Utada Hikaru Prepares Two New Singles and Strikes an Elegant Pose for ‘Vogue Japan’
Utada Hikaru is seriously making up for lost time.
Following the release of last year's million unit plus-selling Fantôme, her first Japanese studio album in nearly a decade, the singer-songwriter isn't slowing down post-hiatus anytime soon: since inking a new deal with Epic Records Japan, she's already teased her first release under her new record label, "Oozora da Dakishimete," a tie-in with Suntory Natural Mineral Water out on July 10.
Listen to a 60-second preview of the song below.
But why stop there? Her second single is already in the works.
"Forevermore" is the name of her follow-up release, which will serve as the main theme for TBS's Nichiyou Gekijou drama series, Gomen, Aishiteru (I'm Sorry, I Love You), due out on July 28.
It's significant not only because it's a new single from Utada, but because it's a drama theme: her Fantome track "Hanataba wo Kimini" was used for NHK's Toto Nechan last year, but it's actually been 9 years since she had a song featured on a commercial broadcast channel: "Eternally -Drama Mix-" for Fuji TV Network's Innocent Love.
"Forevermore," which was recorded in Spring 2017 in Japan and London, also features drummer Chris Dave, who has worked with everyone from Adele to Justin Bieber, and is considered one of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time by Rolling Stone. According to a press release, a music video will arrive in early August. (And yes, she's starting work on another album already, too.)
You can hear a tiny preview of that track in the rather dramatic trailer below.
And then, there's the fashion front: Utada's posing for not one, but two magazines this summer, including a cover feature for ROCKIN' ON JAPAN and a gorgeous spread for the August issue of Vogue Japan. Not only is it Utada's first photo shoot for Vogue Japan, but it's also her first women's fashion spread since 2006 — nearly 11 years ago.
Inside the issue, Hikki reflects on "words" — given that lyrics are her strong suit, after all — and poses in couture by Alexander McQueen for a photo shoot with Polish photographer Maciej Kucia.
Head over to Vogue Japan to catch a glimpse of two of the stunning final shots, and watch her pose for the camera in a behind-the-scenes clip below.
And that is just a hint of what Hikki's preparing for her summer break. Stay tuned...
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