I STILL #FeelAHeartbeat

Dear Momoka

First, it’s long overdue but thanks again for using the #NoDangoNoParty tag. It meant a lot then and it still means a lot now. Second, Happy Birthday! I wish you many more years to come!

I think you’re amazing. No seriously, I brag about you all the time to my musician friends and clients lol. I’m not kidding about the bragging part but if you’re embarrassed that a foreigner brags about you, it’s okay. I understand lol *American humor* In all seriousness, I’m a massive fan.

I’m not one to get stuck on celebrities or musicians. Having worked in the American music industry, I’ve learned to keep my distance but when I randomly discovered Momoiro Clover Z, I failed miserably. I became really attached to all of you and especially YOU. I remember when I first got into the group, I thought you were so badass (Badass just means super amazing). I thought to myself the one in the green has so much swagger like a little rock star. I LIKE her. You radiated such authority and power that you briefly reminded me of my beloved Michael Jackson. I’m not saying you’re the late king of Pop but you command the stage so effortlessly like a young MJ. Some people are just “born to do it” and ever since I ‘watched’ you on Girl Factory 14, I knew I was watching the emergence of a superstar.

Then I discovered that you weren’t just an amazing performer but you could really sing-like really really sing. I remember watching a clip of your “My Revolution” duet with TM Revolution and I was in awe. At the time, I wasn’t familiar with the song or the legendary artist but I remember just being so impressed with your harmonies. Your Yuming covers, for example, made me really want to ‘discover’ more Japanese artists — a true testament to your talent. The more performances I watched, the more my respect and admiration for you grew. I have so many favorite performances (my absolute favorite performance is your “To U” duet with Hinata) but your Bette Midler “The Rose” cover was the moment I realized that your greatest gift isn’t simply your passion and innate musicality but it’s your ability to rise to the occasion.

When I heard the “The Rose” cover, I was so shocked but pleased. I never doubted your ability (you can probably sing anything) but I never thought I’d be so moved by your passion and conviction. It took great courage for you to not only sing a song in English but to sing THAT song was impressive. “The Rose” means a lot to a lot of people and so for you to cover that song in English, it was a special moment for me as a fan. It had everything I love about you as a performer — your courage, your tenacity, your gorgeous vibrato, your beautiful head voice and your conviction. It was definitely one of my proudest moments as a fan and a performance I always reference when I share you with others. My second proudest moment was the release of Feel A Heartbeat.

When I heard about your solo record, I was so happy I almost cried. Okay… I cried just a little bit. I was just so happy for you because after enjoying so many of your amazing solo Folkmura performances, the release of Feel A Heartbeat was validation. It was the culmination of everything I wanted for you as a fan. I know it’s a bit weird but I get giddy whenever I see potential realized. If you talked to any of my interns or friends, they’d tell you I’m really passionate about maximizing potential and talent development so seeing you move into the singer-songwriter role was just a delight for me. It was a dream come true for me. Beyond the excitement of witnessing the beginning of your metamorphosis, I really enjoy the CD. The melodies and the arrangements fill me with sweet memories of my high school years — full of angst and hope. “Another story” is my favorite song. I added it to my “Momoka” Itunes playlist along with a collection of all my favorite Momoka vocal performances* (see below). There are many of course.

As I approach almost 3 years of following Momoclo and you, I can honestly say have no regrets. It’s been an absolute joy watching you reach new heights in your career and I hope to see the fulfillment of your enormous potential soon. You’re an amazingly gifted young lady. Please continue to courageously pursue YOUR dreams and become the superstar I know you can be. You’re almost there. Push on. Believe in yourself and continue to soar!

I’ll always be watching.

P.S. *Puzzle is amazing. I love that song and Momoclo should totally come to Washington, DC. DC is the best city in the United States, don’t let the New Yorkers fool you :).