Name in Japanese: アキ アンジェラ, あき あんじぇら
Instruments: Vocals, Piano/Keyboards
Years Active: 2000 - Present
Angela Aki is a singer-songwriter and pianist from Tokushima, Japan. Her father is Japanese and her mother is Italian-American. Her father, Kiyoshi Aki, is the owner and co-founder of AEON Institute of Language Education, one of the largest English conversation schools in Japan. Aki got started with music early, taking piano lessons from the age of three. After moving briefly from Tokushima to Okayama, her family relocated to Hawaii when she was fifteen years old, and she finished...read more
Angela Aki is a singer-songwriter and pianist from Tokushima, Japan. Her father is Japanese and her mother is Italian-American. Her father, Kiyoshi Aki, is the owner and co-founder of AEON Institute of Language Education, one of the largest English conversation schools in Japan. Aki got started with music early, taking piano lessons from the age of three. After moving briefly from Tokushima to Okayama, her family relocated to Hawaii when she was fifteen years old, and she finished highschool there. In addition to becoming fluent in English, Aki spent much her time in Hawaii in activities revolving around music and surfing. After graduating from highschool, Aki went to George Washington University in Washington, D.C., majoring in political science. She became estranged from her family at that time. In 1997, she went to a Sarah McLachlan concert, and decided to try and forge a career as a singer-songwriter. She was 18 at the time. In 2000, she released an indie album in the United States, called These Words, which received some critical praise, but did not do much in the way of sales. After graduation from university, she found a job in Washington, D.C. and worked as a secretary, but she could not give up the dream of working in music, and quit her job in 2001. Aki played in clubs at night, subsidizing her income by working as a waitress by day. During this time, Aki married her first album’s engineer, producer, and artist Tony Alany, but they divorced shortly thereafter. In 2002, she composed two tracks for the record Let It Fall by Dianne Eclar, a teenage pop singer from the Philippines, and moved to Japan. In 2003, Aki saw a Ringo Shena concert at the legendary Budokan - a rite of passage for Japanese bands, also made famous by live albums from overseas bands Cheap Trick and Deep Purple, among others. It was at this time that she vowed she would also play Budokan within three years, despite not even having a label deal. She hit the grueling club circuit while penning over 100 songs, distributing them on demo CDs. In 2005, she released an indie mini-album on Virgo Music entitled One, which caught the attention of Nobuo Uematsu, a video game composer and musician best known for his work on the Final Fantasy series. Through this connection she was able to sign with Epic, making her major label debut in late 2005 with the single "Home". In 2006, she sang the theme song for Final Fantasy XII, "Kiss Me Good-Bye". On December 26, 2006, she held the concert in Nippon Budokan Hall, pretty much in line with her original timeline. In May 2006, Angela signed with Tofu Records, the American label backed by Sony Music Entertainment, in order to release English singles and albums. Her first release with Tofu was a slightly altered "Kiss Me Good-Bye". In the same year she sang the song at the premiere of PLAY! a video game symphony concert in Chicago. 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 piano accompaniment. In March 2007, Aki made the surprise announcement that she had married Japanese recording engineer and music producer, Yoshihide Mikami on her blog, simultanously making the dissolution of her previous marriage public. Aki continues to make music and chart well in Japan.collapse
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Angela Aki - Tegami
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