May 11, 2009
News for Otakon 2009:
Cellist/vocalist Kanon Wakeshima to make US debut at Otakon
Baltimore, MD (May 11, 2009) – Rising star Kanon Wakeshima will make her US debut at Otakon 2009. Wakeshima brings a unique and haunting sound composed of baroque cello, strong vocals, and electronic arrangements.
A promising newcomer who took up the cello at age 3, Wakeshima began performing at age 15, splitting her time between performing in classical ensembles and providing vocals to a pop/rock group. A few years later, she entered an audition held by Sony Music Japan, in which she was a finalist -- and won an artist deal with Sony label DefSTAR Records Inc.
Her incredible talent attracted the attention of Visual-Kei star Mana (Moi dix Mois, Malice Mizer), who became the sound & visual image producer for Kanon for her debut single "still doll" (released in May 2008) from her first album. Wakeshima's rich, haunting sound fits well with the Gothic & Lolita street fashion culture -- for which Mana (who is also the designer of his own Moi-meme-moitie apparel brand) is very well known.
Her highly anticipated first album, Shinshoku Dolce, was released in February 2009. A record-breaking in-store performance at France's biggest CD retailer, FNAC, paired with a sensational concert in Paris, put her on the road to international stardom. Wakeshima has also become the 2009 "Best Newcomer" Shojo Beat Music Award winner.
Wakeshima is also a talented illustrator. Fans flocked to her November 2008 exhibition along with the mini-concert in Tokyo's fashion-conscious Harajuku, and she regularly posts her artwork on her Web site (http://www.kanonweb.jp). Samples of her music can be found on her MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/kanonwakeshima.
ABOUT OTAKON AND OTAKORP, INC.: Now entering its sixteenth year, Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, and also one of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States. Otakon celebrates popular culture as a gateway to deeper understanding of Asian culture, and has grown along with the enthusiasm for anime, manga, video games, and music from the Far East. Since 1999, Otakon has been held in Baltimore, Maryland; currently, Otakon is one of Baltimore's few large, city-wide events, drawing over 22,000 individual members for three days each year (for a paid attendance of over 60,000 "turnstile" attendees). Otakon is a membership-based convention sponsored by Otakorp, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based, 501(c)3 educational non-profit whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarily through its media and entertainment. Otakorp, Inc. is directed by an all-volunteer, unpaid staff – we are run by fans, for fans.
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