Hikaru Utada Official Website

MESSAGE from Staff

  • 2003.03.13

    Thank you very much!

    Supported by warm encouragement from all her fans, Utada Hikaru has been awarded the "Artist of the Year" in the 17th Japan Gold Disc Award. On behalf of all the staff here I would like to express my appreciation.

    The year 2002 was a year of changes for Utada Hikaru, both professionally and personally. Watching her sing "Deep River," the title track of the album "DEEP RIVER" (released that year) at the award ceremony,we were filled with deep emotion. This song was written last among the songs in the album. The performance was the most memorable of the many shown during a series of her TV appearances, and we almost felt Hikaru's own will toward the future. Those who missed, be sure to watch it when it is aired on NHK.

    From now on, Hikaru will pursue her international career under the name Hikaru Utada. And someday soon, after more "tuneup," she will appear in front of you again as Utada Hikaru.

    Lastly, I would like to send the lyrics from "Deep River" back to her just like a boomerang.

    Akira Miyake
    1st A&R Dept., Virgin Division
    Toshiba EMI Ltd.

  • 2002.08.06

    About "UH3+" and others

    I'd like to answer a few questions from fans:

    1. As announced the other day, the music clip for "Deep River" is a new video by director Kiriya and features Hikaru. As soon as it is completed,we'd like to use it as a promotional clip, as well, so please look forward to it. The reason why the announcement was delayed is because we wanted to be sure that Hikaru herself would actually appear.

    2. About the inclusion of "FINAL DISTANCE" in "UH3+"
    "FINAL DISTANCE" ~ "traveling" ~ "SAKURA Drops" form one related story. "FINAL DISTANCE" was previously included in "UH2," but we decided to include it in "UH3+" as we thought our fans would enjoy these tracks more when they are viewed consecutively.

    3. About a new single release
    Rumors claiming that a new single will be released around the end of September are totally false.
    What's definite, at this point, is that "UH3+" and "Deep River" analog disc will be released on September 30.

    Akira Miyake
    A&R 1 Group Virgin Headquarters
    Toshiba EMI Ltd.

  • 2002.07.01

    Gratitude

    "Deep River" is off to a great start! We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone invloved: the fans, record stores, media, factory workers and the people involved in distribution. Thank you -- we hope that "Deep River" becomes a long-term hit album!

    Akira Miyake
    A&R 1 Group, Virgin Headquarters
    Toshiba EMI Ltd.

  • 2002.06.19

    Notes on Playing the CD "Deep River" on Windows Media Player

    Hikki's new album "Deep River" was released today, and we have already received many enthusiastic e-mails from fans. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all!
    Now, some fans who purchased the CD have commented that when playing "Deep River" on a PC, track titles different from those on the album are displayed in Windows Media Player.
    We must first explain that audio CDs contain no computer-readable data such as track titles and artist names. Windows Media Player seems to have a system whereby the tracks are retrieved from a database via the Internet.
    This database has no connection with our company, and we do not know how the data is searched and displayed. We understand that this only happens when the PC is connected to the Internet.
    For more information, launch Windows Media Player and open "Topic Search" under the "Help" menu. Once in "Topic Search," please switch to the tab called "Keyword," and read through "Display CD Information."

    Hidenori Okita
    A&R 1 Group, Virgin Headquarters
    Toshiba EMI Ltd.

  • 2001.06.21

    Our Request on How to Get the Analog "Distance"

    As you may know, the analog version of the album "Distance" will be released on July 25 in a limited quantity. Those who'd like to buy a copy,read on.
    We recommend that you book your copy at a record store by the release?@date (July 25), to be sure of receiving one.
    Please note, too, that the shipment may be delayed, depending on the?@time of your booking and the record store.
    Although shipment may be delayed, we will certainly manufacture the number of discs booked by the release date.
    For any further details, please ask at your record store.

    Sales Promotion No.1 Group, Toshiba EMI

  • 2001.04.03

    Thank you for your support.

    The album "Distance" continues to sell well thanks to your support and backing. I'd like to use this space to thank you first of all.

    The sales situation has been talked about in some media in terms of "competition," which is not at all our intent.

    Consequently, we have refused to accept interviews or make any comments on this matter. Music is not a game, nor something to be talked about on the basis of win or lose.

    I feel sad about such thinking that negates other artists just because each favorite artist is the best. We think the diversity of the current music market in Japan is what makes it interesting. If Hikaru Utada were the only artist around, wouldn't the music scene be rather boring?

    There are many things we should learn from the Western music scene, but I trust that there are "songs" which have roots in Japan's culture, and we'd like to continue pursuing Japan's popular songs.

    Good sales is a very happy thing, but we aim at long-lasting, long-loved music. It's not just how many copies are sold, but how many times one CD is listened to.

    I used to listen to one of my favorite CDs so many times it wore out. "First Love" achieved record sales of over eight million copies, but I'd rather continue to give my attention to how many times each one of you listened to it.

    We'll do our best as we have done so far!

    Akira Miyake
    Toshiba EMI Ltd.

  • 2001.03.29

    To Those Who Purchased the Album "Distance"

    We have received many comments via email from fans who purchased "Distance," the new album released on March 28. There were several questions, and we'd like to address them here.

    1. There's noise in the intro section of the seventh song, "Addicted To You," and in the eighth song, "For You."

    This is "scratch noise" that was intentionally inserted during production. Young fans may not be familiar with this sort of noise, but it can be heard when you put a stylus on analog records. We incorporated the noise as one of the "sounds." So in answer to questions asking if the CD is defective, no -- it's normal.

    2. What is a picture label disc?
    It is a disc which has a photograph (same as the jacket photo) printed on the disc surface. The initial production lot of the album "Distance" is produced under such a specification. After the initial production, the disc will be produced with the usual text label only.

    If you have any other questions, click the "Mail to Staff" button to send an email, or call Toshiba EMI's Quality Assurance Section (03-5512-1729).

    Those who read the earlier Staff Diary might find the above repeated contents, for which I ask your understanding.

    Hidenori Okita
    Domestic A&R 1 Group, Virgin Headquarters
    Toshiba EMI Ltd.

  • 2001.03.09

    Who Is "PINO" ?

    We have received many inquiries recently asking, "Tell me about the robot that appears in the new song's video clip," so I'd like to introduce the cute robot today.

    HUMANOID ROBOT PINO
    PINO is a humanoid robot developed by the Japan Science and Technology Corporation ERATO Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project. It was developed to be highly mobile, environmentally friendly and reasonably priced, all of which are considered necessary for robots to coexist with humans in the future.
    Robots are our old and new partners. Just as the industrial revolution of the 20th century brought about sweeping change to society, as did the information revolution most recently, so too will robots offer new value to life in the 21st century. The designs of machines -- whether they be automobiles or computers -- create a new culture, and we advocate a new field called robot design as a new industry (and hence new culture) that will give birth to a trend in new designs.

    Humanoid Robot PINO is a robot for the purpose of research and development, specifically to experiment with two-footed walking. It is 70 cm tall, about the size of a one-year-old child. In its current states its walk is not yet perfected, and so the child who has just started to walk is employed as its exterior appearance. Pinocchio is employed as its motif. Its name contains a metaphor that it is not yet perfect (still under experimentation) and another metaphor, whereby just as Pinocchio in the story seeks what humans are through experience, we are researching robots that will understand humans from an engineering standpoint. -- Tatsuya Matsui, Robot Designer, Kitano Project

    So it goes. The scientist's explanation is a little difficult but in short this Japan Science and Technology Corporation ERATO Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project is trying to create a robot that can be a friend to humans. The leading creation is PINO, though it's still at the experimental stage. It's truly a cute robot.
    In making a video clip for Hikaru's new song, "Can You Keep A Secret?" we all studied the content. No co-performer has ever appeared in the previous video clips. Considering Hikaru is going to be 18 years old, we decided to have an attractive companion to appear in the new video. But we were at a loss whom we should ask to appear as her companion. There are various problems, and so the idea "how about a robot?" came up and we looked into that. We learned that there are about ten robots currently existing in Japan, among which the one that appealed most to Hikaru was PINO. Only thing is that PINO is 70 cm tall, the height of a one-year-old child. So we decided to ask them to make an enlarged model about 130 cm tall. As expected, it is a robot that is friendly, which is the goal of the Kitano Project. PINO's movement is natural. Even a facial expression seemed to be felt. I can't help but hope such friendly robots will share our lives some day. I feel it's not that far off. I sincerely thank all at ERATO Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project, and PINO, who readily gave their cooperation to Hikaru's video production.

    Teruzane Utad/U3 MUSIC

  • 2001.02.22

    How to Enjoy Hikaru Utada's TV Appearances (in-your-face version)

    Hello Fans! Starting with tomorrow's "Music Station," Hikaru Utada will appear on TV. So allow me, the director in charge, to initiate you in the "correct way to enjoy Hikaru Utada on TV."
    This time she will sing "Can You Keep A Secret?" on three programs (please check the NEWS corner for schedules).
    As you know, "ad-lib" is a term commonly associated with Hikaru Utada's music. This occurs in the beginning and/or ending of the song when the singer sings freely. Hikaru ad-libs differently each time, so you?fll hear a new version each time you watch.
    By the way, I often receive questions like "What is she saying in that ad-lib?" Well, Hikaru sings that way on the spur of the moment, so the lyrics are not written down anywhere.
    Let me digress a bit here: about 40 years ago, British youth listened to blues records until the discs were worn out trying to understand and transcribe the lyrics so as to imitate the songs before anyone else. (Blues records in those days didn?ft come with lyric sheets.) From among those young people came a young man named Mick Jagger. Well, I forgot what point I was trying to make, but anyway, history is so unpredictable isn't it?
    Next, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you and apologize.
    Belatedly, I thank you for buying the new single. We staff were thrilled to receive so many e-mails saying, "I bought it!" We received, however,from several people messages saying "I was expecting a picture disc..."
    They're referring to the album to be released on March 28 whose initial production is a picture disc. The single has a normal "text" only label.Since some people seem to have misunderstood this point, so I guess my explanation wasn't clear.
    Sorry about that.
    We will try to make this site more reliable for fans. Thanks for your continued support!

    Hidenobu Okita
    Domestic A&R 1 Group, Virgin Headquarters, Toshiba EMI

  • 2001.02.13

    About the Picture Label of the 2nd Album "Distance"

    Following the news about the release of the second album, we have received several inquiries from fans asking about the picture label discs being offered as an initial production bonus. Here we'd like to explain what that is.
    Generally, discs are printed with text such as the album title, tracks, etc.
    The initial production lot of the album "Distance" has a photograph printed on the disc. We call such a label a "picture label." Let me say in passing that the number of machines that can produce picture labels is limited, so our factory started the production two months early so as to meet the release date. (After the initial production, the disc will be produced with the usual text label only.) As for what picture appears on the disc, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until the release date to see.

    Hidenori Okita
    Domestic A&R 1 Group, Virgin Headquarters
    Toshiba EMI Ltd.