Utada Hikaru Biography
Review The Artist (40)
She's "That Japanese girl" that you're going to be hearing a lot from, soon.
"Utada" is her family name, and music is the family business. Born in Manhattan to a traditional-Japanese-style-singer Mom and musician/producer Dad, she was flying frequently between New York and Tokyo before she had learned to walk. Now, 21 years old and bilingual, Utada prizes her unstable, nomadic upbringing which has instilled in her an open yet analytic mind, and the confidence to quickly adapt to any new environment.
To Utada, both metropolises are home. Then perhaps the recording studio could be called her third. There she went after school to do homework, take naps under huge speakers, and watch her parents recording music.
As naturally as a shoemaker's son takes up his father's tools, she composed and recorded her first song at age 11. At 13, she recorded her first solo album in English---she had written and composed most of the songs. A year later, a music producer at Toshiba EMI casually asked her if she was capable of writing Japanese songs. Her answer would become the first recording for her debut album, which has sold over 9 million copies since its release in 1999.
Let me guess; that number either impressed you, or it totally turned you off with the thought that she's another one of those big foreign acts that try to break the US market and can't even cause a stir. Now, let me bet, that when you hear Utada's music, you will listen hard because it is nothing like what you expected, maybe sense a smile creeping up your cheeks, and after drawing your personal opinion, look forward with wonder to how the rest of America is going to take it.
"I'm always troubled when people ask me to classify my music," says Utada. "I try to make GOOD, original music; something entertaining, different, memorable, well-crafted, and worth paying money for. Sometimes I'm as pop as The Police; sometimes as fierce as The Mars Volta, and I always, always enjoy being humorous and seductive."
In Japan, Utada quickly acquired a notoriety for sparse media exposure due to academic priorities (like... high school!). She is currently on leave from Columbia University, opting the intensity of her career over campus life. "I realized that I already knew exactly what I wanted to do. And so for the first time, I consciously chose music as a full time profession. Maybe I'll go back to University when I'm a grandmother." For now she prefers doing most of her work alone with her laptop and keyboard, sequencing and arranging, composing, and writing lyrics.
"When my music starts playing on airwaves and clubs, I want everybody to notice and say, 'Hey, this is that Japanese girl, right?!' " ...But how will we recognize her at first, with just her music? Take it from Utada who says, "I'll make sure that you know it's me."
"written by Utada"
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i love you | Reviewer: utadafanskylar | 2/6/13
You are the best singer ever my fave songs are easy breezy simple and clean sanctuary and some other stuff that I can't remember bit I . Love you which is why I'm going to japan!!!!( hoping that your there when I come)
A serious musician, not just a pop singer!!! | Reviewer: Brianne (musician) | 12/8/11
I have a lot of respect for Hikaru-san (a lot of her fans refer to her by her super cute nickname, Hikki). I am a classically trained and jazz-trained singer and violinist. I very rarely listen to pop music of my own volition. But I *am* a gamer, and will admit my first exposure to Ms. Utada was "Simple & Clean" back in 2002, then "Sanctuary" (the English version of Passion on her album Ultra Blue, with lyrics completely unrelated to the Japanese lyrics)in '06. That is when I was determined to find out who this artist was. I found the albums Exodus (english, 2004) and Ultra Blue (japanese, 2006) and have been hooked ever since. She is influenced by a lot of artists that I also love and respect, like Freddy Mercury, Bartok, Bjork, Jeff Buckley, Aaliyah, Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, etc... She uses the full extent of her range both vocally and musically in every song. Every album has a different feel, and every song stands firm in their individuality. Passion/Sancutary remains a sentimental favorite to this day, but Hands down my absolute favorite song EVER by her is "SAKURA DROPS". I hear a bit of a Beatles influence in the verses, a bit of Bjork and a whole LOT of Hikki. It's my jam. ^_^
You rock! | Reviewer: Bob | 2/14/11
Utada you are an awesome song writer and always will be! My most favorite song that you wrote was simple and clean. I can spend hours just listening to your music! You so rock and keep singing!!!!!! :)
Most Unique Music Writer | Reviewer: Christine | 9/4/10
I love Utada Hikaru. I actually didn't know her from KH cuz I'm not a gamer. My first song was either Addicted to You or First Love. And I moved on to Can You Keep a Secret? and Hikari. Oh my mistake, my first song was actually Sakura Drops; I always forget that because I saw her video once on the TV while on vacation. When I got interested in Hikki and someone lent me her CD, the first song that played was Sakura Drops and I spent half an hour figuring out why it sounded so familiar!!
I also like Passion and Be My Last, Keep Trying. I think these are my favourites. I haven't really heard her English ones except Exodus, which was ok but I didn't like the melody that much.
WOW | Reviewer: Seth Wells | 1/16/10
So I have to say that Utada is THE best international artist ever. Her music can only be explained in few words, down right AMAZING. If we didn't have her abilities in this world it would be rather dull. Thanks a ton and keep rollen girl.
Truly wonderful! | Reviewer: BuG-E | 1/7/10
Needless to say everyone knows that she is really good. right? I don't know Japanese but when i listen to her songs WOW you know i feel so peaceful inside and i listen them many times in a row. Never bored. My favorite is Hikari. I know you like it too. Keep cheer her up guys.
Nice | Reviewer: Ibby | 3/15/09
I think most people have heard her on KH1 or KH2. I'd have to say that simple & clean and Sanctaury are my favs. I wonder if she knows how many people accually listen to her music, like over and over again. She should sing for anime TV shows. Although some people may call them 'cheesy' most aren't. But you hav to admit that some can be. Now I'm getting off track. So we're...not...addicted! We just listen to it all da time!
So just... Yay! yeah, woot. GO UTADA! WE NEED MORE SONGS!
Hikaru is Amazing | Reviewer: Jesse Hudson | 8/28/08
Wow i love your music the first time i heard i you captured my heart and imagination. Your music is up beat and has a melodic feeling to it,i love it. I was amazed that you sang the intro to my all time favorite game Kingdom Hearts. I flipped when i heard your voice. Thank you for creating a new style of music, your a genius.
Thank u writer,,, i really like her bio-data | Reviewer: Yogi Pun | 4/26/08
I really love her music when i first saw only the trailor song,,, it really touch my soul even i didn't understand some words,,, and thanks writing about her bio ,,, which really put a smile on my face
The best of the best. | Reviewer: Inceptor | 2/13/08
I think that She is VERRRRRRYYYYY sophisticated and beautiful. No lez jokes1 jk....Well...my favorite song by Utada is either First Love, Flavor of life, simple & clean/hikaru, sanctuary.. passion.....AHHHHH i love all of them.
wee | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/31/08
good music, as an example kremlin Dusk, there is a good melody in backround, it's just so 8-bit sounding and inspirating, makes me sing every time, and when i listen some song about 20 times in a row, i know the words(except if it's in Japanese) Keep it going......
I love Utada's music! | Reviewer: Lissa | 1/15/08
I think she is a talented singer and producer. I think her music is so original and at the same time its the coolest w/o following the latest trend. I love "Colors" and "Easy Breezy" They are my two most favorite songs of hers and all time so far.
:) | Reviewer: Alxasphyxiate | 1/11/08
I enjoyed this biography and im using it for my essay im writing about her for my Humanities class :)! I love Utada! And one of my favourite songs is Passioon <3333
and futotta me-ushii that says she's not the kuso.
Needs to listen to her music.
I love Utada :)!
Coolio | Reviewer: kiri koshiba | 11/27/07
She's pretty cool. I like to pick out certain songs from her Exodus cd and pretend the rest doesn't exist and focus on her other music. Ultra Blue was a good step up for her music. I didn't hate Exodus completely like the songs, Kremlin Dusk, Exodus, YMMWTBM, Devil Inside, and Hotel Lobby, but her other songs just don't sound like her...as if she tried TOO hard to be sexy. But she is one of my favorite singers. I really like her album, Deep River. That was her best!!!
loving utada!!! | Reviewer: Leon | 11/9/07
she is wonderful!!! my favorite is devil inside!!! it sort of represents me... if someone has any method of contacting her then could you tell me how? i just have to know!!! i wanna tell her how inspirational she is!!! i'm getting into music myself... if you see a band called enigma on high, then that'll be me!!! still building it... but have a few basic members... just need another instrumentalist...i need a keyboardist... but everything else is handled!!! loving utada!!! keep being a wonderful inspiration!!! you got me into music!!!
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