Kawamoto Makoto - Japanese
Born 19 Jan 1974 in Fukui, Japan. Began playing piano at age 3 (taking lessons from her pianist mother). Taught piano after graduating from a music academy, then moved to Tokyo to pursue her career. Released her first single in 1996.
Kawamako (a common nickname among her fans) is one of the more unique (therefore, not quite so popular) idols because of her singing style - she has lots of words in her songs, so she'll sing them faster instead of cut the lyrics (to keep the songs radio ready) - and the fact that she actually writes her own songs (uncommon in the JPop world). She also relies on using acoustic instruments and sometimes a small orchestra in her music, also less common in the dancy digital JPop scene.
She's considered to be pretty quirky by the Japanese press. Her childish voice and speed-singing aside, she has odd (or at least said to be odd), publicly-known habits such as getting a haircut as a means to cure writer's block. She also stands out more than most in the JPop world for her unflashy fashion in video and photo shoots and tendency to do things in ways most people wouldn't (some of her best photos are some Polaroids of her golfing at a ritzy driving range barefoot in a t-shirt and cut-offs).
Kawamoto became fairly popular in the (Japanese and U.S.) anime scene when her 3rd single "1/2" (nibunnoichi) was used in the show Rurouni Kenshin.
- Ai no Saino ("Sense of Love") single (Sony, May 1996)
- DNA single (Sony, October 1996)
- 1/2 (nibunnoichi) single (Sony, March 1997)
- self titled CD (Sony, June, 1997)
- Wauresodatta (???) video collection (Sony, July 1997)
- Band Score book (Doremi Publishing, August 1997)
- Soutai ("Leave Early") live video (Sony, December 1997)
- Two Times picture book (Wani Books, December 1997)
- Sakura single (Sony, April 1998)
- Pikapika ("Sparkle" or "Glitter") single (Sony, April 1999)
- Binetsu ("Slight Fever") single (Sony, January 2000)
- Fragile CD (Sony, April 2000)
- Soutai DVD re-release (Sony, July 2000)
Sources: Sony Musical Entertainment site (www.sme.co.jp), 20 broken fanpages, Pati-Pati magazine, and a love for huge overseas shipping charges.