PROFILE


UA
歌手。UAとはスワヒリ語で“花”“殺す”という対極的な意味を持つ言葉。1972年3月11日生まれ、大阪府出身。母方の故郷は奄美大島。

1995年
6月ビクタースピードスターレーベルよりシングル「HORIZON」でデビュー。
デビュー当時からその個性的なルックスと存在感のある歌声で注目を集める。

1996年
6月シングル「情熱」が大ヒットし、認知度も一躍全国区に。
10月1stアルバム「11」をリリース。各方面で絶賛を浴び、セールスは90万枚を突破。

1998年
4月2ndアルバム「アメトラ」リリース。

1999年
10月3rdアルバム「turbo」リリース。

2000年
浅井健一らとAJICOを結成。
2月AJICOのアルバム「深緑」をリリース。
7月初めて自ら作曲を手がけたシングル「閃光」をリリース。
9月3年ぶりの4thアルバム「泥棒」をリリース。
10月初主演映画「水の女」(監督:杉森秀則 テサロニキ国際映画祭グランプリ受賞作品)公開。
11月から全国ライブツアー“空の小屋”を行なう。

2003年
第56回カンヌ国際映画祭コンペティション部門正式出品作品『沙羅双樹』(監督:河瀬直美)の音楽を担当。
4月よりスタートした、NHK教育テレビ番組『ドレミノテレビ』(2004年グッドデザイン大賞受賞)に、歌のおねえさん<ううあ>としてレギュラー出演。
9月に初のベストアルバム「Illuminate 〜the very best songs〜」、クリップ集DVD「Illuminate 〜the very best clips〜」をリリース、共にロングセールスを記録。

2004年
3月5thアルバム「SUN」、そして『ドレミノテレビ』で紡いだ数々の童謡・愛唱歌20曲を集めた<ううあ>アルバム「うたううあ」をリリース。
5月から全国ライブツアー“UA TOUR 2004”を行なう。モニターに依存しないスリリングでフリーキーなそのライブは好評を博し、ライブアルバム「la」として音源化。10月にリリース。

2005年
デビュー10周年を迎える。
3月に6thアルバム「Breathe」をリリース。同年公開の映画『空中庭園』(監督:豊田利晃 原作:角田光代)に主題歌「この坂道の途中で」を提供。
10月、他のアーティストとコラボレートして生まれた楽曲を集めたアナザーベストアルバム「Nephews」をリリース。

2006年
7月、ジャズサックス奏者、菊地成孔とスタンダードジャズアルバム「cure jazz」をリリース。ジャンルに囚われない彼女の活動がさらに広がり、続く菊地成孔との東名阪ツアーも話題となる。

2007年
5月シングル「黄金の緑/Love scene」をリリース。
5月公開映画『赤い文化住宅の初子』(監督:タナダユキ)に、主題歌「Moor」を提供。
6月7thアルバム「Golden green」をリリース、全国ライブツアー“GOLDEN GREEN 07”を敢行。
同じく6月公開の松本人志初監督映画『大日本人』に小堀マネジャー役で出演、話題に。

2008年
10〜11月度NHK『みんなのうた』で放映された、栗コーダーカルテットとのコラボレート作品「PoPo Louise」がジェネオンよりリリース。
12月シングル「2008」が、ビクターエンタテインメントと博報堂のコラボレーションレーベルCHIKYU RECORDSよりリリース。

2009年
7月、約2年ぶりに8thアルバム「ATTA」をリリース。同月、FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL ‘09に出演のほか、9月には東名阪ツアーも予定されている。


UA, a Swahili word that has two incompatible meanings, “flower” and “kill,” is the name the artist calls herself. She was born in Osaka, Japan, the nation’s second largest city.

In 1995, UA released her debut single “HORIZON” from Victor Speedstar Records, which immediately caught the public attention because of her unique fashion and distinctive vocal quality. Her single “Jonetsu,” released in June 1996, was a major success, which made her renown nationwide. In October, she released her first album “11.” It was highly acclaimed and sold over 900,000 copies. UA married and had her first child this year. After release of “Ametora” (1998) and “turbo” (1999), UA took a short break from her solo career and formed a band named AJICO with Kenichi Asai, a former member of Blankey Jet City and one of Japan’s most influential rock musicians. AJICO released an album titled “Fukamidori.” The sales were strong, and what’s more, it made UA’s audience aware of a new aspect of her musical talent and potential.

UA released her first original composition “Senko” and her 4th album “Dorobo” in 2002. She also started her career as an actress in the same year. UA starred in “Mizu no Onna” (Woman of Water), a film which was awarded the grand prize at the International Thessaloniki Film Festival. She also wrote music for “Shara Soju,” a film screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003.

UA’s stage performance is quite impressive. It is more like a large-scale work of art than an ordinary musical concert. “Sora no Koya” Tour, took place in 2002, exemplifies how elaborately designed her stage is. With a keyboardist, a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist, and a steel pan player behind her, she created a delicate but powerful show that fascinated her audience. She was actively involved in the process of production to assure that her stage would be artistically executed to her standard.

In 2003, UA became a regular performer under the name of UUA (oo-oo-ah) on a children’s television show, “Do Re Mi no Terebi,” broadcasted on NHK. The program was designed so that traditional Japanese nursery songs would be passed on to the young viewers. In fact, many kindergartens use this program for educational and recreational purposes. In September, she released her first best album “Illuminate ~the very best songs~” and the video clip collection “Illuminate ~the very best clips~,” both of which are selling continually to this day.

UA released her 5th album “SUN” in March 2004, followed by a domestic tour “UA TOUR 2004.” A live album “la” was produced based on the sound source recorded during this highly acclaimed tour. Ted Jensen, a Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer for Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me,” who had been working with UA since “Dorobo,” took part in the project. She also released “UTAUUA,” an album compiled 20 traditional Japanese nursing songs from the children’s television show that she hosted, “Do Re Mi no Terebi.”

In 2005, UA celebrated her 10th anniversary. She released her 6th album “Breathe” in March. “Nephews” released in October was the compilation of her collaborated works with other artists. It featured “Kono Sakamichi no Tochu de,” the theme song UA provided for “Kuchu Teien,” a film directed by Toshiaki Toyota and originally written by Mitsuyo Kakuta.
In 2006, UA released a jazz album titled “cure jazz” with a jazz saxophone player, Naruyoshi Kikuchi. Tied up as “UA x Naruyoshi Kikuch,” they performed at Fuji Rock Festival and Rising Sun Rock Festival. They also toured together and performed in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka.

UA released “Ogon no Midori/Love scene,” three years after her previous single release. She wrote a new song “Moor” for a film “Akai Bunka Jutaku no Hatsuko,” directed by Yuki Tanada. Her 7th album “Golden Green” was released in June, and she executed an all-around-Japan tour. She also appeared in the phenomenal film, “Dai-Nipponjin,” directed by one of nation’s most popular comedians, Hitoshi Matsumoto.

In 2008, UA gave birth to her second child. She collaborated with Kuricorder Quartet and released “PoPo Louise” from Geneon Universal Entertainment. It was broadcasted on NHK’s music program for children, “Minna no Uta,” as the song of the month for October and November. Her single “2008” was released in December from CHIKYU RECORDS, a collaborated label of JVC and Hakuhodo.

Her new album “ATTA” is expected for release on July 22nd, 2009. She is scheduled to perform at Fuji Rock Festival ’09. Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka tour is also planned in September.