the Making

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Image from Facebook

Rina has modelled for several high-profile brands, including Versace and MAC Cosmetics.

A Fear of Heights

Despite her larger-than-life stage presence, Rina has a fear of heights, also known as acrophobia.

Fascination with Dinosaurs

 Rina loves dinosaurs and even has a favorite one – the Triceratops!

Featured in a Video Game

Rina’s song “STFU!” was featured in the video game Cyberpunk 2077.

A Vegetarian Lifestyle

Rina is a committed vegetarian and often uses her platform to promote animal rights.


Rina Sawayama is much more than a talented musician. She is a boundary-pushing artist, a passionate advocate, and a dynamic individual with a story that resonates with people around the world. As she continues to break norms and challenge conventions, her influence extends beyond her music. Whether through her thought-provoking lyrics or her activism for LGBTQ+ rights and mental health awareness, Rina proves to be a force of positive change. A unique blend of Japanese and British upbringing, academic prowess, and creative genius, she stands out as an inspiration for future generations of artists and individuals alike. Her journey reminds us that the power of art lies not only in entertaining but also in illuminating societal issues, sparking conversations, and driving progress.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where was Rina Sawayama born and where did she grow up?

Rina Sawayama was born in Niigata, Japan, and moved to London, England, with her family at the age of five. Her music and artistic vision have been deeply influenced by this bicultural experience.

What is Rina’s educational background?

Rina is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where she studied politics, psychology, and sociology. Her academic background significantly influences her songwriting, often exploring complex social and psychological themes.

What genres does Rina Sawayama’s music encompass?

Rina’s music is a unique blend of genres, incorporating elements of pop, rock, R&B, and electronica. Her debut album ‘SAWAYAMA’ also includes influences from metal and punk.

How does Rina use her platform for advocacy?

As an openly pansexual artist, Rina uses her platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Additionally, she is open about her own struggles with mental health and actively promotes mental health awareness. She’s also a committed vegetarian and frequently uses her influence to advocate for animal rights.

What are some fun facts about Rina Sawayama?

Rina has modeled for high-profile brands like Versace and MAC Cosmetics. She also has a fear of heights, a fascination with dinosaurs (especially the Triceratops), and her song “STFU!” was featured in the video game Cyberpunk 2077.