Aimer: A Singer and Her Captivating Voice Shining Light into the Next Generation

23.February.2019 | FEATURES / MUSIC

Aimer is a female Japanese singer iconic in the industry for her deep and husky voice that once heard will never leave one’s memory.

 

The artist embarked on her nationwide tour of Japan Aimer Hall Tour 18/19 “soleil et pluie” on October 31 last year which took her to 19 locations across the country for 21 concerts. More than halfway through the tour the singer released her 16th single I beg you / Hanabira-tachi no March / Sailing on January 9. Less than a week after on January 15 it was announced that the double A-side record had made it to No. 1 on Oricon’s Weekly Singles rankings.

 

The word kashu (歌手) in Japanese translates to ‘singer,’ with ka meaning ‘song’ and shu meaning ‘person.’ but at what point did people stop using it in favour of shingaa (シンガー / ‘singer’)? The word was formerly used alongside idols’ names such as Seiko Matsuda and Akina Nakamori. But, almost like inverse proportion, the title ‘singer-songwriter’ began to spread alongside J-pop, and the word kashu was left for only a few artists such as MISIA. It has disappeared.

 

A ray of hope shining through in contemporary music right now is Aimer. She goes by the title of singer-songwriter, but the music she creates is certainly that which delivers that ka. She is that which had formerly dried up in today’s Japanese music industry.

 

Anime as an entry point to erase prejudice

The majority of songs that Aimer gave to many people when she debuted and was still a small name were anime songs. She established her position through her involvement with writing opening and ending theme songs for anime series, starting with her with Rokutousei no Yoru followed by others such as Re:pray, RE:I AM and more.

A lot of new artists sell records through easy-to-understand visuals, whether it be looking cute and singing cute songs or donning a cool style and performance cool-sounding numbers. They are released into the world in a well thought-out package which conveys what that artist is all about.

 

In Aimer’s case, however, she burst through the scene through a different kind of branding. Her image was mysterious without anyone knowing her age, nationality―anything. The reason is not because of physical appearance or something that would compare unfavourably with society. It’s because the first thing she wanted people to feel is her voice and her music. And having it cross with anime, which is part of Japanese culture, made it possible for her to deliver something through her own filter.

A captivating voice paves the path of destiny

Aimer’s biggest charm is her singing voice. It’s husky, something that floats while piercing the core. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it totally unique. The head of Onkyo Lab describes it as, “An extremely rare voice that simultaneously produces amplitude fluctuations and frequency fluctuations.”

But Aimer was in fact not born with this voice. When she was 15-years-old she injured her throat from singing too much and was unable to speak for half a year. What was left after recovering and working to bring back her voice was the type of voice and singing style she now has.

It may seem like she is able to sing without any trouble, but she still has knots in her throat. 7 years on from debuting, she has consistently sought to face her condition “musically” through singing. It can be said that her simple honesty and obsession with the voice Is one of the reasons why she continues to sing with the possession of such a unique voice.

 

Support from celebrities

A noteworthy point about Aimer is the large amount of celebrity fans she has.

Those who had publicly stated that are fans include Mao Abe, Takanori Nishikawa and many others. Keisuke Kuwata even includeed her in his Top 20 songs for 2012. The number of celebrity fans that have stated her as one of their favourite artists has helped spread her name.

Another fact worthy of mention is how many fellow musicians Aimer has been involved with whether it be writing songs with them, having other artists produce tracks for her and so on. One example includes one of her big hits Chouchou no Musubi for which she worked with Yojiro Noda of RADIMPS. Others include Taka of ONE OK ROCK, TK from Ling Tosite Sigure, Cocco and many more, all of whom are huge names in the industry and which any number of us has heard of. While associating with such a musical family as this she has been able to push forward as an artist. There is no other like her whose voice is so compatible with any musicianship.

The day on which the current generation is illustrated is right in front of us

Aimer has musically pursed music while being obsessed with the voice. She has look toward songs, music and the voice with simple honesty, and the way in which she has and continues to express that I believe makes her an indispensable kashu of the current era. Her recently-released 16th single I beg you / Hanabira-tachi no March / Sailing made it to No. 1 on Oricon’s Weekly Singles rankings. The day on which she is verified as the singer today’s generation is seeking is on the horizon.

 

Text: Ayaka Sakai

Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Aimer’s New Song ‘marie’ to be Used as Theme Song For the Japan x Austria Habsburg Exhibition

    19.September.2019 | MUSIC / SPOT

    Japanese singer-songwriter Aimer, who is known for her iconic husky voice, released two albums simultaneously back in April―Sun Dance and Penny Rain―which served as the first albums she had released in two and a half years. Without time to even catch her breath, she immediately dropped a brand new track the following month entitled STAND-ALONE, which was used for the Japanese drama Anata no Ban Desu, and reached No. 1 across Japanese music charts.

     

    Her 17th single Torches was released last month, and served as the ending theme for the ongoing TV anime series Vinland Saga which began airing in July.

    Marie Antoinette in Court Dress by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1778 (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien)

    “The Habsburg Dynasty 600 Years of Imperial Collections” is an upcoming exhibition set to take place at the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo from October 19, 2019 to January 26, 2020 in commemoration of Japan and Austria’s 150 years of friendship. The exhibition was taking requests for musicians to create a theme song based on someone from the House of Habsburg for the event. Aimer wrote her new song marie based on Marie Antoinette, and it has been selected for the exhibition.

    It has yet to be announced when marie will be released, but a TV ad for the exhibition has been posted on TBS’s official YouTube channel and contains a snippet of the track.

     

    Speaking on the occasion, Aimer commented: “The stories of the live of those in the House of Habsburg are filled with conflicting emotions of joy and sadness, privilege and downfall. I received a request to write a song based on any one of theme, and I was immediately reminded of Marie Antoinette.”

     

    She continues: “I drew on her life in my own way in the song marie, from her getting married in France at the age of 14 to the grand final moments of her life. I hope people like the fusion of my voice with the sublime sound of the strings, and I hope it adds something to the Habsburg exhibition for those who are going.”

  • Aimer Announces Title Of Red & Blue Themed 2019-2020 Japan Tour

    15.August.2019 | MUSIC

    Having just released her 17th single Torches today (August 14)―which serves as the ending theme for the ongoing anime series Vinland Saga―Japanese singer Aimer has just announced an all new tour. Titled Aimer LIVE TOUR 19/20 “rouge de bleu”, the tour will begin this fall from October 31 and take her to 17 cities across Japan for 24 shows.

     

    The theme of the tour is red and blue as evident in the tour title’s use of French for the colours. This contrasts with her first-ever performance at Nippon Budokan back on August 29, 2017 which was themed on black and white (“blanc et noir”). We look forward to seeing how she uses these new colours on the new tour.

     

    Those who pick up a copy of Aimer’s new single Torches can access pre-sale tickets for the tour.

    Speaking about the tour, Aimer commented: “24 shows in total. The theme this time is red and blue. I will sing at you with everything I have on each of those days the songs I find myself able to sing because of the time we’re in right now. I intend to make this my most amazing tour ever. I’m looking forward to seeing you all from the bottom of my heart. See you out there.”

  • Aimer Releases Vinland Saga Ending Theme ‘Torches’ Music Video

    29.July.2019 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

    Aimer will release her 17th single Torches on August 14. While we wait for the CD to hit shelves, us fans have been treated to shortened version of the music video in a track-by-track preview.

     

    The title track is used as the ending theme to the ongoing 24-episode anime series Vinland Saga which began airing on July 7. The music video paints grand imagery with fire and water along to the tribal-like sound of Torches.

     

    The video also teases us with a sneak peek at the other songs on the single including Blind to you and Daisy.

    Blind to you is reminiscent of Aimer’s earlier ballads while Daisy is a jaunty, foot-tapping love song.

     

    The title track Torches will receive an independent digital release on August 5 prior to the CD’s release.

  • Aimer Announces 2019-2020 Japan Tour After Wrapping Up Asia Tour

    29.June.2019 | MUSIC

    Aimer began her “soleil et pluie” Asia Tour on June 8 which has taken her to five cities around Asia, concluding at Tokyo Dome City Hall today in Japan.

    Every venue on the tour was sold out. Her performance in Shanghai at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in front of 6,000 fans in particular was a spectacular success.

     

    In her hometown of Tokyo, her set list included a performance of several new songs including STAND-ALONE which is the main theme for the Japanese drama Anata no Ban Desu.

     

    At the end of the show, Aimer announced that she will head on a 24-date hall tour across Japan which will run from October this year into February 2020. Official fan club pre-sale tickets went on sale today. Full details can be found on her official website.

    Aimer will release her new song Torches on August 14. The song will be used as the ending theme for the TV anime series Vinland Saga.

  • TV Anime Vinland Saga’s New Trailer Shows ED Theme ‘Torches’ by Aimer

    16.June.2019 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

    Aimer will release her new single Torches on August 14. The song will be used as the ending theme for the forthcoming TV anime series Vinland Saga which is set to premiere on July 7.

     

    A new trailer was just released in which you can hear the track.

     

    Aimer’s emotional voice and the tribal sound of the chorus perfectly match the grand world of of Vinland Saga which is set in the seas of Iceland and Northern Europe.

    The cover artwork for Torches was also posted on Aimer’s official website. The artwork matches the title of the song with Aimer wielding a torch while shrouded in darkness, suggesting a glimmer of hope.

  • TV Anime Vinland Saga Ending Theme ‘Torches’ to be Performed by Aimer

    10.June.2019 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

    Aimer will release her new single Torches on August 14. The song will be used as the ending theme for the forthcoming TV anime series Vinland Saga which is set to premiere on July 7.

    The song pictures a torch-lit ocean in the evening and reminds one of setting off on a new trip at night as with Aimer’s digital single STAND-ALONE.

    Speaking about the collaboration, Aimer commented: “While reading the manga, I pictured the evening sea lit by torchlight. When writing the song I thought about life and death, and [series characters] Thorfinn and Thors’s feelings towards them. I put into the song the inspiration I got from these things. This has also been an opportunity to challenge myself to something new on the sound side of things. I would be overjoyed if people look forward to hearing it alongside the anime.”

  • Aimer’s ‘STAND-ALONE’ Reaches No. 1 on Multiple Music Charts

    07.May.2019 | MUSIC

    Aimer’s new song STAND-ALONE is being used as the main theme for the ongoing NTV Japanese drama Anata no Ban Desu which began airing on April 14.

    The song claimed the No. 1 spot on nine separate digital music services on May 5 including iTunes, Amazon, Recochoku, mora, d Music, mu-mo, Hikari TV Music, HAPPY Uta Furu, and TSUTAYA Music.

     

    Aimer「STAND-ALONE」MUSIC VIDEO

    The song’s music video features appearances from Kei Tanaka and Nao Honda who play the main characters in the television drama.

  • Aimer’s New Song ‘STAND-ALONE’ Used as Main Theme for Japanese Drama ‘Anata no Ban Desu’

    12.April.2019 | MUSIC

    Aimer just released her two new albums Sun Dance and Penny Rain simultaneously on April 10. Both records have reached at No. 1 and No. 2 on popular music streaming services including iTunes, mora and Recochoku. Penny Rain also made it to No. 1 on Oricon’s Daily Album Chart while Sun Dance peaked at No. 2.

     

    With two new albums out of the bag almost two and a half years since her last, Aimer has already released a brand new track.

    Titled STAND-ALONE, the single was released yesterday (April 11), and it has been revealed that it will be used as the main theme for the upcoming Japanese drama Anata no Ban Desu.

    The murder mystery stars Tomoyo Harada and  Kei Tanaka as the leads. STAND-ALONE will be released digitally on May 5, 2019.

    Aimer released the following statement regarding her involvement: “I am so happy to be in charge of the main theme song for another drama series. I’ve only just released my 5th studio albums Sun Dance and Penny Rain, but I decided to set off on another new adventure and so I made STAND-ALONE which I poured my recollections and yearnings into. The song is about a premonition that something is about to happen. I hope that it goes well with the world of Anata no Ban Desu every week.”

  • Aimer Releases Music Video For ‘Stand By You’ Written by TK

    11.April.2019 | MUSIC

    Aimer finally dropped her highly-anticipated two new albums Sun Dance and Penny Rain simultaneously on April 10.

    On April 8 it was announced that the singer would release three music videos from the new records on her official YouTube channel three days in a row. The final video to be released is for Stand By You from the album Penny Rain.

     

    The song was written and produced by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure. This is TK’s third collaboration with Aimer following us and Kowairo in 2016. The video was directed by Japanese film director Kyotaro Hayashi. The powerful visuals perfectly match the emotional music written by TK.

     

    Be sure to check out the new video alongside the already-released We Two and Monochrome Syndrome.

  • Aimer to Release 3 New Music Videos in a Row

    08.April.2019 | MUSIC / Uncategorized

    Japanese singer Aimer―known for her iconic husky voice―will release two new albums simultaneously on April 10: Sun Dance and Penny Rain.

    Several songs from the albums have already gained much attention before the official release including April Showers which was used in an earth music&ecology commercial starring Suzu Hirose and Koiwazurai which is used as the main theme song for the romantic reality show Shirayuki to Ookami-kun ni wa Damasarenai❤.

     

    Now, it has been announced that Aimer will release three new music videos three days in a row for songs off the new records starting today.

     

    Aimer – “We Two” Music Video

    The first music video to be released is for We Two from the album Sun Dance. The song is a dance tune just like her already-released tracks ONE and 3min. The cute video features a dancing high school girl.

     

    The next two videos will be released tomorrow and the day after respectively both at 6:00pm (JST).

  • Aimer Releases ‘3min’ Music Video From New Album.

    05.April.2019 | MUSIC

    Japanese singer Aimer―known for her iconic husky voice―will release two new albums simultaneously on April 10: Sun Dance and Penny Rain.

    The music video for her new song 3min taken from Sun Dance has been posted onto her official YouTube channel.

    The music video takes on the theme of travelling around the world in three minutes. As the title suggest, Aimer journeys to Tokyo, Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore, London, Liverpool, New York and Los Angeles in just three minutes.

     

    The video was shot across Aimer’s various live shows including during her Asia tour and trip to NYC and LA. You could called it a documentary tracing her steps through 2018. The video also features the locations where the album covers for both new records were shot.

     

    Speaking about the new song and video, Aimer comments: “The idea for this song, which is about going around the world in three minutes, came about around February last year when we were planning the album. It’s been a year since then during which me and the team have accumulate footage to make into a music video. I want everybody to join me on this three-minute journey and the world I have walked across, from countries where it rains to others where the sun shines.”

  • Aimer’s New Album to Feature Song Produced by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure

    28.March.2019 | MUSIC

    Aimer will release two new albums simultaneously on April 10: Sun Dance and Penny Rain. These will be the newest albums from the artist since daydream which dropped back in September 2019. The full-track list had already been unveiled except for one song, but details on that song have now been released.

    It is titled Stand By You and was written and produced by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure. This is his third song written for Aimer following us and Kowairo from 2016.

    A video was posted on Aimer’s official YouTube channel which plays a track-by-track preview of each song on both albums including Stand By You.

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