Working her way up the scene from live events into a bona fide pop star in Japan, Minmi (born Michiko Evwana) works a mix of world influences into her music, notably reggae, soca, and American hip-hop. Somewhat surprisingly for the hyper-engineered Japanese pop apparatus, Minmi makes a point of writing her own pieces and holding down most production duties at the same time, keeping tight control of her finished product. Minmi burst onto the charts with 2002's "The Perfect Vision," a reggae-infused piece of pop that quickly found its way onto the Oricon charts. Building her sound, she added more straightforward J-pop to her repertoire with 2004's Imagine album, then went into soca-based sounds with 2005's compilation album Friends (culminating, among other things, in an appearance in Trinidad's Soca Monarch competition, where she moved to the finals with the song "Sha Na Na [Japanese Wine]"). Another studio album followed, as did additional best-of compilations (multiple such compilations are common in the Japanese industry). Released in 2008, Minmi Best 2002-2008 peaked at number two on the Oricon charts, holding high positions for months after its release.
BORNDecember 8, 1975