My discovery of Angela Aki's music was pretty much a leap of faith. I had no initial interest whatsoever towards listening to her music even though back then I almost always came across her name on forums because people were always talking about her during the Home era.
That was when I made a trip down to HMV at the ~*tender age*~ of 12 in early 2007 and chanced upon her Home album and thought, what the heck, I'll just give this caucasian-looking chick a shot (Clearly back then torrenting or downloading wasn't exactly a thing I knew about - I was a law-abiding citizen alright). I even wondered whether or not she made English or Japanese music because of her name and perceivable race lol.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised with her music. Back then, my Japanese music knowledge wasn't exactly great (the only artists I listened to were ayumi hamasaki and Utada Hikaru, and back then I actually disliked Koda Kumi) so listening to her organic, light piano pop songs were somewhat a breath of fresh air. To date, Home probably remains as one of the best Japanese records ever made, at least to me. At one point, I even considered learning the piano because I was so captivated by her live performances. Of course, I was too lazy to actually make that happen.
As of today, Angela Aki has officially embarked on an indefinite hiatus from her Japanese music career to enter a music college in the United States, and I have also embarked on an indefinite period of depression. But you know what they say — don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened (woohoo for clichés)!
Angela has undeniably left behind a kickass tapestry of songs for us to always remember her music by and more often than not, we tend to undermine just how talented Angela Aki is. She never needed glamour whatsoever to support herself — her music was all it took, and that is exactly how badass Angela Aki is. Chances are, she can outsing all of your faves any time of the day, and can probably outmassage your faves too (after playing the piano for so many years, imagine just now much force her fingers can exert on your aching shoulders? holy shitballs)
But let's not mope over the Japanese music industry's loss of talent and celebrate her existence by talking about the number of fucks Angela Aki really gives everybody.
WHY ANGELA AKI IS SO BADASS
1. She got away with having the same covers for two whole years
R.I.P Angela Aki's Shit Covers
2. While we're on the topic of that, she gets to look like a mess when she feels like it
"Urgh... so done with this shit."
Not forgetting this iconic gif that was circulating around back in the day:
TODAY era, more commonly known as the pinnacle of her shitty slew of cd covers
2. While your faves are spending money hiring stylists to mask their shitty singing, Angela Aki has a trusty set of jerseys and that's all she needs — and guess what? She gets away with that too.
Angela obviously has a really easy time when it comes to choosing lottery numbers.
She wears them on television, she wears them during concerts, she wears them on promotional posters, she even wears them on her damn concert DVD covers — I'm surprised she hasn't made a single / album wearing one of those yet.
Based on the points made above, I think it's pretty clear that Angela Aki is the queen of consistency. Way to go, gurl!
3. She is capable of creating songs that are 10 minutes long without sounding like shit
4. While we're at that, she literally does not have to lift her ass up to own a stage — and guess what she's wearing again?
4. She covers songs your fave can never.
While all your faves are singing songs like LA LA LA LOVE SONG, First Love and Chiisana Koi no Uta after mistaking the recording studio for a karaoke lounge, Angela Aki takes an ancient enka song and nails it.
Angela Aki also took a bunch of English songs, rearranges, translates, and covers them for her SONGBOOK album and she nailed that too, with only her piano and her voice. Come on.
Flawless cover of Radiohead's Creep
5. Has simple black glasses that have become so iconic to her identity (and even wrote a song about), the world goes apeshit once she takes them off
6. Wrote a song so powerful, she made an entire class of 15 year olds dehydrated from bawling their eyes out
Thank you, Angela, for slaying everybody and showing them J-Pop bitches how things should be done, and may you get that Grammy one day while the rest are getting basic SpaceShower Music Video trophies.