International audiences may have been introduced to Pizzicato Five singer Nomiya Maki in the 90s, but her music career began much earlier.
Nomiya released her debut album Pink no Kokoro in 1981, and she was marketed as an idol. In the late 80s, Nomiya joined her first band, Portable Rock. The group released two albums and two singles before disbanding.
Nomiya then auditioned to be Pizzicato Five's third singer and got the job. In 1994, Pizzicato Five scored a US label deal with Matador Records, and the rest is history.
With Pizzicato Five, Nomiya transformed herself into a fashion chameleon, able to change her look on dime. Her breezy singing was the perfect foil for Yasuharu Konishi's retro-fueled sampling.
Pizzicato Five broke up in March 2001, and Nomiya continued to work as a model and a commercial narrator. She's even published a number of "image books".
In November 2002, Nomiya released her first solo album since Pizzicato Five's split, titled Lady Miss Warp.