Miliyah Kato (born Miho Kato) is a Japanese singer/songwriter from Toyota, Japan. While she is not very well-known outside of Japan, her albums and singles do relatively well on Japanese pop charts and her popularity has grown over the last few years. She did not see much success until her third album, Tokyo Star. She is a fan of American R&B, which has influenced her overall style and image.
It should be noted that she writes almost all of her songs. The only exceptions mostly appear on Tokyo Star, ironically enough.
Her song 'Love is...' was used as the ending theme to Toward the Terra
. She has also done multiple projects with Shota Shimizu and frequently collaborates with other urban artists like Zeebra and m-flo.
Her albums include:
- Rose (2005)
- Diamond Princess (2007)
- Tokyo Star (2008)
- Best Destiny (2008), a compilation album that consisted almost entirely of B-sides
- Ring (2009)
- Heaven (2010)
- M Best (2011), a Greatest Hits Album proper
Tropes associated with this artist and her music:
- Author Appeal: The very fact that she sticks mostly to R&B in the first place, arguably; not to mention the English phrases peppered throughout her songs.
- Award Bait Song: I WILL, Love is..., Last Love, and LALALA, just to name a few.
- Bare Your Midriff: Mostly in concerts and music videos.
- Cover Version: She did a cover of My Girl, which was a single but has never been released on an album or Greatest Hits Album. The B-sides, on the other hand...
- Darker and Edgier: She's always done sad love songs, but recent singles like WHY and 20-Cry- are incredibly depressing.
- Her videos have also gone from bright and colorful to dark and gray, especially 20-Cry-, WHY and Destiny.
- Her videos have also been getting progressively weirder. Compare Lonely Girl to X.O.X.O, for example. Or even Koishiteru—from her fourth album—to Destiny—from her fifth.
- Now she's doing the theme song for the Another film.
- And her style seems to have changed from R&B to grunge inspired rock as seen in the AIAIAI PV.
- Dye Hard: As of M BEST/BELIEVE, blonde.
- Engrish: For all the times she doesn't prove herself rather proficient at speaking English.
- Gratuitous English
- The chorus of "UGLY" is especially bad about this:
"Ugly/Lovely/We're so lovely ugly/Honey/Bunny/You're so honey bunny/Ugly/Lovely/I'm so ugly lovely/Ugly/Lovely/How wonderful"
- Intercourse with You: Kono Mama Zutto Asa Made (lit. Stay Like This Until the Morning), though it is a bit more subtle about it than most of these songs tend to be.
- Let's Duet: A few times, mostly with Shota Shimizu.
- Old Shame: My Girl is suspiciously absent from both the album it would have logically appeared on and the latest compilation album. It's possible that she (or her agent) didn't want to include a cover on her albums, but it's not a terrible rendition of the song by any means and even Koda Kumi has released covers onto regular albums and compilations. Unfortunately, this may always remain a mystery.
- Once An Album: All of her albums feature a song that uses traditional Japanese instruments in the composition or at least sound distinctly Japanese (as opposed to the Western sound that many of her songs use). The first was ROSE, the second was Cry No More, the third was U Gotta Understand, the fourth was Time Is Money, and the fifth was X.O.X.O.
- Power Ballad: A handful of her songs fall under this.
- Rapunzel Hair: This video.
- Rummage Sale Reject: In her videos.
- Sampling: Most prominent in her earlier work. She still does it, just not as much.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Miliyah Kato or Miriya Kato? Amazon sells different items under either name, amusingly enough.
- Stage Name: Her real name is Miho Kato. She got 'Miliyah' (or Miriya) from combining the first syllables of her name, her mother's name, and her brother's name.
- Surprisingly Good English: Of course she has a Japanese accent, but most of her English is grammatically correct. Her pronunciation is also usually spot-on, though other times it isn't. It probably helps that she's a fan of American artists like Mary J. Blige.