We'd like to touch again on the issue of sampling permission of "Never Let Go" contained in the album "First Love," which was mentioned in this corner on March 8.
Regarding the guitar phrase sampling (in fact it wasn't sampling but a new kind of keyboard playing) in this song, we obtained permission from the agent publisher in Japan before the release. We also had official permission from Sting, author of the original song "Shape of My Heart." Both parties have already agreed on the terms of the copyright of this song, as well.
Consequently, it's not a case of "illegal use without permission" nor "plagiarism." As to the wording of the credit, the Sting people were still studying the official wording at the time of our release date. So, with the instruction of the agent publisher, we used the wording which is found on the CD jacket. We will announce the official wording as soon as it is officially decided by Sting side.
Thank you for your attention to the above.
A&R1 Group, Domestic A&R Department, Virgin Headquarters
Toshiba EMI Ltd.
A request to all:
"LUV LIVE" held on April 1 and 2 is a live performance with free admission (lottery).
Tickets, therefore, are not for sale, and sales of tickets is prohibited. We're sure all you fans understand, but two performances are held for this show, with a rehearsal on March 28 soon after her spring vacation started. You may have much to complain about, but considering her schedule, two performances are the best she can do for now.
We'd like to let you fans know the status of this show in some way, so please don't sell or buy the tickets won by lottery.
LUV LIVE Office, Toshiba EMI
Recently we've often heard comments from various mass media and others saying they "can't understand" the response of Toshiba EMI, or that Toshiba EMI is "overprotective" as far as Utada Hikaru is concerned. So I'd like to use this opportunity to explain to all of you our stance and our thoughts.
Utada Hikaru, though she is an artist, is also a 16-year-old student with schoolwork. Wishing to lead a natural student life -- study, play with her friends, or even fall in love -- is her own will, and we support her wish. Such an ordinary lifestyle can help her creativity and, above all, we all want her to experience her youth as normally as everybody else does.
Consequently, on weekdays she concentrates on her schooling and on Sunday she manages to focus on regular and guest appearances on radio programs, interviews, shooting and recording of promotional video clips and so forth. It's a very tightly scheduled hard day and for the future we'd like to fix her schedule giving consideration to her health.
When supplying information and photos to mass media, as there were many articles published with false informations in the past, we look into the purpose of the use of each article and confirm the content. In addition, we give our careful attention particularly to any infringement of privacy against her private life. We have no intention of twisting the facts nor censoring.
Furthermore, we have no policy against her TV appearances. Of course there is a chance in the future of her making TV appearances, and in fact, we're carefully studying the possibility of it, but above all, we need to keep her schedule as healthy as we could for the reason mentioned above, noting she's already in very hectic schedule.
We'd like to continue to work with her as a partner for a long run. For that purpose, it is very important for us to act with sound judgment.
It's not up to us to determine which direction she may want to go in the future, but we believe it is solely up to her. We'd like to support her as a person first, then as a business partner whatever dicisions she may make.
Lastly, Toshiba EMI always welcome young talents who are stimulated by the appearance of Utada Hikaru and want to pursue their lives both academically and artistically. We want our music scenes to be filled with such young talented artists and will do our part to create environments to make this idea possible. 2000/11/24/14/43/42
Virgin Domestic A&R Section, Virgin Headquarters
Toshiba EMI Ltd.
"Movin' on without you" is showing a good start thanks to you. Thank you very much!
And, this coming March 10, her long-awaited album will be released.
We staff probably shouldn't be saying this, but it's honestly a very good album, so we recommend it with a great confidence!
At present, Utada Hikaru herself, while managing her enormous amount of homework, is doing her best in the promotional work of this single and a coming album. Information about her appearances in magazines and broadcast programs can be found on this site, so please check it out!
Q1. I notice there are some people selling sample discs at high prices...
This troubles us also, and we're very sad to hear that.
We have confirmed the fact that promotional discs are on sale through Web sites. We have also received information that they were displayed at certain second-hand record shops, which we're trying to confirm.
The sale of promotional and sample discs is not approved, and as the manufacturer we intend to firmly deal with such incidents through possible legal action.
We are working to establish a system for full control of the sample discs (listing of distributions, search of source through the serial numbers, etc.) to prevent such incidents to occur at the outset.
We'd appreciate if you'd inform us through the site when you see a sample disc or a pirate disc. In this manner you can help us prevent these incidents before they happen. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
Furthermore, the use of music clips of any song on Web sites other than the official site is prohibited and results in copyright violation.
Q2. Won't an analog disc of "Automatic/time will tell" be re-released?
Sorry to those who couldn't buy the analog disc of "Automatic/time will tell" released on Feb. 17. It was produced entirely under a reservation system, and we produced the amount ordered through shops. At present we have no plans for a re-release. We know there are those who "have to listen to "Automatic/time will tell" on analog disc by all means!" but give us some time. We're currently studying the matter; we may release an analog disc in a different style. When the release date is determined, we'll announce it on this site . We suggest you to check the release information regularly at the shops and on this site.
Q3. Tell me about her live performances...
Many inquiries about Utada Hikaru's live performances have been received. Related information is on the NEWS corner, so please check it out. As soon as the system is complete, we're scheduled to list the links for inquiries in Osaka and Tokyo. There are invitations from magazines, as well (Tokyo only), so please check that also.
Q4. I want to know more about her...
Great news for HIKKI maniacs! HIKKI maniacs may already know that her regular radio programs INTER FM "HIKKI'S SWEET & SOUR" (20:30-21:00 every Sunday/Kanto region), and NORTH WAVE/CROSS FM "WARNING: HIKKI ATTACK!!" (25:00-26:00 every Sunday/Hokkaido & Fukuoka regions) have been airing with great success; in addition, Hikki's essay series will start in "mcSister" magazine starting with the 2/23 issue! She herself writes about various things close to her, her interests and so forth, with her own illustrations! Check it out at bookstores nationwide. Also, this site has been updated! Her own bulletin board is on-line! You can read messages sent by Hikki herself!!
We staff will do our best so that this site will become the source of all your Hikki information! Stay tuned!
Well, the volume of mail received every day is mind-boggling, and just reading through it all is a huge job! But... it's a "happy scream" ... We'd like to use this space to express our appreciation. Thank you! Please continue to support this site. We talked about the bulletin boards the other day, and a certain bulletin board is sometimes visited by Hikki herself! So, please contribute to those and the other boards. Hmmm, Hikki must be doing her homework in front of her PC...
About that give-away for the first 200 fans, we think we'll be able to mail it out soon, so please be patient... (Look forward to what you'll receive!)
Now, let's go to the Q&A corner for Hikki maniacs.
Q1. Where did the name "CubicU" come from?
Originally this unit was a family unit. In those days, they were called "cubic U," but since Utada Hikaru took the lead vocal position, the name became "Cubic U." This "U" is of course the "U" in "Utada," and since there are three in the family father, mother and herself it was "U3(U*3)." When you multiply U by three, you get a cubic, so U3(U*3) = Cubic U (Cubic of U). That's the history of the name, and the name is also said to reflect Utada's multiple talents.
Q2. Isn't there a fan club?
Unfortunately, there's none at this moment. If one is formed, there'll be some announcement, and so please give it your support.
The mailing address of fan letters is as follows:
"Utada Hikaru Fan Letter" Office
Toshiba EMI Ltd.
2-2-17, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8510
Utada herself reads all the letters, so please don't hesitate to send yours!
Q3. I'd like to see her live...
Thank you for waiting! This spring, the possibility of holding events in Tokyo and Osaka has become stronger! Details will be announced on the site in a big splash, so just wait for a while... She herself is very eager to do a live show!
Welcome! To Hikki's Web site!
She turned 16 on January 19!
Her birthday party was planned secretly and held on the following day at a certain recording studio in Tokyo. She thought she was coming to see how the mixing was going on, and was surprised by a full "birthday mode"! Seemed very happy with all the presents from the staff...
Here and there on the Internet, there are many bulletin boards for "Utada Hikaru." We staff are having a good time every day looking at the messages, it's like hearing your voices directly.
So, in response to the requests of "Hikki Maniacs" throughout Japan, we'd like to answer some of the questions found on those bulletin boards!
Re-release of CubicU's "Precious"
First of all, CubicU is the name used by Utada in her overseas activities. In fact, her activities as "CubicU" predate those as "Utada Hikaru."
She started writing all-English songs with the base of R&B when she was ten. As soon as she made her debut on an indie label in New York, she became noticed by several well-known artists including Lenny Kravitz. In addition to the three 12-inch singles released in the name of CubicU, a maxi-single CD was released across the U.S. and Europe when she was 12.
At the beginning of 1998, the maxi-single "Close to You" and album "Precious" were released in Japan prior to the world release on the Free Bass label, which was then owned by Toshiba EMI. These songs were written and composed by Utada when she was 12 and recorded when she was 13. The release on a U.S. major label is currently under progress.
The album "Precious" is at present out of stock, which has been causing a lot of trouble to you all, but the re-release in a new jacket on March 31 from Toshiba EMI has been decided. So, please wait a little longer.
About the "time will tell" analog disc
As for the analog version of "time will tell," a current topic of the town, it was made for club promotional purposes only and is naturally not for sale. There are two versions Japan press discs and N.Y. press discs. Their jackets are different, and content is slightly different as follows:
Japan press disc
1.time will tell-CLUB MIX remixed by M.I.D
2.time will tell-HEART MIX remixed by SOULMATE
3.time will tell-HEART MIX"RADIO EDIT"
1.time will tell-ALT.MUTES MIX
(Note: ALT. MUTES MIX is a so-called original version. There were several original mix versions then, and they were so called among staff.)
N.Y. press disc
1.time will tell-DUB MIX remixed by GOH HOTODA
2.time will tell-CLUB MIX remixed by M.I.D
3.time will tell-HEART MIX remixed by SOULMATE
1.time will tell-ALT.MUTES MIX
Let us introduce those who mixed the tracks:
DUB MIX ... Famous DUB MIX is a REMIX by Mr. GOH HOTODA who does all the mixing of HIKKI's works.
CLUB MIX ... A REMIX by M.I.D, a unit led by Mr. Masahiko Tanaka of Hibiki Sound Factory.
HEART MIX ... A REMIX by SOULMATE, a unit made up of Seiryo Okamura, leader of SWYM STD, and Mr. Tomitaka Kiyama, leader of AIR FM, et al.
The reason for two discs Japan and N.Y. is that the Japan press version was made because it could be manufactured quickly, and the N.Y. press version was made because it has deeper grooves and is suitable for DJ use.
Sorry to say after all the above details that there are no plans to release the REMIX versions other than that of the DUB MIX. Please accept the above just as a reference for HIKKI maniacs.
For your information, the analog disc of "Automatic/time will tell" will be released on Feb. 17. The content is exactly the same as the 12cm CD. It's of a limited initial production, so those who want to buy should make reservations at the nearest record shop as soon as possible.
You must be a true Hikki maniac, being already here after only a short time has passed since the release of her debut single!
Be proud. And please continue to support her.
But you know, time flies! When "Automatic" was recorded, it was the season for short sleeves. We'd like to spend some time reminiscing, but no time for that! With the New Year's celebrations behind us, we're in the midst of recording her First Album! We staff shouldn't be talking like this, but it is one great album (though not yet finished).
Well, "betrayal in the good sense" is the creed of Hikki & Staff, so please wait and guess what "Automatic" will be like. In March, it should be out! No, it will! We'll do our best. Please be patient.