New York, NY
At the ripe old age of 12, Emiko had already "retired" from classical music to begin making her mark in pop music. Having played piano since she was two and half, Emiko was transforming from classical piano prodigy to rock and roll starlet. Now, flash forward to April of 2010 when she was signed to a worldwide record deal by Famous Records with distribution through Universal Music Group and you can definitely say that Emiko has earned the title of "lifer" in the music industry.
A three time featured performer of the Songwriters Hall of Fame New Writers Showcases, Emiko has graced the pages of Billboard Magazine, FM Sound, Music Connection, and other mainstream music publications. As an award winning songwriter with credits under her belt for SONY/ATV, she hit the studio in 2009 with Grammy nominated, multi-platinum producer Tommy Faragher before leaving on a world tour encompassing Asia, Europe and the US. With a tour history as extensive as her's (including sharing the stage with Jackson Browne, Keb Mo', Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's, and more) and a massive production schedule for her upcoming album (possibly with producers Stuart Epps of Elton John, Jimmy Page, Twisted Sister, and Steve Lillywhite, a la U2, Jason Mraz, and more) in the Fall/Winter of 2010, Emiko is just on the brink of exploding on a global level. This album comes on the heels of two EP releases and the critical success of her debut album "Here Lies Tinkerbell," all of which have had #1 chart success in the UK and Japan. Laughing in a recent interview, Emiko exclaimed, "Oh no - I feel NO pressure whatsoever to make this record a smash hit! Ha! There's more pressure now than ever before. And with this new deal under my belt, everything in the landscape of my professional life has changed. There is HUGE pressure to come out of the gate swinging. And I intend to deliver every bit of it. But, I've had my entire life to do nothing but prepare for this so I'm ready. Scared? Sure. Excited? DEFINITELY! But totally ready!"
Of her music, Emiko sayd, "My sound...whenever people ask me to describe my sound, I always laugh because I tell them I would be a cross between Billy Joel and Alanis Morrisette, if they had a Japanese baby! But it's pretty accurate, actually. The thing is, I write a little bit of everything. And I know that artists often say their music can't be 'categorized...' mine is definitely radio friendly pop/rock stuff. But even in that realm, I like to take it places and color outside the lines!"
And when asked about her famous photo with her "axe", the keytar, Emiko replied, "I play the keyboard like an electric guitarist...in as much as most of the folks I listen to are lead players. Billy Joel, Elton John, even Joey De Franceso - an amazing B3 organ player - or they are all guitarists - Van Halen, Ty Tabor from King's X, Steve Lukather from Toto, some of the most amazing lead players ever. And they use their instruments to tell stories, not just accompany the songs. Sitting behind a keyboard or piano all the time can get a bit mundane, so I bust out my keytar and run rampant on stage just like guitar players do! It's really no different and the audience loves it! Also, because I play all keyboards - piano, Wurly, clav, organ, even harpsichord - it's really important to me that my songs have all of those in them (not all at once, of course)! And that keytar is my baby. I take it everywhere. Granted, I haven't named it (yet) the way some guitarists name their guitars!"
The world around Emiko is also starting to take notice of her savvy business mind. In July of 2008, Emiko was featured in Young Working Woman as one of New York’s most successful entrepreneurial women in business. Emiko is the president and founder of The 6412 Ltd., an artist development and management consulting company for up and coming artists in the music industry. Additionally, she is the founder and director of the Asian American Music Industry Association (AAMIA) - an organization that is dedicated to bridging
the gap between Asia and the Western World in today’s popular music industry. With these two businesses under her belt, Emiko has been invited to lecture and participate as a music industry expert at various music festivals, panels, and conferences such as Japan Music Week, The Vancouver Island Music Business Conference, Canadian Music Week, and more! When asked why she started these ventures, Emiko said, "It's really important in this day and age, maybe now more than ever, that artists get business savvy - and quick! I'm lucky that I had some wonderful teachers so far and that I've learned great things from them. But now, it's my job and my responsibility to keep that going. It's not enough to write songs and be a recording artist. If I want to survive in the industry, I feel I need to take a personal hand in it - from the inside out."
Currently, Emiko makes her home between New York, London and Tokyo - "...really, home is wherever the music takes me!" she says. Hard at work in the studio on her next album, it can surely be said that Emiko is one step closer to her favorite saying, “If there’s life on Mars, they’ll buy my album!” 2010 is surely the year for this "legend in training" to become a "legend in the making."