sowelu – latest single ‘Shiawase no chikaru’
Posted by redracer on May 16, 2007
Released on the 24th January 2007, this is the latest single release from sowelu, and her 14th single release.
I first saw a picture of sowelu(see bottom of post), and of course needed to find out who she was and more about her. She was born in Tokyo on 6th November 1982, and her real name is Aki Harada. The stage name sowelu comes from the ancient Irish rune word for ‘sun’, and this is because her mother is half Irish & Japanese. She first came to prominence as an unknown 19 year old when her song ‘Across My Heart’ was included on the compilation album ‘Smooth’, which was released in January 2002. Without any official releases at that stage, she was was lined up with some of the biggest stars of the day, including Ken Hirai, Chemistry, Crystal Kay & m-flo. The record went on to set a sales record for compilation albums in Japan, and a buzz began to generate around her. Beginning in February, sowelu began hosting her own regular radio program, broadcast on Inter FM (Tokyo), North Wave (Sapporo), and Cross FM (Fukuoka), and in May was selected as part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup official artist unit known as the Voices of Korea/Japan. In her first major live performance, sowelu performed opening ceremony of the 2002 World Cup in front of 65,000 people. Signed to Sony’s ‘Defstar Records’, her first single ‘Beautiful Dreamer’ was released in April 2003, and debuted at #20. Her first album ‘Geofu’ was released in June and reached #4 and sold over 500,000 copies. She has released a total of 4 albums and 14 singles, but has not cracked a #1 yet. Whilst categorised as an R&B artist, I think her music is more on the pop side though. I gave her the award of ‘Cutest Female Artist’ in my 2006 J-Pop Awards, and if you have seen her freckled cheeks & dimpled smile in video clips, you will understand why.
She co-writes the words to her songs, but not the music. The main song is a ballad and starts off with just a piano and her gentle voice. Later on some backing strings come in and then the chorus hits you with a melody/chord change that is so unusual and startling it nearly rivals Hikaru Utada’s‘Keep Tryin’. After that we get light drums with a more up-tempo feel on the rest of the song. The second song is a more upbeat pop type tune. ‘Piano Man’ is of course the well-known Billy Joel song, and I don’t know why she would do this – it doesn’t feature any piano playing, and whilst she is supposed to be fluent in English, the words to this very familiar song are not perfect. Also the way she jumps up an octave for the chorus is a little strange.
The track listing is …
- Shiawase no Chikara
- I Wonder
- Piano Man
- Shiawase no Chikara (instrumental)
- Shiawase no Chikara (PV)
- Shiawase no Chikara (making)
Her web site, if you want to find out more info, is http://www.sowelu.info/
Conclusion: Whilst not a big selling artist (yet), sowelu is nice to listen to and nice to look at, so what more can you ask for ? :-)
She has a new single ‘dare yori suki nano ni’ due out on the 20th June (which has a sexy cover picture of her in bed nearly nude), as well as a live concert DVD (Sowelu LIVE TOUR – Be happy (heart) 2006). See http://www.cdjapan.jp/list_from_code_banner.html?key=291285
CD version ….. CD/DVD version