HIMEKA may not have a meaning, but she had a goal
HIMEKA, also known as Catherine St. Onge, is a success story that goes beyond the tales of other “overseas talent breaking into the Japanese music industry” tales.
For one thing, as far as we know, she’s not Japanese. (Everyone else has been raised in Japan – Crystal Kay – or partially East Asian. Even JERO had some of the blood… somewhere.) She’s Canadian. And while we’re on it, her Japanese skills aren’t that great either. She’s admitted as much herself.
For another, she’s 27. I don’t mean to be pointing out her age, but the Japanese business is renowned for the overall younger-is-better attitude they seem to have. Leah Dizon was 20 – or 19 – when she got her contract and moved to Japan.
And last, she wasn’t so much discovered sitting around in Canada with whatever overseas/international auditions were being held; she moved to Japan and won her chance in the Second Annual Animax Anison Grand Prix.
The result of this, a contract with SONY. So between you, me, and at least a hundred others according to her facebook fangroup… yeah, I’d say she’s done pretty well for herself.
Her first single, 明日へのキズナ [Asu he no KIZUNA], isn’t released until May 27th, but you can currently hear it as the opening to the anime series Valkryia Chronicles, or a short clip in the commercial for the single above. You can also find more videos of her performing and singing thanks to the YouTube fan user HIMEKAMediaArchive. While some may denounce her as an anime song artist and less “legit” than someone in the business without the anime tie-ins (Here’s looking at you, Raid!) – it’s what she wanted to do, and she made it. She sounds great doing it, too – her stage moniker, HIMEKA, doesn’t have an actual meaning beyond being the name of a character she once wrote, but you could easily substitute the characters 姫歌 (princess+song) and it wouldn’t be far off from the image she’s got now. Hint, hint to her marketers.
While this is obviously belated – congratulations, Ms. St. Onge! Or HIMEKA, as may be the case now. Girls with a similar dream are no doubt waiting for you to wow the world. You’ve wowed me already, at the least.