Shukan NewYork Seikatsu
"I want to send "Love and Energy" through music with my best friend's soul"
Review in Japanese
ERIKA MATSUO is great jazz vocalist who lives in New York. Dr.Lonnie Smith also evaluated her voice as"Erika’s voice is filled with sentiment and warmth. She integrates bothpassion and gentle emotion into her lyrics" Erika was born in Fukuoka,Japan. She started to take a classical piano lesson when she was 4 years old.She graduated at The City Collegeof New York and studied with Sheila Jordan in 2003. After graduation she started to sing Jazz club in New York and started to tour to Japan. She won the first prize in Tokyo Asakusa Jazz Contest 2007. She sung famous jingle on Coca Cola "So-ken-bi-cha" She released "Obsession" in 2009.
When Erika was in high school she met great pianist Rui Matsuo. After she organized girl's rock band called "Tear Drops". She composed many original songs with her best friend who was pianist Rui. One of the originals won the first prize in Yamaha Teen's music festival. When she graduated college in Japan she started live with Rui. One day Rui had a traffic accident and passed away. That accident made Erika's life completely.
Erika says " I want to prove her excitement and I want to connect with her soul through music and grant musical dream with Rui. I want to live with her soul. She still cannot get over sadness of Rui's death. Her original songs in latest CD "Obsession" are for Rui. Now Erika says “I try to express love and positive energy through music.
When I see face of audience after show I also receive love from them. It is magic love cycle" Sheila Jordan taught me many things and she used to say"Do not give up! Keep singing. Dedicate your life to music then music will save your life too" There is a bump in the road for sure but I don't want to give up, not to be cold and still pass love to people through music".
Nishi Nipon Shinbun
Review in Japanese
August 23, 2007 issue
Engrave it into a dream with the late best friend,
Rui dedication for Rui Matsuo who taught pleasure of the music.
Born in Setakamachi, Japan, New York based jazz singer, ERIKA (aka Erika Matsuo) opened her return home tour at After Hours Ban jazz club in Kurume, Japan. She performed an original piece called "I Close My Eyes." The song was written for her best friend, Rui Matsuo, who was also a musician and shared Erika's dreams.
Erika met Rui in high school where they formed their rock band Tear Drops. After graduating high school, she was invited to join another band and learn jazz in New York City. Three months later in 1998, she returned to Japan and moved in with Rui. Six months after her return, Rui was killed in a car accident. Erika lost all motivation, and for a while stopped singing. Struggling to get over her friends death, she decided to return to New York and dedicate herself to studying jazz. Rui taught me what a joy it is to express ones feelings and connect with people through music.
Erika enrolled in The City College of New York and studied with Sheila Jordan. She graduated in 2003, and now sings regularly at Grace Church in Harlem as well as many jazz clubs around New York. In addition, Erika goes on tour in Japan twice each year. In 2007, Erika won first prize at the renown Asakusa Jazz Contest in Tokyo. Later that same year she was chosen to sing the jingle for Coca Cola's Sokenbi-cha. Since then, she is steadily gaining notoriety across Japan . Her unique way of interpreting music based on life experience has helped her reputation to grow. She recently released her new CD "I Close My Eyes."
Erika says, "I am happy that I was able to meet a lot of people through music. They are all really important to me, and I am so happy to be able to continue singing. Without the support of my family, friends and fans, I would not be able to. Love is such a powerful thing."