I was looking at the Top 100 one Sunday on one of the cable music channels when I encountered the video for Mariko Ide's（井出麻里子） "Ao no Tsuzuki" (The Blue Goes On). It was rather striking since the Fukuoka-born singer was performing in a filled bathtub, thereby predating Rihanna and Erykah Badu by several years. But it was also her soulful delivery of her 9th and final single of April 2001 that held my attention. Her vocals reminded me of those of UA and bird as she sang with some anguish about trying to reach for that patch of sky and escaping the darkness that threatened to consume her underneath. I soon bought that single. The lyrics and melody were by Kyoko Okita and Satsuki Kato （置田恭子・加藤五月）with Makito Hoshi（星牧人） also helping out on the music.
Ide debuted in 1997 with "Crawl" via avex tune and also did a cover of Eurythmics' "There Must Be An Angel" which is probably the go-to song to cover for a lot of Japanese artists for some reason. Although her single releases were brief, she has been releasing albums up to this year, including a 2013 album, "Mariko Sings Karen Carpenter".
|Mariko Ide -- Ao no Tsuzuki|