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|Location:||London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
Shiori Enomoto (榎本栞, Enomoto Shiori), going by the stage name Shiori, is a Japanese jazz singer and songwriter from Osaka, who made her debut with the studio album Shiroi Tama in 2010, but was for a long time most well-known for her live concerts with her first band at various luxury hotels in Tokyo. As well as having been invited to play at several jazz festivals in America, she has collaborated with BELLS Dance Company to write the music for one of their performances. Most recently, she has been the driving force in forming the band To A Lovely Tune and, after her own relocation to London, releasing her fourth album, ENCOUNTER; a collection of songs sung for a joined performance with some of England National Ballet's dancers.
Being the only child of her father, businessman Enomoto Daiki and her Chinese-born mother, Mei who origins from Shanghai, Shiori has privately remained unmarried and it is rumoured that she's a lesbian.
Shiori was born on August 9th 1984 and is an only child. Her parents are the successful businessman, Enomoto Daiki and his Chinese-born wife from Shanghai, Mei (Chinese name: Yeu Li) who is a former concert pianist. Growing up in Osaka, Shiori has often been quoted saying that her mother, rather than teaching her to speak Chinese which Shiori only understands little of today, taught her to love music, a language they have fully in common. Otherwise Shiori is known to be a very private person who acts with the utmost discretion. She has not been officially linked to any men or publicized any relationships, neither through her agency or on her online profiles. Due to some events in the period after the release of her debut album where she was often seen with the band's clarinet player, Fujimori Nagisa (maiden name: Kanai) in public, it has been rumoured that she is a lesbian, but the rumours died down somewhat in the wake of Nagisa’s marriage to fellow band member, Fujimori Jun, only to be revived when Shiori was later seen socialising with BELLS dancer, Sekimoto Hinata. Later, though, Sekimoto would marry and Shiori accept a job offer in New York where it was rumoured that she had been spotted in various gay venues with an unknown American woman, albeit she returned to Japan alone.
Under any circumstances, Shiori has chosen to stay unmarried.
Shiori started taking singing and piano lessons at age five at a small, private music school in downtown Osaka. Her talent was quickly discovered and singled out, so that she could prepare to try out for Osaka College of Music’s entrance exam immediately after finishing high school. She was accepted at her first audition and after four years of both vocal and piano training, she was then accepted into Tokyo University of the Arts, causing her to move to Tokyo. There she took an additional degree, specialising in vocals.
In interviews, Shiori has claimed that it was while she studied at Tokyo University of Arts that she fell in love with jazz and she calls the genre her first love. She met two of her band members while at university, working on an American-inspired project with trumpeter Fujimori Jun and his future wife Nagisa who plays the clarinet and the three stuck together after graduation, forming a full band with the remaining members at the suggestion of one of their professors. From the beginning, Shiori functioned as the front person, doing lead vocals and writing the lyrics for all their songs. After an intensive year of work, they released their debut album Shiroi Tama in 2010 in Shiori’s name, the album receiving positive reviews on the Japanese jazz scene, Shiori's voice called unique in its sound, four parts sweetness and six parts smoky darkness while her lyrics were described as refreshing - what the young Japan would sing about if it were a nation of jazz singers. In the wake of this studio success, however, Shiori didn’t release any new albums or singles, but stuck to performing live concerts at various venues in Tokyo, most notably a large selection of luxury hotels of which most were owned by her father. Thanks to her contacts in America, she was also invited to and attended several jazz festivals along the East Coast and in June 2012, it was officially announced that she would be collaborating with BELLS Dance Company, creating a full musical score for one of their performances. In extension of this project, in early 2013 she would release her second album, Blue Notes which contained not only a studio recording of the music for the dance performance, but a live recording from the opening night as well.
For undisclosed reasons, Shiori and her band split up not long after the release of Blue Notes. After a few months of working as the regular singer at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City and upon her return to Japan, Shiori would eventually form her new band, To A Lovely Tune which featured none of her former band members. Upon their formation in the fall of 2014, To A Lovely Tune had a head start on both the Japanese and the international jazz scene with performances of classic jazz songs in both the original English and in Shiori's Japanese translation. In the spring of 2015, Shiori would claim a sabbatical year and move to London where she worked as the regular singer with the house band - United Tramway Tracks - of the jazz club, West of the Moon. While there, she is engaged in a last-minute performance by the English National Ballet to write the music for a full-length, five-day show with a select few of the company's dancers, when a guest performance falls through. In two months, she has to write the lyrics for 10+ songs (in Japanese), set them to music (with United Tramway Tracks) and let a chosen choreographer arrange a performance around it, with her at the centre of the stage, like a singing backdrop. The show is a raging success and establishes Shiori as a name on the jazz scene in the UK.
Not soon after having appeared in the performance with English National Ballet, she publicly reveals that she is involved with one of their ballerinas, the New Orleans-born Opal Holloway.
It is a well known fact that Shiori is a big fan of the Takarazuka Revue, another interest she explains that she has inherited from her mother who became a fan of Haruka Kurara after moving to Japan. At the press conference in connection with her BELLS Dance Company collaboration project, Shiori expressed excitement at the prospect of getting to work with Miyaki Ren, a former Takarazuka otokoyaku Top Star whom she admires.
In regards to her music, she has mentioned singers like Billie Holiday and Katie Melua as an inspiration for her Western jazz style, akiko and Aoki Karen as influences for her Japanese style while, on a more personal level, Teresa Teng has inspired her greatly, bridging the distance between the various Asian countries with her beautiful voice and breaking down of past barriers.
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akiko, aoki karen, billie holiday, classical music, jazz, katie melua, london, new york, queer as folk, singing, teresa teng, travel, writing
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