Japanese diva Misia is on a firm footing

Japanese diva Misia is on a firm footing

Leon Lee sits down with Misia, the face of Japanese R&B

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Misia Music_L
Photo: Coffeehouse Photo

Fifteen years is a long time - especially in the music industry, where one-hit wonders and short careers are common, and where fans' tastes are constantly changing. One week you can be on top of the charts; the next you'll be forgotten, as fans sing along to the next catchy song ruling the airwaves.

But Japanese singer Misia (pronounced "Mee-sha") has had no such problem, with her many hit songs over her illustrious career keeping her on top.

To mark her 15 years of success, the R&B diva released a three-disc, 45-track greatest hits compilation album, Super Best Records: 15th Celebration, and embarked on the Misia Hoshizora VII tour.

Last weekend saw her tour stop off in Hong Kong, and she sat down with Young Post to talk about the last decade and a half.

Misia says that she has never once in her career thought she hated her job or that it was too strenuous. But it was another story altogether when it came to putting together the compilation album.

"Putting out the 'Best Of' album was actually quite a headache," she says. "It was quite hard selecting which songs to include, because there are just too many that I liked and that my fans liked. But one of the reasons for putting out the album was to thank my fans, so in the end I tried my best to [include their favourites]."

Misia released her very first album, Mother Father Brother Sister, in 1998, and it reached Number One in Japan in just four weeks. The album propelled her to fame, winning her the Best New Artist and Best Pop Album of the Year awards at the Japan Gold Disc Awards.

Her second album, Love Is the Message took her star power to the next level. Hit single Everything would become her best-known song and one of the bestselling singles by a female artist in Japan.

Since then, the songstress has released eight more albums, cementing her place as the face of Japanese R&B.

As for what the next 15 years will bring, Misia is currently working on a new album, although she can't reveal too much at this time. But she promised to continue making good music.

"I've done a lot in the last 15 years. I had great opportunities to work with older singers who gave me advice," she says. "Now I want to work with some younger artists, some of whom, despite being in their 20s, are very talented.

"But they don't really need my advice. If they want to learn something, they'll go out and explore it themselves."

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