Tell us a little bit about yourself and your hopes for your music.
I was born and raised in Hawaii to Japanese parents. I grew up surrounded by the arts through my father, who was a Classical music DJ and singer, and my mother, who was a drama and performing arts scholar. I came to music later in life after a successful career as a broadcast journalist, marriage, two kids, and divorce. I hope that my music can show people that it’s never too late to pursue their passion.
Who are some of your biggest influencers in the industry?
My biggest influences in jazz vocals are Nancy Wilson, for her ability to paint a vivid picture through song and Carmen McRae, whose musicality is so soulful. For bossa nova, I am obsessed with João Gilberto’s understated, yet alluring guitar playing and singing style, and with Antônio Carlos Jobim, for his many beautiful compositions.
Your Jazz album “To Love Again” recently received a 2022 Wammie award nomination. Congratulations! How did that make you feel?
I am humbled and grateful to be recoginized for my debut album. It took a village to create this labor of love, from my producer, Nanny Assis, and all the musicians, artists, and engineers to the people around the world who listened to my album and voted for it for the Wammie Award.
What is your favorite song from the album? Why?
Each song from the album is special in different ways, but Love Dance by Ivan Lins represents a beautiful message that there is hope after you lose love. And when you rediscover love, after all the suffering, you appreciate it and won’t take it for granted.
What inspired “To Love Again”?
The idea of recording my album came during a low point in my life when, after 15 years of marriage, I suddenly found myself a single mother of two boys. While I had lost confidence and was questioning my self worth, I asked myself what brings me joy? And the answer was music.
How would you like for your music to impact the world?
We live in challenging times now so it’s important to find ways to connect with eachother and not be weighed down by all the negativity that surrounds us. Music has the wonderful ability to heal. I was able to use music to turn something negative into something positive. I hope that my music can help uplift people’s spirits.
Do you have any advice for our aspiring youth with a passion for music?
Be humble and learn from the masters that came before you and know that you will always be a student. Have the courage to make mistakes, because that’s the only way to improve. Don’t take yourself too seriously and enjoy! Lastly, life can be short so do what you love NOW.
How can our readers connect with you?