: Ayumi Hamasaki a.k.a. Ayu
: 2nd October 1978
: Fukuoka Prefecture
Height : 156 cm
Weight : 40kg
Measurement : 80-53-82
Favorite Female Entertainers
: Keiko (Globe), Rie Miyazawa, Seiko Matsuda
: As a child I listened to rock music (Led Zeppelin,
Deep Purple), influenced by a relative. Now I like listening
to soul music such as Babyface and En Vogue.
Favorite Actors :
Nicolas Cage, Rie Miyazawa
Movies : The Bodyguard, Betty Blue,
Leaving Las Vegas
Respect : People who have things I don't
Dislike : Liars, people who don't say
Current Interest :
Collecting white things for my room
Food : Biscuits (maybe my staple diet!),
cakes, chocolates, kimchee (Korean marinated cabbage)
Favorite Things to Read
: Most of the fashion magazines. Modern-language
translations of the Manyo tanka poems are especially interesting.
Poems of Natsuo Giniro, Mitsuo Aida, etc.
: Piano, Japanese calligraphy (5th rank), abacus
calculation, Japanese flower arrangement, Kumonshiki study
About My Lyrics
: I like to try to view my own and my friends'
experiences objectively, and put my honest feelings into
words. If I write when I'm low, it will be a dark song,
but I don't care. I want to be honest with myself at all
be honest. To be myself. This is easy to say, but difficult
to do. Nowadays the world is full of greed and lies, and
most people just stand aside avoiding trouble. But some
people do strive toward their dreams and try to be themselves.
Such people shine and make the rest of us willing to support
Hamasaki released her debut single "poker face"
on April 4, 1998. Ayumi chose to be an artist to express
her true self and feelings, and took a trip to New York
in the summer of 1997 to take vocal lessons. "Going
to New York promised me nothing in terms of becoming
professional. I just had to believe in myself,"
debut as an artist... how could she succeed as a professional
singer? What would she have to do? With no answer to
these questions, Ayumi flew to New York full of anticipation
and fear. Sensitive as she is, Ayumi not only developed
her skills as a vocalist, but also developed mentally
by coming across fresh ideas unknown in Japan and by
watching the self-confident behavior of New Yorkers.
"To tell the truth, I was very anxious at first.
But I was encouraged by the sight of young children
living earnestly, and valuing themselves honestly without
hesitation. In New York, I made many technical achievements,
and moreover, I grew stronger at heart."
mature both as a vocalist and a person, Ayumi started
writing lyrics as soon as she returned to Japan. Her
style is to view her own and her friends' experiences
objectively, and to write about them in her own honest
words. In "poker face," she writes about strength
"At first, the song was about a weaker girl,"
Ayumi remembers. "But you can cry anytime, and
I wanted to smile at those sad, lonely moments. I rewrote
the lyrics over and over, and finally finished the song
the day before the vocal recording."
Starting with this debut single, Ayumi has written all
the lyrics of the songs she releases. The lyrics won't
include fake thoughts or even flights of imagination.
As Ayumi says, "I don't want to lose myself or
lie to myself. I don't feel much stress about being
myself. It's not difficult for me. It's just being natural.
Being true to yourself isn't something you strive for."
music on "poker face" is produced by Yasuhiko
Hoshino (composition) and Akimitsu Honma (arrangement).
The track is done in a pop style that captures the essence
of the 80s sound. Its melody blends seamlessly with
the world described in Ayumi's lyrics, and sweetly embraces
her lonesome touching voice.
"When I received the song's tape, I thought 'What
a difficult song!' When I made a trial recording with
the first lyrics (before rewriting), I hated it. But
with the current lyrics, I could feel the song at once...
and could sing it better than any other song I had tried.
My voice came out naturally and the song became so much
mine that I forgot I'd thought it was difficult."
vocal technique perfecting difficult songs. Talented
lyrics of honest feeling. Ayumi's rise has just begun.
Look for her to soon make a name for herself as a top
hamasaki english official site)