Sandii (Suzuki) is already one of the most successful Japanese artists overseas, and certainly one of the most accessible. Her music has been championed over the years by a succession of musicians from David Bowie and the Eurythmics to David Sylvian and Sly & Robbie. She has evolved from an effervescent rock singer to a graceful singer of Asian and 'world' styles.
Her first solo album "Eating Pleasure", produced by Haruomi Hosono of YMO fame, was released in 1980 to remarkable critical acclaim and quickly gained attention overseas. After touring Europe, she formed the group Sandii and the Sunsetz with top producer Makoto Kubota. During the 80s, Sandii & the Sunsetz toured throughout the United Kingdom, Holland and Australia as support act for groups such as Japan, INXS, Eurythmics, Talking Heads and The Pretenders They headlined a tour of Australia and reached number 2 in the Australian national charts with the song "Sticky Music". Britain's Melody Maker wrote that Sandii combined the striking looks of Debbie Harry with a voice to rival Kate Bush.
In the latter half of the 1980s, Sandii and the Sunsetz toured in the United States and Canada and took part in the tenth annual "Reggae Sunsplash" with Maxi Priest and Ziggy Marley.
The beginning of the 1990s saw Sandii and Makoto Kubota turn their attention towards the rest of Asia, and to create for the first time a pan-Asian music scene. Now recording as a solo artist, with Kubota's presence enhanced as producer, Mercy was released in 1990. Also featuring Singaporean Dick Lee, the album's songs included Japanese favourites such as Sakura and Sukiyaki but mixed with Indonesian and Malaysian flavours. This theme was further explored on the 1992 release Pacifica, the borders stretching further to include Polynesia and Hawaii.
1993's Airmata was devoted entirely to Indonesian dangdut and Melayu classic songs sung in the native languages, inspired by Sandii's and Kubota's idols such as Malaysian songstress Saloma and the king of dangdut Rhoma Irama. The following year saw Sandii going more global than ever with Dream Catcher. Sung in English, French, Japanese and Indonesian, recorded and mixed in Malaysia, London, Singapore, Indonesia and New York and encompassing musical styles as diverse as dangdut, rap, ragamuffin, Brazilian pop and West African guitar. The title track was written by one of Japan's foremost composers, Kazufumi Miyazawa of the Boom. Songs from Dream Catcher were later remixed by top producers including Ray Hayden, Sly Dunbar and Bally Sagoo on World Remix.
It was this global outlook that contributed to Sandii being chosen in 1995 to sing the theme tune to the Universiade Games in Fukuoka. She wrote the lyrics to "There is Nothing Higher in Your Life" a song composed by Haruomi Hososno.
With Watashi released in January 1996, Sandii and Kubota delved deeper into the music of Brazil, producing an album with a late-night feel together with the now trademark Indonesian, Malaysian and even Turkish elements.
The latest album, Sandii's Hawaii, is her first release of Hawaiian music, where she explores the music of her birthplace. Some of the songs she learnt while dancing hula in Hawaii with Bella Richards of Kailua Oahu. Sandii's Hawaii took Tokyo by storm in the summer of 1996, and became the best selling Hawaiian music album of recent years.