February 6, 1975
|Other names||Tommy february6
|Occupation||singer, songwriter, producer, actress, model|
|Known for||the brilliant green|
|Spouse(s)||Shunsaku Okuda (m. 2003)|
Tomoko Kawase is a Japanese singer, song-writer, producer, actress, and model from Kyoto, Japan. She rose to fame as the lead singer of the alternative rock band, The Brilliant Green. She also has a successful solo career under the alter-ego pseudonyms Tommy february6 and Tommy heavenly6.
Life and career
1975–1994: Early life
1995-present: The Brilliant Green
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. 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. 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.
The Brilliant Green went on to release five singles, before releasing their second studio album, Terra 2001 on September 8, 1999. The band then toured for Terra 2001 before releasing two more single, followed by their third studio album, Los Angeles. In 2001, Time magazine chose The Brilliant Green as one of the top ten contemporary acts outside the U.S. for their "Los Angeles" album. After the release of three more singles and their fourth studio album, The Winter Album, in 2002, the band members moved on to solo projects, but the group never officially broke up. On November 22, 2003 Kawase announced her marriage to band mate, bassist Shunsaku Okuda. Due to her marriage to Shunsaku, her legal name changed to Tomoko Okuda. However, she is still credited under Kawase Tomoko.
On June 1, 2007, it was announced that after 5 years of inactivity, The Brilliant Green would be returning with a new single to celebrate their 10th anniversary. The song, titled "Stand By Me" is the ending theme for the new series of TV drama, "Tantei Gakuen Q," which began on July 3, 2007. The comeback began in earnest on August 22, 2007, and continued with a new single, "Enemy" released on December 12, 2007. The band has provided the opening theme to the anime Mobile Suit Gundam 00 with the song "Ash Like Snow", released on February 6, as well as "Papermoon" for Soul Eater as the second opening (however, she was debuted as Tommy Heavenly6 instead.)
The band has since moved to Warner Music Japan and released a fifth studio album titled Blackout. In 2013 Kawase started releasing music from all her personas in commemoration of the brilliant green's 15th anniversary.
2001-present: Solo career
In 2001, Tomoko 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 synth pop, 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. Kawase claims that the invention of Tommy heavenly6 occurred due of her disappointment in Tommy february6's character, but far from being a replacement, Kawase chose to keep the two characters' careers separate.
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 had a very busy period, releasing 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 is currently 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 will return February 6, 2012. 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 albums release date as February 29, 2012. The album's title was later revealed to be "february & heavenly". The album debuted at #7 on the Oricon albums chart.
In September of 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 of 2012, Tommy announced she would be releasing a special Valentine's Day single through Tommy february6 titled, "Be My Valentine". In April of 2013, Tommy announced a new single titled "Runaway" to be completely in English, and a new album, "TOMMY CANDY SHOP ♥ SUGAR ME ♥", to be released in June of 2013.
With The Brilliant Green
- The Brilliant Green (1998)
- Terra 2001 (1999)
- Los Angeles (2001)
- The Winter Album (2002)
- Blackout (2010)
As Tommy february6
As Tommy heavenly6
- Tommy heavenly6 (2005)
- Heavy Starry Heavenly (2007)
- I Kill My Heart (2009)
- february & heavenly (2012)
- With The Brilliant Green
- There Will Be Live There Tour (1998)
- Terra 2001 Tour (1999)
- Solo Tours
- Heavy Starry Tour (2007)
|-||Piropo||Voice of Pikki||-|
|-||Breakdown||Herself / Host||MTV|
As Tommy february6
- Tommy february6 + Hawaii (2002)
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!".
- "Sony Music Online Japan (see 11/1998 section)". www.sonymusic.co.jp (in Japanese).
- And Our Winners Are... - Time
- Tommy heavenly6 Profile Warner Music Japan
- Tommy february6 タイトル未定＜通常盤＞ Tower Records
- 新曲「Runaway」がテレビ東京系「実録世界のミステリー」エンディングテーマに決定！ Warner Music Japan