Thanks to TLC’s reality series, Miami Ink, Yoji Harada is presently one of the most well-known tattoo artists. However, it may surprise many to know that when Harada was growing up, he never dreamed of becoming a high-profile tattoo artist. Rather, he wanted to make it big as a musician in the United States.
“When the radio started playing The Clash, I was just in complete and total shock. I really liked it and I thought, ‘This is something I can do,’” Harada said in an article he wrote for Orato, an online magazine. “I was in a band in Japan, but I really wanted to make music in the United States. That was my dream.”
Harada also said that he truly enjoyed the music scene in New York. He even performed with a punk rock band for some years before finally relocating to Miami, where he started tattooing for Ami James. However, it wasn’t until more than five years later that he gained his status as James’ apprentice.
“One night I find out my wife was pregnant. I had to start making some real money, you know, so I asked Ami James if I could apprentice and he said yes,” the Miami Ink star explained.
His wife’s pregnancy also compelled him to put his music on hold, but just recently, he and his friends from New York decided to regroup their punk rock band, Big Deal.
“The people that come out to our shows always say they like what we’re doing, and they are supportive,” Yoji Harada said.
Despite his obvious love for music, Harada admitted that he has come to love tattooing as well. However, he also conceded that balancing the two art forms is quite difficult, especially now that he and his wife are going to have another baby.
“I just want to be a good father and work hard. That is my goal,” Harada said.
Catch more of Yoji Harada on TLC’s Miami Ink, airing every Tuesday at 10/9c on TLC.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of TLC)