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Ritsuki Nakano

Ritsuki Nakano
Date of Birth: January 19, 1975 (Amami Oshima, Japan)
Active From: 1993
Related Projects: Final Fantasy X
Official Site: Office-Rikki


Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Nick. The act of copying it without advance written permission is regarded as a copyright infringement. It was last updated on June 20, 2006.

Ritsuki Nakano was born on January 19, 1975 in Amami Oshima, Japan. At the age of four she began to perform traditional Japanese folk music at home and it became clear to her parents that she wanted to partake a life in music, more specifically Japanese folk music. When she was five years old she attended the Japan Folk Award Show in Kagoshuma; while she did not win the award when she first attended, she was a consecutive winner until 1988. At the All Japan Minyo folk music awards, she left the competition being the youngest person to ever win the "Grand Prix" award in 1990. In December 1993, she released her first single, "Sky Full of Stars", to the Kyushu region of Japan. As a result of its warm reception from the public, she produced her debut album, "Kaze no Koe", tremendously successful in its regional release.

Her regional releases were so well received that later in 1993 she released a nationwide album, titled "Mucha Kana" after being contracted by Victor Records. She was known from here on as RIKKI and endeared her Japanese audience with numerous concert appearances and TV documentaries subsequently. In 1994, Nakano released her second album, "Taiyo no Shita". It once again featuring the melodic and wondrous sounds of Japanese Folk music and showed some increase in maturity. She worked alongside producer Makoto Kubota in 1993 and the end result was the majestic single, "Kuba no ki no Shita de". Due to the success of her third single, she later recorded the self titled album. RIKKI received very enthusiastic reviews the moment it was released. This album was a different approach due to the fact that it included Indonesian and Asian touches, which was an attempt to drift away from her Traditional Japanese folk music roots. In 1998, RIKKI was selected to perform the theme song "Tabidachi no Toki" at the opening ceremony of the 1998 Winter Paralympics in Nagano, Japan.

Following this rare honour, she held various concerts and toured Japan. It was not until 2001 that she released music again and this was her most active year yet. During this year she released the album, "Kanaria", well received and appreciated by the public. Another key release from her this year was the well recognized "Suteki da ne", an Eastern-influenced love ballad featured in Final Fantasy X composed by Nobuo Uematsu. She was chosen to perform this important theme was not only because of her fame but because of her subtle and touching voice. Shortly after the release of the game, a single followed which also included the much loved arrangement of "Aerith's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII, which was also performed beautifully by RIKKI. Finally she worked alongside the legendary composer for all of Hayao Miyazaki films, Joe Hisaishi, to produce the image album for the motion picture Spirited Away.

Naturally, her work on Final Fantasy X led her to performing in a range of concerts like Japan's 20020220 - Music from Final Fantasy and America's More Friends - Music From Final Fantasy. Most recently, she performed along side Prima Vista Philharmonic Orchestra in the VOICES concert held in February 2006. RIKKI is known as one of Japan's finest and most popular vocalists. Her boisterous talent is unquestionable and she is one of very few who is able to paint colourful images with her music and touching voice. She has had a very successful career so far and will surely carry that success on in the future.

List of Songs for Related Projects

Song Title Game Featured In
Suteki da ne Final Fantasy X
Pure Heart Adapts Final Fantasy VII's "Aerith's Theme"
The Moon Final Fantasy X (Single)

List of Albums for Related Projects

Album Title Catalog No.
Final Fantasy X: Suteki da ne - Rikki SQEX-10029
Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack SQEX-10013/6
Final Fantasy, 20020220 - Music from SQEX-10030/1
Final Fantasy ~Los Angeles Live 2005~, More Friends - Music from SQEX-10065
VOICES - Music from Final Fantasy DVD SQEX-20003
Final Fantasy X Official Soundtrack TPCD 0211-2