(born Shimogawara Tomomi on August 171974
), is a Japanese J-pop singer
. She is famous for working with Tetsuya Komuro
who gave her much success in the 1990s, which ironically led to her deep dip in popularity after 1999, the year in which she released her first non-TK produced album, One Fine Day
. Tomomi Kahala and Tetsuya Komuro dated for a few years, but they suffered from personal problems which led to their breakup. After a period of sickness, Kahala's talent agency kicked her out on June 29, 2007
Rise to fame
While working with Tetsuya Komuro
, her first single Keep Yourself Alive
was released in late 1995, selling over 360,000 copies and went Top 10, peaking at #8. Her second single, I Believe
, was her first million-seller and added to her popularity. In March 1996, she released the single I'm Proud
which peaked at #2 and was her best-selling single, outselling all of Namie Amuro
's singles released that year. In June 1996, she finally released her first album, Love Brace
, a collection of songs about love and stated by Tetsuya Komuro to be his best work to date. It was a huge success selling over 2.5 million copies, half of them within the first week of release.
Already a big star, she and Tetsuya Komuro became an item and she continued to release singles, all peaking at 1. In December 1997, she finally released her second album, Storytelling. It went to the top of the charts and sold 1.37 million copies, much less than the 2.5 million copies that her previous album has sold.
Since the release of Storytelling
, her popularity began to decline and her relationship with her mentor, Tetsuya Komuro, was in every tabloid. Gossip magazines rumored that both of them were abusing drugs and that their relationship was beginning to fall apart. Her next single tumblin dice
went only to the Top 20, and her music did not reach the top position again. Her next album, nine cubes
, sold a depressing 261,000 copies, much less than her first two albums.
Her breakup with Tetsuya Komuro, frequent scandals, and suicide attempts shedded her in a negative light in the conservative Japanese media. She finally left her record company, who released a compilation which sold well, over 600,000 copies and debuted at #1. At that time, gossip magazines were labeling rising-star, Suzuki Ami, as Kahala's replacement.
After some time relaxing after the scandals, Tomomi Kahala resumed her career at Warner writing her own lyrics.
After Komuro, Kahala worked with a variety of producers at Warner Music Japan, such as American Andy Marvel (Diana King, Jessica Simpson
) and recorded songs by Gary Carolla (N Sync) and Vincent Degiorgio (N Sync, Atomic Kitten
, Love Inc.
, Mink, Nakano Mori Band) which appeared on her albums One Fine Day
and Love Again
, released in 1999 and 2001, respectively.
In 2004, Kahala signed with Universal Music Japan. Her most recent recordings for Universal Music Japan have shown her in a dazzling and sultry light with some of her best vocal performances to date. She covered some of her biggest hits and also recorded new songs from Korean and Japanese composers as well as pop standards such as "Ben," a famous song by Michael Jackson. Her best-selling album at Universal sold a little over 50,000 copies and her latest album, Naked, sold only 12,000 copies, but she was still be seen in the media.
In 2006, after years of average fame, Tomomi Kahala returned briefly to the spotlight. She starred in a musical and her latest photobook, Crystallize II, which came with two strawberry condoms, sold unexpectedely well. She was one of the voice actors for the 'Sound of Music' Japanese DVD and she sang the theme song for a NHK Taiga drama.
On June 29, 2007, Kahala was fired by her talent agency after repeated personal problems affected her professional appearances. As of late 2008, she wants to come back to the music industry. This time, she does not want to have her stage name entirely in Kanji anymore.