She’s already sold over 50 million albums worldwide, and now, Japanese-American pop singer Hikaru Utada has her sights set on the U.S. The singer performed ‘Come Back To Me’ on ‘The Early Show’ concert series ‘Second Cup Cafe’ on Saturday (March 28). Watch it below.
Hikaru Utada visited KUBE 93 FM in Seattle the other day, talking about how she got started in the music business, the sales success of her debut album, the inspiration for her new album, trying to make something more mainstream than her 2004 English album ‘Exodus’, feeling the most at home in the studio, approaching her work in America as a new debut, how it’s funny when people say “you’re English is so good” since she is from New York, being looked at as an outsider in Japan, what’s next for her, where she sees herself in five years, and believing she’d be in scientific research were she not a pop star.
The interview at YouTube has since been removed.
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Popdirt.com caught up with Hikaru Utada for a Q&A as the Japanese-American pop singer prepares to release her third English album ‘This Is the One’ on Island Records soon.
Q: Talk about how your sound has evolved since your last English album, 2004’s ‘Exodus’?
A: ‘Exodus’ was a very experimental album. I was like a mad scientist working away in an underground laboratory.
I had the time of my life but it was a very intense, introverted process. Since then I have released two Japanese language albums. Through those I’ve become increasingly “pop,” going to back to basics, becoming simpler, more melodic, making songs people can sing along to.
I think I’ve reached the peak of that “pop”ness with my new English album, “This Is The One.” (I am starting to feel the urge to make something really weird… for my next album maybe.)
Q: It has been extremely difficult for non U.S. pop singers to come anywhere near matching their home country success in America (note: Utada is from New York but became a superstar in Japan in 1999 with her debut album ‘First Love’). Do you go into this new album with tempered expectations or are you aiming to make a big chart impact?
A: No. Success just happens, they’re like accidents. What is “success” anyway? Most of the famous and rich people I know are unhappy. I live life with no expectations, be it my career or my personal life. I’m grateful for everything I have and I find great joy in living life that way.
Hikaru Utada is out with the music video to her new single ‘Come Back To Me’, off the Japanese-American pop singer’s third English album ‘This Is the One’, out soon on Island Records. Watch the Anthony Mandler directed video via YouTube below.
Utada Hikaru announced on her blog at U3 on Saturday (March 3) that she is getting a divorce. “Yesterday, on March 2nd, I, Utada Hikaru, and Kiriya Kazuaki, officially divorced,” she writes (translated). “To all the people who have supported us until now, we would like to thank you very much. Our apologies for surprising you with the short notice. We believe that both of us have learned so much and grown up with the 4-year and a half marriage. While we mutually keep changing, a perception gap on the direction of the future and concept of marriage has gradually emerged between us. The lack of communication in our life, passing each other while both are working internationally, is one big reason as well. ‘Though divorce is a pity, it was good that we have met each other’ – that is what we talked. As an creator and a dear friend, we hope we can continue watching the growth of each other. I am looking forward to following Kiriya-kun’s career in the future.”
Utada performed for a special showcase hosted by Blackbook and Island Def Jam at Skylight Studios on Wednesday (February 23) in New York City. Check out pictures from GettyImages.
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Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Osbourne, JoJo, Jesse McCartney, Tiffany Villarreal, and Utada Hikaru attended the Teen People 2004 Artists of the Year Party held at the Key Club in West Hollywood, California on Sunday (November 14). Check out pictures from FilmMagic.
Singapore’s The Electric New Paper profiled Utada Hikaru’s troubles in finding success in America, a common problem for international acts on pop music. Music reviewer A*Keong said: “Utada tries to blend into the American culture, but her musical style is a bit old-fashioned and there’s not enough of her unique Japanese touch.” Freelance writer Ming Kang added: “Exodus is uninspiring and comes off as trying too hard. The lyrics of her single, ‘Easy Breezy’, sound way too cheesy to qualify her as a credible artist to be reckoned with in the American music scene.”
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According to Billboard Biz, Utada’s ‘Exodus’ album has topped Mariah Carey for the largest-ever one-day shipment for an English-language album in Japan. On September 8th, Universal Music Japan shipped 1 million copies of ‘Exodus’, easily topping Carey’s 500,000 units. ‘Exodus’ will reach American shores on October 5th.
Utada is out with the music video to her new single ‘Easy Breezy’, from her forthcoming album ‘Exodus’, due out October 5th. Watch the video below.