Utada Hikaru and I went to rival high schools in Japan. But just as I was finishing eighth grade, she trumped me in coolness by becoming an overnight pop sensation with a debut LP First Love that became--and still remains--Japan's best selling album of all time. She's essentially the Japanese version of Britney Spears, but with a less chaotic personal life.
Utada flew in from Tokyo today to visit the kids that run C89.5 FM at Nathan Hale High School. They've been playing her song "Come Back to Me" on air and she's eager to get in with American listeners. She was only in town for a couple hours before heading to Portland, much to my disappointment. Surely the demand for a live performance is here, given the number of Asia transplants in the city.
My relatives and friends from high school--people I haven't talked to in ages--have been blowing up my cell phone and Facebook wall wanting to know what Utada was like. All I can say is she was fucking tiny. We chatted a little bit about our respective high schools and complimented each others' shoes, but for the most part, she was surrounded by the Japanese mafia (read: her record label.)
DJ Richard Dalton of C89.5 FM managed to snag some interview time with her, and I'll keep you posted as to when that's going to air. If you haven't listened to Utada, you should, as her music transcends language barriers. It's damn catchy. Check the video.