Yuko Ando is a model, artist, actress, and J-Pop singer-songwriter on the cutting edge sub-label of avex trax. She debuted in 2003 with the mini-album, Sally but didn’t hit the big time until the release of her second full-length album, Merry Andrew.
In 2003, Yuko was featured at an insiders-only live performance, and praise was heaped upon her for the completeness of her works, as well as her singing capabilities and she was soon signed to avex trax sub-label, cutting edge. In July of the same year she released her debut mini-album, Sally which failed to chart on the Oricon. The title track from the album was used as the opening to the Taiwanese dorama, Meteor Garden.
Sixth months later came the release of yet another min-album, and do, record. where the track Wasure Mono no Mori was used as a theme to the anime Gilagmesh. It became Ando’s first release to make an appearance on the Oricon making it the #54 position. Five months later came the release of her debut single, Mizuiro no Shirabe. The single only ranked in at #139 on the Oricon. Four months later came the release of Yuko’s first full-length album, Middle Tempo Magic. The song used to promote the album was Rinjin ni Hikari ga Sasu Toki, it was also used as the ending theme for the movie, 2LDK. The album peaked at the #63; even though it ranked lower than her second mini-album, it eventually sold more copies.
She went on to release two more singles, both of which didn’t fair very well only charting with the top 110 on the Oricon. Her big break ended up being her fourth single, Samishigariya no Kotobatachi. The song was used as the Hitachi Win W324H CM song. The single peaked at #35 making it her highest ranking and best selling single. She started heavily promoting her up-coming second album, Merry Andrew. The track Nouzen Katsura (a very simple piano ballad) was used TV CM song for Gekkeikan’s “Tsuki” brand of sake. After the CM aired Gekkeikan’s phonelines ringing with tons of people calling about who the mystery singer was. Her second album became a hit, breaking into the top ten on the Oricon.
After the release of Merry Andrew Yuko went on an extensive tour. Yuko has mentioned that she adores performing live, but gets very nervous before a show and sometimes vomits. About six months later Yuko started releasing music again starting with TEXAS and then The Still Steel Down were released. Both singles sold moderatly well barely reaching within the top 50 on the oricon. Then on valentines day of 2007 Yuko released her third album, shabon songs. The album gained similar success as Merry Andrew because of it’s tie-in’s. The track Little Babe was used as the the CM song for Harmony with the Earth. The commercial featured Yuko herself.
Yuko isn’t just restricted to singing, but is an artist in every sense of the word. She has also done work as an actress. She’s made an appearance in the TV dorama Ikebukuro West Get Park taking the role of Kaoru. She has also had roles in the movies Mamotte Agetai and Saimin. She takes part in all the production aspects. She draws all the illustrations found on her CD covers, booklets, and PV’s. She has even co-directed her own, Dramatic Record music video. she likes to be self-reliant, doing all her own styling and make-up for her photo shoots.
Official Website: http://ando-yuko.com/