Nanase Aikawa (相川 七瀬, Aikawa Nanase), born February 16, 1975 in Osaka, Japan, is a Japanese musician known for employing a variety of musical styles, most notably rock. She publishes her music under the Motorod label, a division of Avex Group. On her latest album and tours she has employed many well-known musicians such as guitarist Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth), guitarist PATA (X-JAPAN), bassist Cool Joe (Dead End), keyboardist D.I.E (ex-hide with Spread Beaver), and drummer 真矢 (ex-LUNA SEA).
While she does have her fair share of soft songs (such as ~dandelion~, The Last Quarter) and fun songs (Break Out!, COSMIC LOVE), a good portion of her collection (and, indeed, the majority of her most popular songs) fall firmly in the rock category. She has remained a constant source of quality rock with a slight pop edge, and though some may argue she belongs fully in the J-Rock category, her pop-idol status and ability to work outside the rock confines would say otherwise.
-= Career =-
After she released her first single in November 1995, she released three more singles, and then her first full album Red in 1996, which sold more than two million copies in its first month, and saw her named "the brightest star" in female rock. That album won her an invitation to perform in a New Year's Eve singing contest between male and female teams of popular singers sponsored by NHK (one of Japan's television companies). Since then, she's released about an album each year, plus an average of three mini- or maxi-singles. Her second album, Paradox, was released in July 1997, selling 1.8 million copies, and coincided with her first concert tour Live Emotion '97 (consisting of 20 concert dates, attracting a total of 65,000 fans, according to Avex.) July 1998 saw her third album Crimson, and another concert tour with over 40 concert dates. Her 1999 release, I.D., was a compilation album, but it debuted at number one on the rock chart, her fourth consecutive album to release in the number one slot. In 2001, she also released a 'mini-album', something between a full album and a single, of uncharacteristically soft, though lovely, ballad-style music, recorded during her later months of pregnancy. (This album was produced by Hotei Tomoyasu.)
At the 11th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards, Nanase's album Red was voted the Best Album (Japanese Rock and Folk music, female vocalist category). Her album Paradox was voted Best Album of the Year, at the 12th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards.
Aikawa Nanase's parents divorced when she was young, which affected her significantly enough that she developed into a bit of a troublemaker (which also happens to be the title of one of her best songs). It is rumored that she was in a girl gang in her young teenage years, and supposedly may have been its leader. Another story has it that she was severely bullied by classmates, giving rise to nightmares, and she skipped an entire year of school. Regardless, at the age of 15, she left all that behind, dropped out of school and was discovered by well-known music producer Oda Tetsuro. Throughout her school years, Nanase would sing and participated in a few singing competitions, which routinely passed her over, though brought her to the attention of Oda. He trained Nanase as a singer for five years before she released her first single, though the details of her life in those years are sketchy.
Nanase is an intensely private person. Very little is known about her personal life except for the bits and pieces she feels confident enough to announce. For instance, on February 16, 2001, many of her male fans were heartbroken when she publicly announced that she had got married that very day. She published this, and the fact that she was already three-months pregnant, on her official website. Nothing else about her relationship was known until the birth of her son, on September 6, 2001.
She is 'polite, but seldom enthusiastic' in interviews, but frequently leaves hand-written messages on her website. Very little else is known of her. This may also be due to the lack of Japanese to English translators in the Aikawa Nanase fanbase. Oddly enough, roughly half of the non-Japanese Nanase fans are Chinese.
* Name: Aikawa Nanase (相川七瀬)
* Birthday: 1975.02.16
* Birthplace: Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
* Blood Type: AB
* Height: 157cm (5'2")
* Weight: 39kg (86 lbs)
* Hair: Varies (Brown/Pink, currently)
* Eyes: Brown
* Favourite Pet: Cat
* Favourite Time of Day: Night
Official site: www.nanase.jp
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