tommy of the 6th of february

The past few musicians I've showcased ranged from rock to electronica, with OLIVIA being the only one with a tinge of pop-rock history (Shiina Ringo is popular, but I don't feel her music really has a pop sound...).

I actually listen to a lot of pop music, mostly Japanese or Korean (I grew up on Japanese pop), and one notable band comes to mind when it comes to Japanese pop-rock: THE BRILLIANT GREEN. They were the leading pop-rock band consisting of 2 men and 1 female vocalist. The other popular band at the time was Do As Infinity, also comprising of 2 men and 1 female vocalist. I was a much bigger fan of D-A-I as a teen, as I liked Tomiko Van(the vocalist)'s deeper voice, and the band's edgier rock sound.

Tomiko Van & Ryo Owatari of D-A-I

I listened to a little of TBG here and there, but it was not until the lead singer went solo in 2001 that my interest was piqued.

THE BRILLIANT GREEN - Rainy days never stays

She first debuted as Tommy february6 (her Japanese name being Tomoko Kawase), February 6th being her birthday; hence this special blog post. Her music is extremely poppy, very cute, and a little bizarre. Based on her long history with TBG, one would assume she would keep her "safer" image, but with her solo debut, Tommy has emerged as a very quirky pop/rock star who sometimes looks like Avril Lavigne.

Tommy, resembling Avril Lavigne....
(image via moetron.com)

In my opinion, her songs are more catchy than TBG's (I think TBG sounds a little bit like Sixpence None the Richer...). The English is very strange in the songs, and she appears as some sort of sexy-secretary-delinquent-schoolgirl. This look is quite... difficult to pull off, I have to say, especially for someone who just celebrated her 35th birthday, today.

Tommy february6, Lonely in Gorgeous

Tommy february6 persona
(image via itmedia.oc.jp, aki7.com)

She then debuted another moniker as Tommy heavenly6, and these songs were in the pop-rock genre, closer to TBG's style, yet her style became more gothic/lolita.

Tommy heavenly6, I'm gonna SCREAM

Tommy heavenly6, Heavy Starry Chain

Tommy heavenly6 persona
(image via last.fm, amazon.com)

Her last single as Tommy heavenly6 was released in 2008, and it seems that THE BRILLIANT GREEN has again reunited, working on new material together.

Though I've never been a die-hard/obsessive fan of TBG or Tommy (in both alter egos), I do believe that Tommy's music is a worthwhile listen, even with her nonsensical English-Japanese lyrics, strange music videos and 80's reminiscent pop/synth/punk influences.

Hm. Speaking of above-mentioned quirkiness, I guess there IS someone who can wear the recent Giles collection. Charles Anastase's and Luella's collections also come to mind.

L-R: Luella F/W 2009, Charles Anastase S/S 2009

L-R: Giles S/S 2010, Luella F/W 2009

*images via style.com and nymag.com*

I think Tommy would tote around the dino bag proudly... hell, I would. (Giles S/S 2010)


Ken said...

I was totally in love with her Tommyheavenly6 phase~

For some reason I always mistake her for Kaori Mochida from ELT, who also has a very sense of style.

Valentine Devlieghere said...

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x Valentine

Eva Internazionale said...

Your blog brings me crazy early teenage years associations because that was the time when I was so into jrock and jpop that I listened exclusively to these genres. I was a huge fan of Tommy february6 and TBG, but it died down with time. Now the only Japanese artists I listen to are Shiina Ringo (who is my favorite pop singer anyway), Dir en grey and Pizzicato 5.

t3hDave said...

Oh Tommy...
I heard about her in high school and I only had one of her songs. I thought it was totally gay, but would closet listen to it.

The more recent stuff, I am definitely not ashamed to listen to. I like PAPERMOON and TBG's Ash Like Snow, both Anime opening theme songs.