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Nanase Aikawa
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At 15 years of age, Nanase dropped out of high school and soon decided to take a refresher course in music. It was her lifelong desire to get into the entertainment industry. She was later discovered by famed music producer Tetsuro Oda. Oda is famous in Japan for producing artists since the late 70's. Some of the best known to me include Zard, TUBE, Deen, T-Bolan, Field of View, Zyyg and Wands. He's also known well for his own solo work in the 80's. He trained Nanase as his protoge for 5 years. Then in November of 1996, Nanase Aikawa made her debut.

Nanase Aikawa is one my favorite female Japanese artists of all and the biggest name in female J-rock. Actually it's a pretty small genre as female rockers are a rare breed. We have the same problem in America where there are too few women in rock music. But after discovering Nanase, I don't mind so much anymore. She fills my need for female rock. In my younger days, Nanase would have been the girl of my dreams. A cool, ass-kickin' rock n' roll girl in leather pants. But even though she seems very tough and cool, she's still a really nice traditional girl from Osaka who likes cooking and manga. She's actually quite a sweet and sentimental person who loves her fans and doesn't take her success for granted. It's that toughness combined with tenderness that first attracted me to her. Facially speaking (although these pics don't give much of an idea) I think she looks a bit like a Japanese Liv Tyler crossed with Vanessa Williams with dyed hair (at least that's my opinion).

Most probably because of Tetsuro Oda's trademark style, her sound is heavily influenced by rock n' roll sounds of the 80's and bears that distinctive sound. Not only are songs focused on moving melodies as was the case with most mid-80's rock songs, but the instrumentation is quite similar with her band's use of synthesizers as well as electric guitar and drums. Most of my friends have remarked this so I know it's not just me who thinks so. If you know Canadian female rockers like Alannah Myles, Sass Jordan or Heart, then you should have a pretty good idea of Nanase's music style. A lot of people I know compare her especially to one of the early 80's more influential chick rockers, Pat Benetar. However her music still remains grounded in the 90's without trying to cash into nostalgic value. It's the best of the past two decades rolled into one great gal. Her music epitomizes everything I've ever wanted chick rock to sound like. After her first two albums, Nanase's music is starting to have a more contemporary sound which is all good as well. Her music was beginning to run out of steam for a while, but now I think it's getting better.

From www.tomobiki.com/wagaku

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