Spotlight: Thelma Aoyama

'87 born J-starlet Thelma Aoyama has only been in the J-music game for a short time, but has already gotten a couple of #1 hits to her name.

Thelma caught a big break at the start of her career, with her second single "Soba ni iru ne" - which became one of the best selling download singles in Japan for 2008, and a choice favourite which artists would go on to cover numerous times the very same year. To capitalize on her popularity and the huge success of "Soba ni iru ne", Thelma released a mini album titled Love! which charted on the Oricon charts at #1 - re-affirming to Thelma's record label just how popular the song was, and that Thelma clearly had a fan base.

Thelma's second studio album Emotions marked a departure from her debut alubm Diary. The sound was much more polished, and Thelma's image went through a metamorphosis as she went from some young girl looking a hip hop mess, to a lady. She still looks like a Japanese cabbage patch doll with a head that looks 2 sizes too big for her body. But her image signalled she was ready to be looked at as a young lady and taken that bit more seriously.

Listen: Todoketai...

© 2009 Universal music Japan

"Todoketai..." is Thelma Aoyama's 6th single overall, and was the first single to be released off of her 2nd studio album Emotions.

What made me latch onto Thelma, was that she reminded me of a Crystal Kay in the making. There are many similarities between the two:

  • She has a really nice voice
  • She has a very R&B / Westernized way of singing songs
  • Thelma's music has a heavy R&B influences
  • She attends the same University Crystal graduated from
  • Thelma is of mixed race: born to a Japanese mother and a part-Trinidadian father

Thelma Aoyama's clear similarities with Crystal Kay will probabaly extend to her music and her selling power. Which will be that of an artist who stays around putting out good music, but will not ever sell mammoth units and top the Oricon charts on a regular basis like her peers. It's a shame, but hopefully Thelma will prove me wrong.

Thelma's homes on the web: Official website | Official blog
Album reviews: Diary | Emotion

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