Rikki Nakano was born in Amami island in the south of Japan in 1975. Situated at a crossroads, half way between the mainland of Japan and Okinawa, the traditional music of Amami, has received a unique set of influences from it's larger neighbours. Music was in her blood ,from and she started singing shima uta from the age of 4. She appeared at the Japan minyo (folk) award show in Kagoshima at just 5 years old. The following year she won the same award, and was a consecutive winner for the following six years until 1988.

She captured the All Japan Minyo award at the unprecedented age of 15 in 1990. She first performed in Tokyo in 1992 at the prestigious Festival Konda Lota. Her debut album released only in the Kyushu prefecture of Japan was an enormous success in 1993, and later the same year her debut nationwide album 'Mucha Kana' was released by BMG Victor. She was the focus of several TV documentaries throughout this and the following years and in 1994, her second album 'Taiyo no Shita de' was released.

In 1995 she first worked with Japan's premier champion of Asian music, producer Makoto Kubota on her third single, 'Kuba no ki no Shita de'. Later she recorded her third album "Rikki", with production by Kubota and Sandii. In addition to her native Amami island music, the album included Indonesian and Asian influences, and included a song written by the Boom's Kazufumi Miyazawa.This album received rave reviews upon release, and firmly established her rising reputation as a singer of the finest quality and a future star of the Asian music scene.

She performed at various concerts in Tokyo with Sandii and other Okinawan musicians. She also sung on two songs for the Boom's 1996 album 'Tropicalism-o'.

Rikki is considered to be one of Japan's finest young singers with her root firmly entrenched within a strong tradition, a unique background in the world of Japanese pop. Her prostiguous talent is unquestionable and she is one of a very few young artists with the ability to bring the unique and colourful culture of her birthplace to a worldwide audience.