Masato Hayakawa

Coldrain - Rock am Ring 2019-3352.jpg

Masato David Hayakawa (born December 17, 1986), known professionally as Masato, is a Japanese-American singer, musician, lyricist and model. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the Japanese rock band Coldrain since their formation in 2007. He was a former member of AVER, alongside one of his fellow Coldrain members, drummer Katsuma Minatani.

Hayakawa is also known as being a model for Over(all) Tokyo.[1]

He performs all his songs in English, due to being fluent in English and being half American on his mother's side.

Early life

Masato David Hayakawa was born on December 17, 1986 in Nagoya, Japan.[2] He was born to an American mother who originally comes from Iowa and his Japanese father who was born in Niiagata.[3] As a result, Hayakawa has dual citizenship of both countries due to his ethnic background, as well as his older brother who were both raised together by their parents.

He was taught to speak English at a young age by his mother who was an English teacher.[4][5] All of this has helped him to become fluent in English as well as Japanese. Hayakawa has stated that he hated it at the time but is very grateful for it now.[6]

This duality in his family would result in Hayakawa consistently fly out to the United States every summer for around 2/3 months at a time. It would be during one of these holidays when he would discover Limp Bizkit and Korn music videos on MTV as a 13-year-old, describing it as "very cool", and stating them as the reason for his realisation as to what he loved and wanted to do for a profession.[7]



In around 2003, Hayakawa met Katsuma Minatani in high school. A few years later, the two would start a band together as friends, forming AVER in the process. Hayakawa was the vocalist as well as the guitarist, while Katsuma was the drummer. They would produce songs such as “Voices Over Bullets” and regularly played gigs in clubs around their hometown of Nagoya.[8]

After rivalling with another band called Wheel of Life for a while, they decided to make a supergroup of the two most popular local bands in the area due to their similar musical interests and getting to know each other after meeting at rehearsals.[7]

This would eventually lead to the formation of the band that they are all known for today.


Coldrain would form in 2007 with Hayakawa as the vocalist, Y.K.C. and Sugi as the guitarists, RxYxO as the bassist, and Katsuma as the drummer.[9]

In what was very rare in Japan, Coldrain made the decision to have all their songs be sung in English. This stemmed from Hayakawa feeling more natural singing in English than Japanese due to his early years learning English and hip-hopping between Japan and the United States, and the bands western influences which helped to elevate this sound into their music] and translate the energy to Japanese audiences at the time.[7]

The first song that they ever recorded was "Painting", along with two maxi-singles, Fiction and 8AM, that they would hand demos of out on the streets to help spread their music through the word of mouth and play gigs in high school gyms and clubs starting out.[10] Some of these songs would end up being included on their debut studio album, Final Destination, which was released in the backend of 2009.[11]

Coldrain would start to gain more traction after a couple of their songs, "8AM" and "We’re Not Alone", would be used as opening themes for animes such as Hajime No Ippo: Challenger and Rainbow.[12] Another would receive worldwide fame upon being released as a part of the soundtrack for Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, called "Die Tomorrow" and as such would become a staple song for the band.[13] The latter two songs were used on their debut EP, Nothing Lasts Forever, released in the summer of 2010.[14]

Coldrain would release two follow up studio albums, The Enemy Inside and The Revelation. The latter would end up being released worldwide in 2014 as a reissue, including new songs from their Japanese exclusive EP Until The End, following being signed to the North American-based label Hopeless Records that is home to bands such as All Time Low, Avenged Sevenfold and Silverstein.[15] This would allow them to tour all around the world with bands such as Bullet for My Valentine and Papa Roach, as well as playing festivals in Europe such as Download and Rock am Ring.[16][17][18]

Vena would be the first album to be released worldwide at its initial release. It would feature lead singles such as "Gone" and "Wrong", as well as a feature from Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix on "Runaway".[19] Coldrain would go on several headline tours in 2016, including playing at the Vans Warped Tour in the summer.[20][21] During this time, they would release their third maxi-single for the first time since 2009. This was released as Vena: Chapter 2, and featured two new tracks, as well as acoustics of "Gone" and "The Story".[22]

2017 would mark Coldrain's 10th anniversary as a band. To coincide with this milestone, they released their fifth studio album Fateless, in October of the same year, as well as a tour that would end with them playing at the famous Nippon Budokan venue. Their performance at Budokan in February 2018 would eventually be released as a DVD/Blu-ray.[23]

At the tail end of 2018, they would release a new single “Revolution", which would be a tie-in to be the main theme of Gundam: Extreme Vs 2.[24] This tease would lead to speculation of a new album which was later released as The Side Effects in August 2019. This included other singles such as "Coexist", "January 1st" and the title track.[25] However, the song which elevated the band to new heights was “Mayday” that featured Ryo of fellow Japanese metalcore band Crystal Lake. This song would end up becoming the opening theme for the popular anime Fire Force.[26]

Personal life

Hayakawa married Japanese-Australian model, Hanna Kelk, on October 24, 2019.[27]


Hayakawa currently has three tattoos. The first tattoo he got, his mother disapproved of, so he opted to go for something that she would like. Owls were her favourite animals, the two owls on either side of a key to his represent the duality of his nationality.

His second tattoo had the symbol from their Nothing Lasts Forever EP, which has the meaning of taking your life for granted and living it to the fullest. It features an Excalibur type sword with a rose wrapped around it.

The third tattoo Hayakawa got was the Vena logo on his neck, which was featured on the cover for that album. One, in hindsight, that he was happy that he sacrificed himself for.[28]


As a young kid, Hayakawa would be influenced by the Japanese J-pop scene, as well as the music his older brother tended to listen to. Due to these early years as a child, Hayakawa's earliest influences consisted of Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey.

It wasn't until the Nu-metal craze in 1999 where Hayakawa started to get into heavier bands, citing this as a critical point of his life which would end up helping him carving his career path. Limp Bizkit and Korn would be the first bands that he laid his eyes on while watching MTV as a teenager, with songs like "Nookie" and "Freak on a Leash" on constant rotation.[7]

His main influences would consist of Hoobastank, Papa Roach, Metallica, Pearl Jam, The Used, Silverchair and Slipknot.[29][30] One which Hayakawa would share mutual interests with his other bandmates would be Sevendust, in which he states that without them, "Coldrain simply wouldn't exist".[31]

However, his major influences as a vocalist are Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and Brandon Boyd of Incubus, who were also his two favourite bands growing up.[32][29]



  • Final Destination (2009)
  • The Enemy Inside (2011)
  • The Revelation (2013)
  • Vena (2015)
  • Fateless (2017)
  • The Side Effects (2019)

Other Appearances

Year Song Album Album artist
2011 "Demise and Kiss"
(featuring Masato)
The Dream, the Space Crossfaith
2013 "Dead Dust"
(featuring Masato)
(For)Lorn Before My Life Fails
(featuring Masato, and Hazuki of Lynch)
Gene Pay Money to My Pain
2016 "Free the Monster"
(featuring Masato, and Koie of Crossfaith)
Free the Monster AA=
"Free the Monster_#5ver."
(featuring Masato, and Koie of Crossfaith)
"Free the Monster (Live)"
(featuring Masato, and Koie of Crossfaith)
Live No. 5 at Liquidroom 20160611
2017 "Skyfall"
(featuring Masato, MAH of SiM, and Koie of Crossfaith)
Non-album single One Ok Rock
"Bumps in the Night"
(featuring Masato)
Samurai Sessions Vol. 2 Miyavi
2018 "Faint"
(featuring Masato)
Ex Machina Crossfaith
"The Circle"
(featuring Masato)
Non-album single Crystal Lake


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