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     PROFILE

 

     Angela Aki (アンジェラ・アキ Anjera Aki), was born on the 15th of September of 1977 in a town (Itano) of the Tokushima prefecture, in Shikoku island, Japan . Mix of a Japanese father and a italo-american mother. She’s a singer and her real name is Aki  Kiyomi  (安芸 聖世美 Aki Kiyomi). Her father is Aki Kiyoshi (安藝清 Aki Kiyoshi), founder and president of Aeon, a big Eikawa in Japan . Angela has a sister, Kyla Aki, a year younger than her. Angela is 1.66m tall and her blood type is A.

 

     EARLY LIFE

 
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     Angela is completely bilingual, she speaks English and Japanese, she was born in Japan where she began to take piano lessons when she was three years old, and she even studied violin, guitar, and drums. In 1992 at 15 years old she moved to Hawaii , where she graduated from Iolani School . There she changed her name to Angela, leaving Kiyomi as a second name. She got a grant of 2500$ for university.

     From there she moved to George Washington University in Washington were she combined international relations studies with Jazz. After seeing Sarah McLachlan in concert she decided to be a singer like her. While she was studying she was active musically, she use to play in a coffee shop called Jam'n Jave. It was there where the musical producer Tony Alany worked and collaborated with Angela producing her Indies album, These Words, which was out in January 2000. The album consisted in English songs with guitar, something different of what Angela usually does. Alany and Angela were married after the producing process of the album.

 

g     While she was staying in Washington , she was the support act of artists like Ricky Martin, Judy Collins and Sixpence None the Richer. Also she sang at the Christmas party of Al Gore. She graduated from University in May 2000. Angela showed her music on a live at the Luna Park Grille in Arlington , Virginia , on the 29th of November 2001 and was called "Angela and her Band". Later still on 2001 she made another live at Washington D.C. and a Japanese producer from the CM "K" heard her, he asked her if she wanted to sing commercially, she said yes and at the beginning of 2002 she cover a Jimmy Scott, New Day for Yakult 400 commercial. In 2002 she composed two songs for "Let it Fall" of Dianne Eclar a young pop singer from Philippines .

 

     JAPANESE DEBUT

 
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     In 2005 she started making music again. In that time her marriage with Tony Alany was over. She re-debuted in Japan with Virgo Music, with a mini-album called ONE. It had two singles"Rain" and "We're all Alone". This album was number 2 on the HMV Indies Chart.

     This album drew the attention of the composer Nobuo Uematsu, who proposed Angela the opportunity of singing the theme song of the videogame Final Fantasy XII. She was announced like the singer of the song "Kiss Me Good-Bye" at the Square Enix 2005 Stage Show at the end of July 2005, where she made a performance alone in the stage singing and playing the piano. Angela wrote the lyrics for both versions of the song, English and Japanese, for the international release of the videogame, but Nobuo Uematsu was the composer of the melody.

 

     HOME ERA

 

g     During the second half of 2005 Angela debuted with her first non-indie release, her first single under Sony Japan , HOME (was out one day after her birthday). Even if the single was only at (#38) on the ORICON chart it was charting for 15 weeks.

     After this single there were no news of her until the end of November, her next single, Kokoro no Senshi was going to be out at the end of January. Kokoro no Senshi was released in two editions, a limited edition with an exclusive DVD featuring Kokoro no Senshi music video and the first Final Fantasy XII released images with Kiss Me Good-Bye as music background, and the normal edition. Thanks to the special edition the single got a good position in the charts, the number 13th.

     Her 3rd single, Kiss Me Good-Bye, was out the 15th of March 2006. The single, thanks to the nearer release of the videogame, debuted at number 6th of the ORICON chart. This is the highest position of  Final Fantasy theme songs like Eyes on me of Faye Wong or Suteki da ne of Rikki, but not as highest as Koda Kumi's Real Emotion/1000 no Kotoba.

     On 1st May of 2006 it was announced that Angela signed a contract with Tofu Records in U.S.A. (a Sony’s label that promotes Japanese singers in the United States ). Her first single released under this label was a modified version of Kiss Me Good Bye the 16th of May, in which Aoi Kage was changed for a version of Eyes On Me. This announcement was followed by Angela's performance at the concert PLAY! A Video Game Symphony at Chicago on May 27th.

g     Despite the rumours about the release of her first album after Kiss MeGood-Bye, Angela announced her 4th single, This Love. This song replaced Mika Nakashima's song "CRY NO MORE" as the ending of the anime BLOOD+. This single got the same position as its predecessor, number 6th, and selling about 60000 copies.

     Two weeks after the release of This Love, Angela’s debut album was released, HOME. The recording of this album ended on April 19th.The album reached the 2nd position at the album chart (just behind Ultrablue of Utada Hikaru) selling 120000 copies in the first week. The album sold so much that if it was released one or two weeks before Utada’s album it would reach the number one.

 

     TODAY ERA

 

g     On August 2006, JFL announced the song they were going to use for their 5th campaign, a reissue of Angela's song MUSIC, which was released in HOME album, the new song it would be called Power of MUSIC. The song was a dance version with new lyrics made by Angela. In previous years the song of this campaign was made by bands like Def Tech and MISIA. Also, a new song, On & On was announced for November, it will be the song for the remake of the movie Inugami-ke no Ichizoku. The song was a piano-rock style, different from HOME material.

     On December Angela made a special live called My Keys at Budokan. Make a live at the Budokan is one of the most achievements as a Japanese singer and to commemorate the occasion she wrote a new song, Sakura iro and the concert was recorded in DVD. Soon after that in New Year's Eve Angela performed for the first time at Kouhaku Utagassen with a piano solo version of HOME.

     Those four songs would be the ones that would appear in her 5th single, Sakura iro; On & On and Power of MUSIC would be b-sides and HOME piano version a bonus track. This was one of her most commercially successful single, selling more than 100000 copies. Two days after the release of the single, Angela announced on her official blog that she got married with the musical producer Hide Sanjougi.

     The first Angela song featured on a dorama was released on May and was named Kodoku no Kakera. It was used for the dorama Kodoku no Kake ~Itoshiki Hito yo~. But the show didn't get good ratings and the single had a moderated success. At the same time she was promoting this single, Angela sang a new song called Again in Mezamashi Terebi, this song was the show's song for a few months.

g     On July 11th she released her 7th single, Tashika ni, this song was used as the featuring song of "LISMO!"commercials and the sales were very limited.

     On the 19th of September of 2007 Angela released her 2nd album, TODAY, with this album she reached her first ORICON number one.

     After this, Angela started a new tour called: Concert Tour- 2007-2998 "TODAY", from the 10th of October of 2007 until the 31st of January 2008, she finished this tour with a double live in Tokyo, after 41 concerts, this live was recorded and released the 1st of October 2008. While she was touring she made her second live at the Nippon Budokan, on the 25th of December with a Christmas theme, and was broadcasted on TV on 28th March. There she sang a new song ONE, dedicated to all her fans.

 

     ANSWER ERA

 

g     After the tour  there were no news of her until March when it was announced that she was going to write a song for the NHK contest, Oncon, a contest where students chorus sing songs that famous composer write for them. The song will be called Tegami and will be about a 15 years old Angela writing a letter to her future self.

     On April Angela was going to make another piano solo live at the Osakajo Hall in Osaka on September 7th of 2008 calls Naniwa no MY KEYS. She was the first artist to make a piano solo live there and the first artist from Tokushima Prefecture to do it too. The tickets were out on May for the members of her fan club and on June for the rest, the tickets were sold out on the ending of July. This live had lots of promotion on radio, TV and Japanese magazines.

     Until that live she had a summer full of festivals, FM802 [MEET THE WORLD BEAT 2008], Special Live Summer Time in Bonaza, Music Mashroom, ...

     After the Osakajo live, on the 17th of September her 9th single was released,Tegami ~ Haikei Jyugo no Kimi e ~, the song she wrote for the Oncon contest, this was one of the three featured songs for kids show Minna no Uta for the months of August and September, because of this, an animated video for the song was being released.

     After all of this, Angela would sing a cover of Bob Dylan's song Knockin' on Heaven's Door for the Japanese movie"Heaven's Door" that was going to be released on February 7th of 2009. g

     On the 26th of December, like every year, she made a live at the Budokan, where she announced the release date ofher 3rd album with Sony Music Japan, ANSWER, for the 25th of February, and at the same time, she announced the beginning of another tour "Angela Aki Concert Tour 2009 ANSWER" where she made lives from April until September 2009.

     To promote the album a live version of Knockin' on Heaven's Door was used and a new video for Tegami renamed "Graduation". The album was number one at the charts on its first week, being the second Angela album getting it.

 

     LIFE ERA

 

g     Just a few days after the release of "ANSWER" it was announced that Angela was going to make the theme song for a NHK dorama called "Tsubasa". The song was called "Ai no Kisetsu", and it was finally released on September 16th 2009, together with a double DVD containing 2 concerts from the year before, Osakajo Hall and Budokan concerts.
     After this a new Budokan concert was planned for December, and also a new appearance on Kouhaku Utagassen. In Budokan, Angela sang for the first time a new song called "Kagayaku Hito", for which she played guitar while singing instead of the usual piano, making it so the first guitar song in ger discography. Short time later it was announced as a single to be released on April. g
      In August 2010 she held an important concert in her hometowm, Fukushima, where she went to perform justwith her piano, and where she also announced her 4th album, "LIFE", to be released as usually close to her birthday in September, and days later a DVD with last year's tour. This album was recorded between the USA and Japan, with half the albumcontaining Japanese songs and the other half containing English songs, for which she was helped by her idol, Janis Ian. To promote the album she used "Every Woman's Song", fully in English with backing vocals made by Janis. Soon after she started a new tour around Japan.


     WHITE ERA

 

g     In December 2010 she held a double concert, in Osakajo Hall and in Budokan, besides her usual participation in Kouhaku Utagasser. Soon after that she announced a new song coming song, called "I have a dream", made for an art exhibition in "Washington National Gallery" of Tokyo.
     In March, after the devastating earthquake in Japan, she wrote in her website that she was safe telling how hard it was that day for her to go home, and asked about the health of all her fans. Later she announced a new song for the dorama "Namae wo Nakushita Megami", called "Hajimari no BALLAD", which was part of the next single together with "I have a dream", being released on June 2011 together with the opening of the art exhibition. g
      She revealed that she was going to model for the famous Japanese brand UNIQLO in August, and she also announced a new album for September called "WHITE", in which she was going to include a new song, "OneFamily", that was made for a new NHK show. Half of the album contained cover songs, while the other half wasjust own songs, using "Tsugaru Kaikyou Fuyugeshiki" as the promotional track, her cover of a famous enka song that was also going to be the theme song for the UNIQLO CMs.
      The same day of the release Angela announced 2 important news: the first one was about her 4 months pregnancy, which wasn't the first because in the beginning of the year she lost a baby by natural causes, and the second one was about a new Budokan concert she planned to hold being 8 months pregnant, combining that way her dreams of becoming a mother as well as with music.

 

     NOWADAYS

 

g     After the release of "WHITE" she started a short tour around Japan and announced another concert for December, which was going to be a solidarity concert for the kids damaged after the March earthquaky. She also announced she was going to host her own TV show, "Angela Aki no SONGBOOK · In English", to teach English to Japanese students through covers of famous English shows. This show was aired for the first time on January 2012, which would be around her 9th month of pregnancy, that's why it was already recorded when she first started to rehearse her concerts. g
     The 2 concerts were held in December as planned, and she appeared on Kouhaku Utagassen singing "One Family"being 9 months pregnant, which made her become a global trending topic in the famous social networkTwitter for about 1 hour after her performance. After that night she started her maternity leave, and during this time her TV show is going to be aired on NHK's eTERE channel, as well as a new album being released, her sixth one, which is called "SONGBOOK" and contains the 6 cover songs recorded for the TV show besides 6 more cover songs. Although 10 of the 12 album tracks have appeared one way or another in her discography, most of them have been re-recorded for this album.

     Now we're waiting for her child to be born as a healthy baby, so she'll come back to music after some months.



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