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Olivia Lufkin (born December 9, 1979), also known mononymously as Olivia, is a Japanese American bilingual singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of an Norwegian American father and a Japanese mother. Her two younger siblings are Jeffrey Lufkin, who is a musician she collaborates regularly with and Caroline Lufkin, who is an independent musician. Lufkin began her solo career after being in the Japanese girl group D&D.
She gained mainstream success in 2006 after creating songs for the fictional band Trapnest under the alias of "Olivia Inspi' Reira (Trapnest)", and the songs were used for the popular anime adaptation of Nana.
Olivia Lufkin was born on December 9, 1979 in Okinawa, Japan. In 1982, she moved to San Diego, California then back to Okinawa. Olivia later moved again to North Carolina for two years before moving back to Okinawa.
Olivia was discovered by the director of "Rising Productions" (Vision Factory) while attending the Okinawa Actors' School, subsequently signing to Avex Trax as part of the Japanese idol group D&D. Famed producer Tetsuya Komuro heard of Olivia one day and decided that she would be perfect for a project in which he was planning along with Jean Michel Jarre. The project was to create the theme song for the 1998 FIFA World Cup entitled Together Now. The single was released a month after D&D's first and only album. It was then decided that D&D would disband and be separated into two different groups: 'Olivia' as Olivia's solo-project and Aya & Chika as Aya & Chika from D&D.
In contrast to her work with D&D, her first single, "I.L.Y. (Yokubō)", had a driving pop rock sound. While she did not write her first two singles, which were composed and produced by T2ya, she wrote her third single, "Dear Angel", and most of her singles since then.
In 1999 and 2000, Olivia would release six singles, all with a pop-rock sound. Toward the end of 2000, she released her first solo album, Synchronicity, which contained all singles released to date, five previously unheard tracks, and one bonus track. It would peak at the number twenty position on the Oricon Charts. After a hiatus of more than a year, Olivia began to take control of her career, releasing her seventh single "Sea Me" on December 12, 2001. This single marks her switch to one of Avex Trax's sub-labels, Cutting Edge, from which she continues to release singles and albums. Her releases would become increasingly rare and sporadic from then on, with a Video Clips Collection being issued four months later.
Olivia's next single, "Into the Stars", was planned to be released in July 2002 with an album released at the end of the year. However, plans were changed as the single was postponed until September due to market forces and the album release similarly delayed.
During March 2006, it was announced that Olivia would once again be releasing music in the Japanese music industry. She would provide vocals for the lead vocalist Reira Serizawa in the fictional band Trapnest as a part of the anime adaptation of Nana. She would produce songs for the anime under the alias "Olivia Inspi' Reira (Trapnest)" alongside fellow Avex artist, Anna Tsuchiya, who plays the role of Nana Osaki, the vocalist for Trapnest's rival band, Black Stones.
Ai Yazawa asked Olivia to sing for the anime when a staff member at Avex gave her a copy of Olivia's singles "Sea Me" and "Into the Stars". It is reported that she exclaimed, "It can only be her!" when she first heard the music. "A Little Pain" would be Olivia's first release for this role in which she first made the general theme to the lyrics, then wrote the song in English. Later on, the lyrics would be changed to Japanese. The single is about "Reira's loneliness, pain and strength," as Olivia found that she could relate well to the character.
When "A Little Pain" was first released, it reached a position of number eight on the Oricon Charts, her first top ten position, and two positions below Anna Tsuchiya's single, "Rose", which had been released on the same day. After the second week, this single had outsold the total sales for her debut single, "I.L.Y. (Yokubō)" which was her highest selling single to date at the time.
Olivia would continue to release Nana-related material throughout 2006. The next opening and ending theme songs used after Anna Tsuchiya's "Rose" and Olivia's "A Little Pain" were both songs by Olivia. The single "Wish/Starless Night", was released in October and peaked at number seven on the Oricon Charts. Following the success of these releases, Olivia's first US appearance was scheduled for the Asian entertainment convention Pacific Media Expo held in Los Angeles, California in October 2006.
On January 17, 2007, The Cloudy Dreamer was released in CD and CD+DVD formats. The album debuted at number fifteen on the Oricon Weekly Charts - her highest ranking album to date. In addition to the singles previously released, the mini-album also featured the songs: "Dream Catcher", which was used as the ending theme for the live action television drama series of Jigoku Shōjo, "If You Only Knew", which was used as the main theme for the Korean drama The Snow Queen, as well as an English version of "Wish". Later in February, the compilation album Olivia Inspi' Reira (Trapnest) was released featuring the singles from the Nana and some new songs.
Olivia's latest live appearance was at UppCon 2011 and she is currently working on new music
|Year||Studio albums||Oricon weekly|
|2004||The Lost Lolli
|2007||Olivia Inspi' Reira (Trapnest)
|2003||Internal Bleeding Strawberry
|Merry&Hell Go Round
|Comatose Bunny Butcher
|The Return of the Chlorophyll Bunny
|2007||The Cloudy Dreamer