Though she now resides in Paris, Japanese singer/songwriter Kahimi Karie is still linked with the stylish, ultra-hip look and sound of Tokyo's Shibuya district, which also inspired like-minded artists such as Fantastic Plastic Machine, Pizzicato Five, and Cornelius. In particular, Cornelius (aka Keigo Oyamada) had a lot to do with jump-starting Karie's career in music; during the early '90s, she was a music photographer and he was her boyfriend at the time. Oyamada asked her to sing with a band on his friend's label, and her sweet, sensual, yet innocent vocal style was discovered. Almost immediately after the release of her first EP, Karie became a superstar in Japan, releasing several gold-status singles, hosting a radio program, and recording the theme song to one of the nation's most popular animated shows. She also collaborated with members of Pizzicato Five, French indie pop vocalist Katerine, and, most significantly, Scottish singer/songwriter Momus, who wrote and produced songs on several of her later singles and albums, including her 1998 self-titled U.S. debut, which was released on Minty Fresh Records. That year also saw her live debut in the States as the opening act for Momus' U.S. tour; the following year they toured together again, and Karie released K.K.K.K.K. domestically on Le Grand Magistery, Momus' U.S. label. Journey to the Centre of Me appeared in mid-2000. ~ Heather Phares
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