Yui (stylized as YUI) (ユイ?, born March 26, 1987 in Fukuoka, Japan) is a Japanese singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actress. She is currently signed to Studioseven Recordings and attached to the talent agency Stardust Promotion and now, she attached to Gr8 recordings.
YUI is a Japanese J-pop/J-rock artist who is born on March 26, 1987 in Fukuoka, Japan. She sings, plays the acoustic guitar, and writes her own songs. Two of her songs, "LIFE" and "Rolling Star," are featured in Bleach, a Japanese anime series, which has brought her some international attention. She released another song called "Again" and is currently used as an opening theme to the new series of Fullmetal Alchemist. So far, her album [i]Can't Buy My Love[/i] has managed to sell over 680,000 copies.
Her professional career began in March 2004 when at the recommendation of her juku instructors she applied for an audition hosted by Sony Music Japan. Despite the audition rule that a participant could only sing two songs, Yui sang three, with all of the judges gave her the highest score possible and causing a fierce scramble among record labels to sign her. She first sang "Why Me" (a song later included in her major label debut single), followed by "It's Happy Line" and "I Know". Because "I Know" was incomplete at the time, the judges were able to get a glimpse of what would later be dubbed "Yui-go", or Yui-speak (Yui語 in Japanese), nonsensical English hummed to a tune during her songwriting process — an example of Yui-go can be found in the film Midnight Sun when Yui is working on the song "Goodbye Days".
On Christmas Eve of that year, she released her debut single "It's Happy Line" under the indie label Leaflet Records, coupled with the track "I Know". The pressing was limited to only 2,000 copies in her home area
Her first full album, [i]From Me to You[/i], was released February 22, 2006. Among its thirteen tracks, nine of them were previously unreleased, and have been well received from her fans. The album has already reached as high as the weekly ninth most sold album in Japan, with the main track, "TOKYO", reaching the number four spot on the MTV Japan's song charts.
YUI grew up in a fatherless home and, therefore, does not have any memories of her father. She does remember always being close to music, be it from her mother's car stereo or the radio. She would remember the tunes and sing along. By the time she was in elementary school, she thought she would like to become a singer.
During her third year in middle school, following the influence of her mother, YUI began keeping a journal of everyday feelings and poetry. Because of this, by the time she was in high school, she began writing songs. While in high school, she worked a part-time job to help pay for tuition. Always busy, with her time steadily disappearing, she thought there was no longer a road to music. Eventually, her body broke down and she found herself under hospitalization. While in the hospital, with the time to consider her life, she was overwhelmed with the desire to make music. She decided that school and music could not coexist. Upon leaving the hospital she encountered a live street performance and expressed her desire to pursue a musical career to the band, Bianco Nero, at the end of the concert. Bianco Nero recommended YUI that she should join a private music school. Soon, she dropped out of high school and dedicated her time studying songwriting and guitar at a juku in her hometown of Fukuoka. Aspiring to become a professional, she carried her guitar around and sang at local places at the entrance of Tenjin station in Fukuoka. Doing these street performances helped YUI to eventually overcome her shyness.
In March 2003, she sang three songs at an audition hosted by Sony Music Japan, as opposed to the audition rule that a participant could only sing two songs. All judges evaluated her with the highest score, which caused a fierce scramble among labels. She first sang "Why Me", which was later coupled with her debut single, followed by "It's happy line" and "I know", the latter of which was included on her indie single. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, she strummed her guitar and sang. The judges and the others present claimed that "the performance created a tremendous aura from her heavenly voice, and captured the hearts of the whole audience".
Upon leaving her home of Fukuoka for Tokyo, YUI wrote the song "Feel my Soul". She was planning its release on an indie label as a tribute to her hometown, when the song caught the ears of Fuji TV producer Mr. Yamaguchi, who happened to see the demo video clip. He claimed YUI's voice haunted him so much that he went out of his way to visit the recording studio himself. He even made his channel's prime time drama an extraordinary tie-in with YUI's debut track.
Although she is uncomfortable talking to people, she enjoys communicating with her audience at street performances in the Tenjin district of Fukuoka.
YUI also starred in a movie released on June 17, 2006, titled Midnight Sun (in Japanese Taiyō no Uta (タイヨウのうた, song of the sun), which was screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
Notable instruments :
Fender GDC200 SCE
Squier Bronco Bass
Martin HD-28 1977
Albums chart rank:
* 2006: From Me to You #4
* 2007: Can't Buy My Love #1
* 2008: I Loved Yesterday #1
* 2008: My Short Stories #1
* 2010: Holidays in the sun #1
Albums chart rank :
* 2005 Feel My Soul #8
* 2005 Tomorrow’s way #15
* 2005 LIFE #9
* 2006 TOKYO #15
* 2006 Good-bye days #3
* 2006 I remember you #2
* 2007 Rolling star #4
* 2007 CHE.R.RY #2
* 2007 My Generation/Understand #1
* 2007 LOVE & TRUTH #1
* 2008 Namidairo #3
* 2008 SUMMER SONG #1
* 2009 Again #1
* 2009 It's All Too Much/Never say Die #1
* 2010 Gloria #1
* 2010 to Mother #1
* 2010 Rain #2
* 2007: 30th Japan Academy Prize: Rookie of Year
* 2008: MTV Student Voice Award 2008: Best Artist
* 2008: Space Shower Music Video Awards 08 : Best Pop Video