Name in Japanese: コーネリアス, こーねりあす
Birth name: Keigo Oyamada ( 小山田 圭吾, オヤマダ ケイゴ, おやまだ けいご)
Instruments: Vocals, Guitar
Years Active: 1988 - Present
One of the few Japanese artists to make a significant impact overseas, Keigo Oyamada (a.k.a. Cornelius) has played a leading role in the development of Japanese music, art, and fashion since the early 1990s. Oyamada started his professional music career in the late 1980s when he was still in high school as guitarist for the short lived Lollypop Sonic, which also featured Kenji Ozawa (nephew of conductor Seiji Ozawa). The band soon changed its name to Flipper's Guitar. Comprising Oyamada, Ozawa,...read more
One of the few Japanese artists to make a significant impact overseas, Keigo Oyamada (a.k.a. Cornelius) has played a leading role in the development of Japanese music, art, and fashion since the early 1990s. Oyamada started his professional music career in the late 1980s when he was still in high school as guitarist for the short lived Lollypop Sonic, which also featured Kenji Ozawa (nephew of conductor Seiji Ozawa). The band soon changed its name to Flipper's Guitar. Comprising Oyamada, Ozawa, Shusaku Yoshida, Yasunobu Arakawa, and Yukiko Inoue, the band would release three stellar pop albums that would set the tone for Japanese music and pop culture before breaking up in 1991. Regarded as progenitors of the Shibuya-kei music style and scene, Flipper's Guitar hijacked elements of swinging 60s London, Brian Wilson, French movies, psychedelia, and myriad other sources, refracting them back as something wholly original and fresh. After the band's sudden breakup in 1991, Oyamada went on hiatus as a musician, founding the hip Trattoria label and producing songs for Hideki Kaji's band The Bridge, Pizzicato Five, and Kahimi Karie. In 1993 Oyamada emerged as a solo artist with the mini album Holidays in the Sun, recording and performing under the moniker Cornelius, a tribute to Roddy McDowall's ape scientist from the classic Planet Of The Apes movie. His first two long players, First Question Award(1994) and 69/96 (1995) sold fairly well. However if was his third full-length Fantasma, released in September, 1997, that provided a real breakthrough; a wonderfully splattered hodgepodge of styles that expanded on Flipper's spirited explorations and miraculously melded into one of the most original, cohesive, and culturally significant records of the year. With the massive success of Fantasma in Japan, Oyamada scored a deal with prestigious indie stalwart Matador in the United States, releasing the album there to warm reviews. Cornelius backed away from the manic style of Fantasma on the October, 2001 full-length Point - a more spare, thoughtful work that showcased Oyamada's often overlooked guitar chops. Point was released in the United States early the following year, again on Matador, and while it did not make the same splash as Fantasma, sold respectably. Five years later in 2006 he followed with Sensuous, which extended the themes on Point. Live performances are an extension of Cornelius recordings, incorporating trippy lightshows, karate apes, and other elements that both complement and are complemented by his music. More recently, he has minutely synchronized his live music to video elements in concert, with each show precisely the same, highlighting his precision and musicianship. In addition to his own music, Oyamada's list of collaborators reads like a who's who of modern music, including Beck, Blur, and The Avalanches, and more recently, Yellow Magic Orchestra and Sketch Show, and the solo projects of Yukihiro Takahashi. He is also involved in the design and marketing of cutting-edge merchandise, including a limited edition cardboard turntable, unique watches, action figures, and headphones that accompanied the first pressing of Fantasma in Japan. Through his partnership with A Bathing Ape and its founder Nigo, a gigantic cult figure in his own right, Oyamada has worked on numerous cool products including t-shirts shrink-wrapped in the form of spray cans and Beastie Boys figures.collapse
Cornelius - E
grahambaster added self as a fan of Cornelius in September, 2012.
bill updated the profile for Cornelius in January, 2010.
ROBOTOMY added self as a fan of Cornelius in March, 2009.
czar updated the profile for Cornelius in March, 2009.
anmorris added self as a fan of Cornelius in March, 2009.
Artist page created by: bill
This Page Still Needs...
Nothing! But we always have room for more images, videos, and informative websites, as well as insightful profile updates.