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Angela Aki
Birth name Kiyomi Aki
安芸 聖世美
Also known as Angie
Born September 15, 1977 (1977-09-15) (age 32), Itano, Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku, Japan
Genres J-Pop
Years active 2000–present
Labels Sony Music Japan

Tofu Records

Website Official site (Japanese)

Angela Aki (アンジェラ・アキ Anjera Aki?), born Kiyomi Aki (安芸 聖世美 Aki Kiyomi) on September 15, 1977, is a singer-songwriter and pianist from Itano, Tokushima, Japan.[1]

Contents

Biography

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Early life

Aki's father is Japanese and her mother is Italian-American.[2][3] She is the daughter of Kiyoshi Aki, the owner and co-founder of Aeon Institute of Language Education. This is one of the "Big Four" Eikaiwa (English conversation) schools in Japan. She began to take piano lessons when she was three years old. She lived in Tokushima-shi through sixth grade, and spent her junior high school days in Okayama-shi, Okayama. She moved to Hawaii when she was fifteen years old and graduated from Iolani School. Thus Angela Aki speaks English and Japanese. She got absorbed in music there for four years. She graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and majored in political science[1]

Marriage

On March 9, 2007, Aki announced publicly that she had married Japanese recording engineer and music producer Yoshihide Mikami (三上義英?), and made public that she had been briefly married previously and divorced. [4] Her first marriage was to engineer, producer, and artist Tony Alany, who co-produced her first album in Vienna, VA.

Friends

She is good friends with JPOP star Yuna Ito. Both singers attended the same Japanese language school.

Ben Folds heard that Aki covered his "Still Fighting It" as c/w of her single "Tegami ~Haikei Juugo no Kimi e~", and he contacted in order to meet her. They were congenial spirits and made "Black Glasses" together. They used "the glasses" which were their common point as a metaphor of the masks for the outside.

Janis Ian is her mentor and friend.

Career

Beginnings

In 1997, she went to a Sarah McLachlan concert at age 20 and felt that she wanted to go into the music world and decided to become a singer-songwriter. In 2000, she originally released an indie's album in the United States, called "These Words," which received much critical acclaim. After graduation from university, she found a job in Washington, D.C. and worked as a secretary. She could not give up her dream of being a singer, however, and quit her job in 2001. She worked as a waitress for 2 dollars 13 cents during the day, and she played songs at night at a nightclub. Aki was briefly married to her first album’s engineer and the co-producer of her first album in Vienna, VA. In 2002, she composed two tracks for "Let It Fall" by Dianne Eclar, a teenage pop singer from the Philippines.

Debut in Japan

After producing commercial music for several Japanese companies, she decided to move back to Japan. On September 27, 2003, Aki saw Shiina Ringo's concert in Nippon Budokan Hall, and promised herself she would perform at the same place within three years, even though she was unheard of, had not yet been offered a contract with any record label, nor had she made an album or major debut. She performed live in many small venues and bars in Tokyo, wrote 100 or more songs, and also made several demo CDs. In 2005, she released an independent mini-album under Virgo Music entitled "One," which was the #1 selling Indies album of 2005. This alerted Nobuo Uematsu to her music, and he asked her to write lyrics and perform the theme song for Final Fantasy XII, "Kiss Me Good-Bye" in 2006. She contracted with Epic Records and made her major debut with the single "HOME" in September, 2005. On December 26, 2006, she held the concert in Nippon Budokan Hall, making history there as the first artist to ever perform in the famous venue solo (with just her piano) -- no backup singers, band or opening act. Her long-cherished dream had come true.

Reaching an English audience

In May 2006, Angela signed with Tofu Records in order to release English singles and albums. Her first release with Tofu was "Kiss Me Good-Bye" as a digital single in the USA, with a slightly altered track list. Later that month she performed the Final Fantasy XII theme song, "Kiss Me Good-Bye" at the premiere PLAY! A Video Game Symphony concert in Chicago on May 27, 2006. With orchestral backup, she played piano and sang the English lyrics, which she had written herself. She also performed a cover version of "Eyes On Me", the theme song of Final Fantasy VIII, with her piano accompaniment.

Presently

Angela Aki was chosen to sing Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" with her original Japanese lyrics for the movie "Heaven's Door" and was chosen to write and perform the theme song titled “Ai no Kisetsu” for the NHK morning drama “Tsubasa” broadcast from March 30, 2009.

Discography

Indie Albums

Studio Albums

References

  1. ^ a b "Angela Aki turns to the keys for answers". http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fm20090227r1.html. 
  2. ^ She, herself and AI sidebar: Mixed blessings
  3. ^ Angela Aki turns to the keys for answers
  4. ^ Marriage announcement on Aki's blog 2007-03-09

External links


Simple English

Angela Aki
Birth name 安芸 聖世美 (Aki Kiyomi)
Also known as Angie, Lina
Born September 15, 1977
Origin Itano, Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku, Japan
Genres J-pop
Years active 2000–present
Labels Sony Music Japan, Tofu Records
Website angela-aki.com (Japanese)


Tofu Records: Angela Aki (English)

Angela Aki (born September 15, 1977) is a J-pop singer-songwriter. Her former Japanese name is Aki Kiyomi. She was born in Itano of Tokushima prefecture. Her father is Japanese and her mother is Italian-American. She is bilingual in English and Japanese. She was raised in Japan, but she moved to Hawaii when she was fifteen. Then she went to university at George Washington University. She released an indie album in the United States in 2000, called "These Words". Now she is signed under Sony Japan.


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