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Tomoko Kawase (川瀬 智子 Kawase Tomoko, born February 6, 1975) is a Japanese female singer, song-writer, producer, and model from Kyoto, Japan . Tomoko is the lead vocalist of the rock/pop group The Brilliant Green. As a solo artist she has released music under the alter-ego pseudonyms Tommy february6 and later as Tommy heavenly6.
The Brilliant GreenEdit
In 1995, after bassist Shunsaku Okuda and guitarist Ryo Matsui heard her sing in an amateur talent contest, Kawase was asked to join The Brilliant Green as the lead vocalist. The first two releases from The Brilliant Green were non-album singles "Bye Bye Mr. Mug", and "Goodbye and Good Luck" which received moderate success.
Their break came in 1998 when their third single, "There Will Be Love There" was chosen as the theme song for the popular Japanese Drama Love Again, and as a result went straight to the top of the charts. After another number one hit with "Tsumetai Hana" they released their self-titled debut album which sold over one million copies in just two days. On the back of this success their first national tour, titled "There Will Be Live There," sold out across Japan in only three minutes. The Brilliant Green went on to release five singles, before releasing their second studio album, Terra 2001 on September 8, 1999. The band then toured for Terra 2001 before releasing two more single, followed by their third studio album, Los Angeles. After the release of three more singles and their fourth studio album, The Winter Album, in 2002, the band members moved on to solo projects, but the group never officially broke up.
In 2001, Tomoko Kawase launched her solo career under the character of Tommy february6(named from a combination of her nickname and birth date) with "Everyday at the Bus Stop". Vastly different from the pop rock sound of The Brilliant Green, Tommy february6's persona and sound are inspired by and derived from British and American 1980s synth pop, including a cover of Strawberry Switchblade's "Since Yesterday". Kawase's original intention with Tommy february6 was to create a character who was far from innocent, though cute in both sound and appearance; Tommy february6 was designed to be someone who was true to her feelings despite the cutesy nature of her outward character and did as she wanted. Kawase's second single under the name was "Kiss One More Time", and third single under the name was "Bloomin'!." Finally, on her birthday, Kawase released her eponymous debut album, Tommy february6.
On the day she released her fifth single "Love Is Forever", she also released her debut single as Tommy heavenly6 "Wait Till I Can Dream". Kawase would later explain that Tommy heavenly6 was born from a dream that Tommy february6 had, in which she embraces all the elements of her personality she had previously been repressing. Kawase claims that the invention of Tommy heavenly6 occurred due of her disappointment in Tommy february6's character, but far from being a replacement, Kawase chose to keep the two characters' careers separate.
On November 22, 2003 Kawase announced her marriage to band mate, bassist Shunsaku Okuda. Due to her marriage to Shunsaku, her legal name changed to Tomoko Okuda. However, she is still credited under Kawase Tomoko. Then, in December 2003, girl group was also debuted based on Tommy february6, named Tommy☆angels. Shortly after came the second studio album under the Tommy february6 name titled, Tommy Airline. After Tommy Airline came the release of Tommy heavenly6's second single "Hey My Friend", and the release of Tommy february6's single "Lovely: Yume Miru Lovely Boy", used as the ending song for the 7th Pokémon film.
In August 2005, Tommy heavenly6 finally released her third single "Ready?, which was shortly followed by her own long awaited eponymous debut album. After the release of Tommy february6's "Lonely in Gorgeous", Kawase decided to focus on the Tommy heavenly6 persona.
In 2006 and 2007 Tommy heavenly6 had a very busy period, releasing five new singles which led to her second album Heavy Starry Heavenly. She finished this productive phase with the Heavy Starry Tour: four live performances as Tommy heavenly6 during March 2007. She incorporated most of her songs into this live format, which lasted for an hour and a half, complete with her now regular backing band, and even her band mates from The Brilliant Green made guest appearances for some songs. Kawase still kept the Tommy february6 persona through cameos on Tommy heavenly6's music videos, like "Lollipop Candy Bad Girl" and "I Love Xmas."
In 2010 Tommy february6, Tommy heavenly6, and the brilliant green were all picked up by Warner Music Japan. Finally in December 2010, Kawase announced via her Twitter page the possibility for a third studio album under the Tommy february6 persona. Tommy february6's official website with Warner Music Japan is still stated as "coming soon". In August 2011, Tommy stated via Twitter she is currently working on demos for both Tommy heavenly6 and Tommy february6. In September 2011, a statement was posted on Tommy heavenly6's official site saying Tommy february6 will return February 6, 2012. Tommy february6 was featured in Tommy heavenly6's music video for I'm Your Devil (Halloween Remix).
Return to The Brilliant GreenEdit
On June 1, 2007, it was announced that after 5 years of inactivity, The Brilliant Green would be returning with a new single to celebrate their 10th anniversary. The song, titled "Stand By Me" is the ending theme for the new series of TV drama, Tantei Gakuen Q, which began on July 3, 2007. The comeback began in earnest on August 22, 2007, and continued with a new single, "Enemy" released on December 12, 2007. The band has provided the opening theme to the anime Mobile Suit Gundam 00 with the song "Ash Like Snow", released on February 6, as well as "Papermoon" for Soul Eater as the second opening (however, she was debuted as Tommy Heavenly6 instead.) The band has since moved to Warner Music Japan and released a fifth studio album titled Blackout.
The Brilliant Green:
- The Brilliant Green (1998)
- Terra 2001 (1999)
- Los Angeles (2001)
- The Winter Album (2002)
- Blackout (2010)