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PROFILE

Japanese

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Kokia was raised being familiar with music and arts by influence of her grandparents.
She was especially fascinated by the world of music, and naturally started composing music with piano.
She started learning violin at the age of three, and majored in voice at Toho Gakuen high school and university. While she studied classical music, she made a debut as a professional since she desired to be able to express wonder and possibility of music through her own composition and words.
Her ever-changing voice has been highly appreciated as "borderless voice", and her career is spreading to the world, especially supported in Europe. Her songs which values heart-touching and simple message are questioning what "love and peace"is.

It is her 14th year since her first debut. Other than her own creative activities, she shows broad musical talent by TV-spots and producing works.

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1998
Made a major debut from Pony Canyon in Japan.

1999~2001
Her third single "Arigatou" receives third place in Hong Kong International Popular Music award, which is an equivalent to Japan Record Award. Even though KOKIA sings in Japanese, her "Thank you" message had gone over the barrier of language to touch people's heart.
This song was covered by very famous singer Sammy Cheng in Cantonese and had received great acclaim and a first place in Hong Kong's national ranking.
Through chain of these accomplishments, her music from the first album was used as a TV commercial song for FANCL cosmetics company in Hong Kong. This had lead to her great increase in popularity and as a result, her first live concert was a great success.
In 2001, her song "Say Hi!" was used as a commercial song for Shiseido in Asian region except for Japan. Also she joined a drug eradication charity concert held in Hong Kong with the big four in Hong Kong. This event drew thirty thousand people. This had also increased her popularity in Asia. Her popularity reached main land China and Taiwan as well. She had joined a count down event in Taiwan which drew one hundred thousand people. She was the first Japanese to perform in an event sponsored by MTV Asia that was held in front of the government general.

2002
She released her second album "trip trip". The last song in this album "a gift" was used as a commercial song for Subaru in Europe. This had led to some interest in KOKIA from Europe.
In April, she wrote a song especially for Suntory oolong tea's commercial aired in Shanghai.

2003
Her deep and warm voice had become a familiar sound in Japan through "The Power of Smile" which was used as a commercial song for a shampoo and "Kawaranaikoto ~since 1976~" which was used as a theme song for a drama "Itoshiki monoe (For dear one)" (Fuji TV)
She had performed "The Power of Smile" live on a TV program "Music Station" and received great response from the public. From December to January of 2004, she participated in NHK"s "Minna no uta", which she had longed for a chance to sing for since she was little, with a song "Yukyu no mori".

2004
She covered Eagles' song "desperado" which was used in a movie "Hotel Venus" starring SMAP's Mr. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi. She also appeared on Mr. Kusanagi's TV program "Chonan kan"
In summer, she sang a supporting song "Yumega chikara" for Japanese representative athletes in Athens Olympics. KOKIA had composed and written lyrics to this song while Mr., Akira Senju had arranged it to make it more than just a pop music. This song had delivered dreams to many Japanese, both young and old.

2005
"time to say goodbye", released in July, is being used as an ending song for a TV program "Kinyo (Friday) Entertainment". The coupling song of this single "Shiawase no Hanataba" was used as a commercial image song for red feather fund-raising campaign and was a familiar tune on TV and radio.

2006
She was in charge of writing/singing a theme song and ending song for a nationwide premiere theatre animated movie "Giniro no kami no Agito" which was premiered in the New years. She had also released a single of these songs on the new year's day. On February first, she released a long-awaited best album "pearl" and on the same day released her first DVD collection "jewel".
The album "pearl" was released in France and Spain prior to its release in Japan, and in January, she performed a very successful solo live in Europe. The news about this event was taken up in great extent by Japanese print media. After her solo live in Paris, she participated in "MIDEM2006", held in Cannes, representing Japan. Her performance in front of world wide music-related audience had ended in great success and drew numerous requests for licensing in new countries.
Currently, she sings a commercial song for a cameral manufacturer which airs in all Asian regions except for Japan. Also, she participates in numerous events overseas and offers music to various artists.

Founded own company anco&co in June in order to express the artist’s own feeling freely without getting caught in the music scene in Japan. Beside having solo performances in Tokyo, starts a project to deliver her "live" voice to all 47 prefectures in Japan.
On November 29th, released a first album "aigakikoeru" after becoming independent. It was released in France and in Europe prior to its release in Japan.

2007
Gave second performance in Paris with the new album. Attracted 1200 people and was a great success. Such a big concert by Japanese musician had captured an attention of many Europeans and has become a pioneer of Japanese musicians in European music scene. The DVD with footage from this Paris concert was released on May 5th. In addition, European tour with stops in Paris and Belgium has been set for March 2008.

KOKIA’s "Arigatou" had been used on for flash image on Internet and received great attention from the media as well. As a result, released a single version of "Arigatou…" taken from her best album. This song was originally released in 1999 and it was her first self-written music to be released. The coupling number "Utau hito" was used as a theme song for a movie "Furusato JAPAN" Her popularity had been generated naturally.
The Japanese version of "aigakioeru" was released on May 23rd, 2007. The concert tour with stops in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya was extremely successful.

Through a single mail from a victim of an earthquake, which occurred on July 16th in Japan, KOKIA sent her a song called "Watashi ni dekiru koto" as a gift. Number of coincidences and miracles had caused this music to have great influence over the people of Kashiwazaki city in Niigata prefecture. As a result, the CD of this song was made and on September 16th, two months after the earthquake, it was released mainly in the Kashiwazaki city area. Currently, many people nation wide have responded to this incident and KOKIA is extremely pleased that "the true and the greatest meaning of song had touched so many people"
For the first time in almost two years released an original single, "Follow the Nightingale"(Opening theme song for Nintendo DS "tails of innocence") on November 21st.

2008
For the start of 10th anniversary year, released an album "The VOICE" simultaneously in Japan, Asia and Europe. And with this album, gave a very successful third concert in France attracting 1800 people. Also she gave two concerts in Paris as well as a successful first stage in Belgium. Currently she has a European tour scheduled for spring of 2009 with additional performance in new countries. Her 10th anniversary concert in Japan was also extremely successful. The footage from this concert was released as DVD "The VOICE" on July 16th.

KOKIA released her first album recorded overseas, in Ireland, "Fairy Dance" on September 24th. Starting with this recording in Ireland, she plants to interact with musicians from all over the world and collaborate with them.
Furthermore, Christmas album "Christmas gift" is scheduled to be released on November 12th. Her popularity and talent are expected to soar not only in Asia and Europe, but also in Japan as well.

Currently she is participating in charity events through her music. One of them is for Christmas season this year she is going to make a special CD of "Remember the Kiss" which she wrote with her prayer for world peace right after 911 in the US seven years ago, and plans to distribute 10,000 CD to people of New York free of charge as a "Music Gift" for them. Through this project she believes people can feel warmth and calmness within their hearts.

2009
As a wrap-up of releases for the 10th anniversary, she released "KOKIA∞AKIKO~balance~", "AKIKO∞KOKIA~balance~" on March.18th. This was her first challenge in releasing 2 albums at a time. "KOKIA∞AKIKO~balance~" was released as usual via record stores and on-line distribution, and "AKIKO∞KOKIA~balance~" was the first release through her official website and time-limited online distribution.
Following the releases, she went on a tour "KOKIA world tour 2009 「∞」 infinity" starting from Shibuya Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo, Osaka, France (3shows in Paris), Ireland, Poland, Belgium, Germany, and this tour had gained wider range of her popularity in Europe.

This world tour was filmed and released to sale as a documentary DVD "Wherever I am ~world tour 2009 in Europe~" which is 3-disc set and on sale from Victor Records.
Another first challenge, online distribution limited "Life Trilogy~inochi no uta (songs of Life) " was released from August. The second song was released in November, and these two songs gained the first place on its first appearances on iTunes store J-POP album chart. Every songs of the trilogy was released coupling with a cover tune, and very well received by her fans.

On Dec. 2nd, released her second Best-album named "Coquillage~the Best CollectionⅡ" which songs were selected by KOKIA from all her original albums released after she had founded her own management office. In the same month she went on a tour named "winter tour 2009~gift in December" in Nagoya, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Osaka, Sendai, Yokohama (2shows). All shows were sold out and her first solo concert in Hiroshima and Sendai were big success, too. Also broadly worked on many TVCM music, songs for animation, and producing other artists besides her originals.

2010
The last song for the online-limited distribution "Life Trilogy ~inochi no uta (songs of life)" was released in March, and gained the first place on its first appearances on iTunes store J-POP album chart. On March.31st, released much-awaited her own album named "REAL WORLD". All photos for the album jackets were taken in Sahara/Tunisia first, then followed to create sound by collecting all inspiration she felt. This was very new way of creating an album for her. Also created a video clip of her in the Sahara with a song in the album "The Woman". In April, went on a tour "concert tour 2010~oto no tabibito (sound traveler)" in Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka (2shows), and Tokyo. The last show was at Tokyo Bunkamura Orchard Hall as second time with full audience. The shows took her audience to the "journey in the heart" by fantastic world which was produced by sound and lighting
Her career in Europe went on to 5th year and wider activity. The Europe tour in October was held in 8 countries, 12 shows - Hungary, Russia, Poland, Austria, Germany (2shows), Spain, England, and France (Paris and other 3 cities).


2011
In the beginning of the year she announced an awaited new album named "moment".
This album was recorded in a concert hall with audience as "stage recording album".
The "stage recording" was her own idea and it enabled to vacuum-packed the very "moment", and the album was released on May 18th.
2-days concerts at Tokyo International Forum C-hall on May 21st and 22nd was named "5th season concert", which celebrates the 5th anniversary for her management company anco&co.

Caring about delivering music to people's heart in mind and going beyond the boundaries of j-pop, KOKIA's distinctive music world has touched many people not only in Japan but world wide. A singer, KOKIA. with her small statue and the charming way she speaks, no one can imagine that the moment they hear her spiritual voice, their heart will be captivated by her magic.

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