Tomoko Kawase

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Tomoko Kawase
Born Tomoko Kawase
(1975-02-06) February 6, 1975 (age 39)
Kyoto, Japan
Residence Tokyo, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Other names Tommy february6
Tommy heavenly6
Occupation singer, songwriter, producer, actress, model
Years active 1995–present
Agent Ken-On (1995-2009)
Ninety-One Inc. (2009-present)
Known for the brilliant green
Spouse(s) Shunsaku Okuda (m. 2003)

Tomoko Kawase (川瀬 智子 Kawase Tomoko?) is a Japanese singer, song-writer, producer, actress, and model from Kyoto. She is the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Brilliant Green. She also has a solo career under the alter-ego pseudonyms Tommy february6 and Tommy heavenly6.

Life and career[edit]

1975–1994: Early life[edit]

Tomoko Kawase was born on February 6, 1975, in Kyoto, Japan.

1995-present: The Brilliant Green[edit]

In 1995, after bassist Shunsaku Okuda and guitarist Ryo Matsui heard her sing in an amateur talent contest, Kawase was asked to join The Brilliant Green as the lead vocalist.[1] The first two releases from The Brilliant Green were non-album singles "Bye Bye Mr. Mug", and "Goodbye and Good Luck" which received moderate success.[1] Their break came in 1998 when their third single, "There Will Be Love There" was chosen as the theme song for the popular Japanese Drama Love Again, and as a result went straight to the top of the charts. After another number one hit with "Tsumetai Hana" they released their self-titled debut album which sold over one million copies in just two days. On the back of this success their first national tour, titled "There Will Be Live There," sold out across Japan in only three minutes.[2]

On November 22, 2003 Kawase announced her marriage to band mate, bassist Shunsaku Okuda. Due to her marriage, her legal name changed to Tomoko Okuda. However, she is still credited as Kawase Tomoko.

In 2013, Kawase started releasing music from all her personas in commemoration of the Brilliant Green's 15th anniversary.

2001-present: Solo career[edit]

In 2001, Kawase launched her solo career under the character of Tommy february6 (named from a combination of her nickname and birth date) with "Everyday at the Bus Stop". Vastly different from the pop rock sound of The Brilliant Green, Tommy february6's persona and sound are inspired by and derived from British and American 1980's synthpop, including a cover of Strawberry Switchblade's "Since Yesterday". Kawase's original intention with Tommy february6 was to create a character who was far from innocent, though cute in both sound and appearance; Tommy february6 was designed to be someone who was true to her feelings despite the cutesy nature of her outward character and did as she wanted (and as such, Tommy february6 is seen repeatedly in music videos drinking alcohol from flasks, bars, etc.) Kawase's second single under the name was Kiss One More Time, and third single under the name was "Bloomin'!" (a song that was also used in a commercial for cosmetic company, Shiseido). Finally, on her birthday, Kawase released her eponymous debut album: Tommy february6.

In October 2002, Tommy february6 released a photo and journal book titled Tommy february6 + Hawaii. It is presented in a mock travel guide format, including features such as restaurant reviews, sightseeing hotspots and cultural information. In keeping with the character's outwardly cute personality, crude outline sketches of animals and fairies litter the pages (as seen on the cover) alongside thought bubbles gracing many of the pictures, which have the distinct appearance of doodles. One after the release of Tommy february6, Kawase released her fourth single under the name, titled "Je t'aime je t'aime". At this point, the original concept started to disappoint her and Kawase began to feel that the character could no longer maintain its purity. On the day she released her fifth single "Love Is Forever", she also released her debut single as Tommy heavenly6 "Wait Till I Can Dream". Kawase would later explain that Tommy heavenly6 was born from a dream that Tommy february6 had, in which she embraces all the elements of her personality she had previously been repressing.

Then, in December 2003, girl group was also debuted based on Tommy february6, named Tommy☆angels. Shortly after came the second studio album under the Tommy february6 name, titled: "Tommy Airline". After "Tommy Airline" came the release of Tommy heavenly6's second single "Hey My Friend", and the release of Tommy february6's single "Lovely: Yume Miru Lovely Boy", used as the ending song for the 7th Pokémon film. In August 2005 (nearly two years after her first single), Tommy heavenly6 finally released her third single, "Ready?", which was shortly followed by her own long awaited eponymous debut album. After the release of Tommy february6's "Lonely in Gorgeous", Kawase decided to focus on the Tommy heavenly6 persona.

In 2006 and 2007 Tommy heavenly6 released five new singles which led to her second album Heavy Starry Heavenly. She finished this productive phase with the Heavy Starry Tour: four live performances as Tommy heavenly6 during March 2007. She incorporated most of her songs into this live format, which lasted for an hour and a half, complete with her now regular backing band, and even her band mates from The Brilliant Green made guest appearances for some songs. Kawase still kept the Tommy february6 persona through cameos on Tommy heavenly6's music videos, like "Lollipop Candy Bad Girl" and "I Love Xmas".

In 2008 Tommy february6 was featured on a compilation album We Love Cyndi, covering "All Through the Night" by Cyndi Lauper. On February 25, 2009, Kawase released two best-of albums under both the Tommy aliases, Strawberry Cream Soda Pop Daydream (as February6) and Gothic Melting Ice Cream's Darkness Nightmare (as heavenly6). Both albums collected the Tommy singles and certain album tracks, as well as having a new track each.

In April 2009, Tommy heavenly6 released a new concept album, titled I Kill My Heart, which was composed mostly by Chiffon Brownie. Two of the promotional songs for her third album were accompanied by music videos that had two versions each: one as Tommy heavenly6 and one as Tommy february6. After the release of I Kill My Heart, both Tommy heavenly6 and Tommy february6's contracts with DefStar Records expired, and were not renewed.

In 2010 Tommy february6, Tommy heavenly6, and the brilliant green were all picked up by Warner Music Japan. Finally in December 2010, Kawase announced via her Twitter page the possibility for a third studio album under the Tommy february6 persona. Tommy february6's official website with Warner Music Japan is still stated as "coming soon". In August 2011, Tommy stated via Twitter she was working on demos for both Tommy heavenly6 and Tommy february6. In September 2011, a statement was posted on Tommy heavenly6's official site saying Tommy february6 would return February 6, 2012.[3] Tommy february6 was featured in Tommy heavenly6's music video for I'm Your Devil (Halloween Remix).

On November 11, 2011 Tommy announced during an interview with J-Wave Circus Circus she is in the process of recording a double album featuring both Tommy february6 and Tommy heavenly66, set for release in 2012. Warner released a press release on December 1, 2011, stating the album's release date as February 29, 2012.[4] The album's title was later revealed to be "february & heavenly". The album debuted at #7 on the Oricon albums chart.

In September 2012, Tommy announced she would be releasing a Halloween EP titled "Halloween Addiction". Which would feature both of her previous "Halloween singles" as well as a new one. In December 2012, Tommy announced she would be releasing a special Valentine's Day single through Tommy february6 titled, "Be My Valentine". In April 2013, Tommy announced a new English single, "Runaway", and a new album, Tommy Candy Shop, for release in June 2013.[5]

Discography[edit]

With The Brilliant Green[edit]

As Tommy february6[edit]

As Tommy heavenly6[edit]

Concert tours[edit]

With The Brilliant Green[edit]

  • There Will Be Live There Tour (1998)
  • Terra 2001 Tour (1999)

Solo tours[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Network
- Piropo Voice of Pikki -
- Breakdown Herself / Host MTV

Bibliography[edit]

As Tommy february6[edit]

  • Tommy february6 + Hawaii (2002)

Other activities[edit]

In October 2002, Tommy february6 released a photo and journal book titled Tommy february6 + Hawaii. It is presented in a mock travel guide format, including features such as restaurant reviews, sightseeing hotspots and cultural information. In keeping with the character's outwardly cute personality, crude outline sketches of animals and fairies litter the pages (as seen on the cover) alongside thought bubbles gracing many of the pictures, which have the distinct appearance of doodles.

Kawase has also made an appearance as the voice of Pikki in the anime series Piroppo, briefly modelled for Italian fashion house Fiorucci and for a period of time hosted Break Down, an MTV show. She also worked as a producer on the Takashi Fujii single, entitled Oh My Juliet.

In October 2005, an exclusive Tommy February6 Blythe doll was released.

In 2012, she produced Japanese model duo, Amoyamo's pre-debut EP, "Amoyamo", as well as their debut single, "Let's Go Out!".

References[edit]

External links[edit]