Depend on You
"Depend on You" is the fifth single released by Ayumi Hamasaki on December 9, 1998. The single reached number nine on the weekly Oricon chart, becoming her third consecutive top-ten single in Japan; the single contains a B-side, "Two of Us", never released on an album. Both songs were featured in the PlayStation RPG Thousand Arms. "Depend on You" "Two of Us" "Depend on You" This single was re-released on February 28, 2001, featuring five new tracks. The single was re-released for the fact that it was released in 1998 only in the 3" CD format, which by this time had been replaced by the new standard "maxi" CD format. In this case, the single was re-released in 2001 for a wider compatibility. "Depend on You" "Two of Us "Depend on You" "Depend on You" "Depend on You" "Two of Us" "Two of Us" "Depend on You" Depend on You was remixed and released in Mirrorcle World for her 10th anniversary of chart-topping singles. The music video for "Depend on you" was directed by Muto Masashi, it depicts Hamasaki singing while on a "journey" of sorts – a road is shown, she sings at various natural locales, including a mountain and a pond.
Assistant Producer: Naohito Watanabe Director: Masashi Muto Assistant Director: Takahide Ishii Production Manager: Asako Tsutsumi, Hiroyuki Sawada Production Assistant: Shinobu Fukuda, Akiko Nishimura Director of Photography: Kenichi Kawabata Light: Takahiro Tatara Stylist: Koji Matsumoto Hair: Tamotsu Make Up: Chu Disambiguation December 8, 1998 – Utaban – Depend on You December 10, 1998 – Hit MMM – Depend on You December 11, 1998 – Music Station – Depend on You December 16, 1998 – Pocket Music – Depend on You December 19, 1998 – Countdown TV – Depend on You December 21, 1998 – Hey! Hey! Hey! – Depend on You December 24, 1998 – Happy Christmas Special – Depend on You December 25, 1998 – Music Station – Depend on You December 30, 1998 – Super Live – Depend on You December 31, 1998 – Countdown TV – Depend on You January 23, 1999 – Pop Jam – Depend on You March 3, 1999 – Japan Gold Disc Awards – Depend on You December 22, 1999 – Fresh Live – Depend on You 1Original version ²Re-release version Oricon sales: 131,460 In 2004, "Depend on You" was released in Europe as a trance single.
The CD single was only released in Germany but the digital single was released worldwide. "Depend on You" "Depend on You" "Depend on You" "Depend on You" "Depend on You" "Depend on You" information at Avex Network. "Depend on You" re-release information at Avex Network. "Depend on You" information at Oricon. "Depend on You" re-release information at Oricon. Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
A CD single is a music single in the form of a compact disc. The standard in the Red Book for the term CD single is an 8cm CD, it now refers to any single recorded onto a CD of any size the CD5, or 5-inch CD single. The format was introduced in the mid-1980s but did not gain its place in the market until the early 1990s. With the rise in digital downloads in the early 2010s, sales of CD singles have decreased. Commercially released CD singles can vary in length from two songs up to six songs like an EP; some contain multiple mixes of one or more songs, in the tradition of 12" vinyl singles, in some cases, they may contain a music video for the single itself as well as a collectible poster. Depending on the nation, there may be limits on the number of songs and total length for sales to count in singles charts. Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms" is reported to have been the world's first CD single, issued in the UK in two separate singles as a promotional item, one distinguished with a logo for the tour, Live in'85, a second to commemorate the Australian leg of the tour marked Live in'86.
Containing four tracks, it had a limited print run. The first commercially released CD Single was Angeline by John Martyn released on 1 February 1986. CD singles were first made eligible for the UK Singles Chart in 1987, the first number 1 available on the format in that country was "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston in May 1987; the Mini CD single CD3 format was created for use for singles in the late 1980s, but met with limited success in the US. The smaller CDs were more successful in Japan and had a resurgence in Europe early this century, marketed as "Pock it" CDs, being small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. By 1989, the CD3 was in decline in the US, it was common in the 1990s for US record companies to release both a two-track CD and a multi-track maxi CD. In the UK, record companies would release two CDs but these consisted of three tracks or more each. During the 1990s, CD single releases became less common in certain countries and were released in smaller editions, as the major record labels feared they were cannibalizing the sales of higher-profit-margin CD albums.
Pressure from record labels made singles charts in some countries become song charts, allowing album cuts to chart based only on airplay, without a single being released. In the US, the Billboard Hot 100 made this change in December 1998, after which few songs were released in the CD single format in the US, but they remained popular in the UK and other countries, where charts were still based on single sales and not radio airplay. At the end of the 1990s, the CD was the biggest-selling single format in the UK, but in the US, the dominant single format was airplay. With the advent of digital music sales, the CD single has been replaced as a distribution format in most countries, most charts now include digital download counts as well as physical single sales. In Australia, the Herald Sun reported the CD single is "set to become extinct". In early July 2009, leading music store JB Hi-Fi ceased stocking CD singles because of declining sales, with copies of the week's No. 1 single selling as few as only 350 copies across all their stores nationwide.
While CD singles no longer maintain their own section of the store, copies are still distributed but placed with the artist's albums. That is predominantly the case for popular Australian artists such as Jessica Mauboy, Kylie Minogue and, most Delta Goodrem, whose then-recent singles were released on CD in limited quantities; the ARIA Singles Chart is now "predominantly compiled from legal downloads", ARIA stopped compiling their physical singles sales chart. "On a Mission" by Gabriella Cilmi was the last CD single to be stocked in Kmart and Big W, who concluded stocking newly released singles. Sanity Entertainment, having resisted the decline for longer than the other major outlets, has ceased selling CD singles. In China and South Korea, CD single releases have been rare since the format was introduced, due of the amount of infringement and illegal file sharing over the internet, most of the time singles have been album cuts chart based only on airplay, but with the advent of digital music the charts have occasionally included digital download counts.
In Greece and Cyprus, the term "CD single" is used to describe an extended play in which there may be anywhere from three to six different tracks. These releases charted on the Greek Singles Chart with songs released as singles; the original CD single is a music single released on a mini Compact Disc that measures 8 cm in diameter, rather than the standard 12 cm. They are manufactured using the same methods as standard full-size CDs, can be played in most standard audio CD players and CD-ROM disc drives; the format was first released in the United States, United Kingdom, France, West Germany, Hong Kong in 1987 as the replacement for the 7-inch single. While mini CDs have fallen out of popularity among most major record labels, they remain a popular, low cost way for independent musicians and groups to release music. Capable of holding up to 20 minutes of music, most mini CD singles contain at least two tracks, ofte
A disc jockey abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJ, club DJ who performs at a nightclub or music festival and turntablist who uses record players turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records; the disc in disc jockey referred to gramophone records, but now DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title DJ is used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names. In recent years it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist that performs the entire song: like for example Uptown Funk. DJs use audio equipment that can play at least two sources of recorded music and mix them together to create seamless transitions between recordings and develop unique mixes of songs; this involves aligning the beats of the music sources so their rhythms do not clash when played together or to enable a smooth transition from one song to another.
DJs use specialized DJ mixers, small audio mixers with crossfader and cue functions to blend or transition from one song to another. Mixers are used to pre-listen to sources of recorded music in headphones and adjust upcoming tracks to mix with playing music. DJ software can be used with a DJ controller device to mix audio files on a computer instead of a console mixer. DJs may use a microphone to speak to the audience; the "disc" in "disc jockey" referred to gramophone records, but now "DJ" is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, or digital audio files stored on USB stick or laptop. DJs perform for a live audience in a nightclub or dance club or a TV, radio broadcast audience, or in the 2010s, an online radio audience. DJs create mixes and tracks that are recorded for sale and distribution. In hip hop music, DJs may create beats, using percussion breaks and other musical content sampled from pre-existing records.
In hip hop, rappers and MCs use. DJs use equipment that can play at least two sources of recorded music and mix them together; this allows the DJ to create seamless transitions between recordings and develop unique mixes of songs. This involves aligning the beats of the music sources so their rhythms do not clash when they are played together, either so two records can be played at the same time, or to enable the DJ to make a smooth transition from one song to another. An important tool for DJs is the specialized DJ mixer, a small audio mixer with a crossfader and cue functions; the crossfader enables the DJ to transition from one song to another. The cue knobs or switches allow the DJ to listen to a source of recorded music in headphones before playing it for the live club or broadcast audience. Previewing the music in headphones helps the DJ pick the next track they want to play, cue up the track to the desired starting location, align the two tracks' beats in traditional situations where auto sync technology is not being used.
This process ensures that the selected song will mix well with the playing music. DJs may use a microphone to speak to the audience; the title "DJ" is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names as a title to denote their profession. Some DJs focus on creating a good mix of songs for the club dancers or radio audience. Other DJs use turntablism techniques such as scratching, in which the DJ or turntablist manipulates the record player turntable to create new rhythms and sounds. DJs need to have a mixture of artistic and technical skills for their profession, because they have to understand both the creative aspects of making new musical beats and tracks, the technical aspects of using mixing consoles, professional audio equipment, and, in the 2010s, digital audio workstations and other computerized music gear. In many types of DJing, including club DJing and radio/TV DJing, a DJ has to have charisma and develop a good rapport with the audience. Professional DJs specialize in a specific genre of music, such as house music or hip hop music.
DJs have an extensive knowledge about the music they specialize in. Many DJs are avid music collectors of rare or obscure tracks and records. Radio DJs or radio personalities introduce and play music broadcast on AM, FM, digital or Internet radio stations. Club DJs referred as DJs in general, play music at musical events, such as parties at music venues or bars, music festivals and private events. Club DJs mix music recordings from two or more sources using different mixing techniques in order to produce non-stopping flow of music. One key technique used for seamlessly transitioning from one song to another is beatmatching. A DJ who plays and mixes one specific music genre is given the title of that genre; the quality of a DJ performance consists of two main features: technical skills, or how well can DJ operate the equipment and produce sm
Recording Industry Association of Japan
The Recording Industry Association of Japan is an industry trade group composed of Japanese corporations involved in the music industry. It was founded in 1942 as the Japan Phonogram Record Cultural Association, adopted its current name in 1969; the RIAJ's activities include promotion of music sales, enforcement of copyright law, research related to the Japanese music industry. It publishes the annual RIAJ Year Book, a statistical summary of each year's music sales, as well as distributing a variety of other data. Headquartered in Minato, the RIAJ has twenty member companies and a smaller number of associate and supporting members; the association is responsible for certifying platinum albums and singles in Japan. In 1989, the Recording Industry Association of Japan introduced the music recording certification systems, it is awarded based on shipment figures of compact disc or cassette tape, reported by record labels. In principle, the criteria are limitedly applied to the materials released after January 21, 1989.
All music sales including singles, digital download singles are on the same criteria. Unlike many countries, the highest certification is not called "Diamond" or "Platinum", but "Million". Before the unification of criteria and introduction of music videos category in July 2003, a separate scale had been used for certification awards. Certifications for songs and albums released digitally began on September 20, 2006, using download data collected since the early 2000s. From 2006 until 2013, there were three categories for certifications: Chaku-uta, Chaku-uta Full and PC Haishin for songs purchased on services such as iTunes. On February 28, 2014, the Chaku-uta Full and PC categories were merged to create the Single Track category. While digital album certifications are possible, only certain album have received this certification since the beginning of digital certifications, including the 2011 Songs for Japan charity album. and Hikaru Utada's sixth studio album Fantôme among others. Avex Group¹ Avex Entertainment Avex Digital Being Inc.
Dreamusic Incorporated For Life Music Geneon Universal Entertainment¹ King Records¹ Bellwood Records King Records International Nippon Columbia Columbia Marketing Nippon Crown¹ Pony Canyon¹ Exit Tunes Sony Music Entertainment Japan¹ Ariola Japan DefStar Records Epic Records Japan Ki/oon Records SME Records Sony Music Artists Sony Music Associated Records Sony Music Direct Sony Music Distribution Sony Music Japan International Sony Music Records TEICHIKU ENTERTAINMENT, INC.¹ Tokuma Japan Communications¹ Universal Music Group¹ EMI Music Japan¹ VAP Inc.¹ Victor Entertainment¹ Warner Music Group¹ Yamaha Music Communications Yoshimoto R&C Amuse Soft Entertainment HATS Unlimited Johnny and Associates J Storm Johnny's Entertainment Konami Digital Entertainment Bandai Visual Lantis LD&K Records Naxos Records Pryaid Records¹ Stardust Records Space Shower Networks Spiritual Beast Venus Records Village Again Association NBC Universal Entertainment Japan KISS Entertainment Rambling Records Gambit Croix Aniplex Crown-Tokuma Music Free Board Holiday Japan Jei One NPPDevelop T-Toc Records TV Asahi Music Ward Records Toys Factory Aceforce Entertainment Kino Music¹Member, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
List of best-selling albums in Japan List of best-selling singles in Japan List of best-selling music artists in Japan Recording Industry Association of America Australian Recording Industry Association List of music recording sales certifications RIAJ Digital Track Chart Global music industry market share data Recording Industry Association of Japan - in English
Trance is an abnormal state of wakefulness in which a person is not self-aware and is either altogether unresponsive to external stimuli but is capable of pursuing and realizing an aim, or is selectively responsive in following the directions of the person who has induced the trance. Trance states may unbidden; the term trance may be associated with hypnosis, magic and prayer. It may be related to the earlier generic term, altered states of consciousness, no longer used in "consciousness studies" discourse. Trance in its modern meaning comes from an earlier meaning of "a dazed, half-conscious or insensible condition or state of fear", via the Old French transe "fear of evil", from the Latin transīre "to cross", "pass over"; this definition is now obsolete. Wier, in his 1995 book, Trance: from magic to technology, defines a simple trance as a state of mind being caused by cognitive loops where a cognitive object repeats long enough to result in various sets of disabled cognitive functions. Wier represents all trances as taking place on a dissociated trance plane where at least some cognitive functions such as volition are disabled.
With this definition, hypnosis and charisma are seen as being trance states. In Wier's 2007 book, The Way of Trance, he elaborates on these forms, adds ecstasy as an additional form and discusses the ethical implications of his model, including magic and government use which he terms "trance abuse". John Horgan in Rational Mysticism explores the neurological mechanisms and psychological implications of trances and other mystical manifestations. Horgan incorporates literature and case-studies from a number of disciplines in this work: chemistry, psychology and theology; the following are some examples of trance states: Enchantment: a psychological state induced by a magical incantation A state of mind in which consciousness is fragile and voluntary action is poor or missing A state resembling deep sleep Capture: attract. In a general way, the entranced conditions thus defined are divided into varying degrees of a negative, unconscious state, into progressive gradations of a positive, illumining condition.
A state of hyper or enhanced suggestibility. An induced or spontaneous sleep-like condition of an altered state of consciousness, thought by certain people to permit the subject's physical body to be utilized by disembodied spirits or entities as a means of expression An altered state of awareness induced via hypnosis in which unconscious or dissociated responses to suggestion are enhanced in quality and increased in degree A state induced by the use of hypnosis. Trance conditions include all the different states of mind, emotions and daydreams that human beings experience. All activities which engage a human involve the filtering of information coming into sense modalities, this influences brain functioning and consciousness. Therefore, trance may be understood as a way for the mind to change the way it filters information in order to provide more efficient use of the mind's resources. Trance states may be accessed or induced by various modalities and is a way of accessing the unconscious mind for the purposes of relaxation, healing and inspiration.
There is an extensive documented history of trance as evidenced by the case-studies of anthropologists and ethnologists and associated and derivative disciplines. Hence trance may be perceived as endemic to a Human Universal. Principles of trance are being documented as are methods of trance induction. Benefits of trance states are being explored by scientific inquiry. Many traditions and rituals employ trance. Trance has a function in religion and mystical experience. Castillo states that: "Trance phenomena result from the behavior of intense focusing of attention, the key psychological mechanism of trance induction. Adaptive responses, including institutionalized forms of trance, are'tuned' into neural networks in the brain and depend to a large extent on the characteristics of culture. Culture-specific organizations exist in the structure of individual neurons and in the organizational formation of neural networks."Hoffman states that: "Trance is still conventionally defined as a state of reduced consciousness, or a somnolent state.
However, the more recent anthropological definition, linking it to'altered states of consciousness', is becoming accepted."Hoffman asserts that: "...the trance state should be discussed in the plural, because there is more than one altered state of consciousness different from everyday consciousness." According to Hoffman, pilgrims visited the Temple of Epidaurus, an asclepeion, in Greece for healing sleep. Seekers of healing would make pilgrimage and be received by a priest who would welcome and bless them; this temple housed an ancient religious ritual promoting dreams in the seeker that endeavored to promote healing and the so
Ferry Corsten is a Dutch DJ, record producer and remixer from Rotterdam. He is well known for producing many pioneering trance tracks during the 1990s–2000s under his numerous aliases, including System F, Pulp Victim and Gouryella. In recent years, he has shifted to a broader electronic music style, playing everything from progressive house to uplifting trance. Corsten plays at events and festivals all over the world including Electric Daisy Carnival and many others, has been ranked among DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs poll, having placed at rank 5 in 2004 and 2005, 6 in 2006 and 2008. Ferry Corsten was born in Netherlands; when he was young, he would listen to a Dutch radio show called "The Soulshow." This show played different selections of various electronic music, including soul music. Whenever he heard a track that he liked, he would purchase it, his first experience in DJing was when he was 15 years old at that time when he was playing at his school parties. As a teenager he saved money to buy his first keyboard by washing cars, selling mix tapes to kids in his neighborhood.
He released a record with a couple of friends when he was just sixteen years old and began releasing self-made productions while he grew up in Rotterdam in the 1990s, producing underground hardcore gabber tracks expanding into club-house and trance music. During these years, Corsten studied to become an electrical engineer. In 1995, under the name Hole In One and aged just 21 years old, he won the prestigious De Grote Prijs van Nederland award, which recognized his contribution to Holland's electronic dance music scene. In 1996, while still living in his parents' home, Corsten made his debut at the United Kingdom Singles Chart with his single "Don't be Afraid" under the pseudonym Moonman which ranked at #46; this was his first major European achievement as a solo dance artist and composer. 1997 saw the release of "Interspace", his first singles under the Pulp Victim alias: "I'm Losing Control", a limited vinyl-only release, "Dreams Last For Long". They were followed a year by "The World", a track that contained vocals by Maire Brennan and got re-released in 1999 with some brand new remixes, including his remix under the Moonman alias.
In 1997, Corsten and his partner Robert Smit established a dance label named Tsunami with the Dutch-based dance company Purple Eye Entertainment b.v. this junction made the creation of another label possible. Under the guise of Albion, Ferry Corsten produced a track titled "Air". Signed and released by Platipus Records in April 1998, the song became a top seller for the label and was championed by the likes of John Digweed and Paul Oakenfold who licensed it for their Global Underground compilations. Due to its continued popularity, it was re-released two years with new remixes by Oliver Lieb and The Swimmer; the same year Corsten finished his track "Out of the Blue" which, after being in promo for over 6 months, was released in February 1999 on the Tsunami imprint under the name System F. The track became a worldwide hit; the follow-up single, "Cry", a collaboration between Corsten and Robert Smit reached the UK Top 20. A trance hit, "Out of The Blue" formed spear tip of Corsten's trance sound – one, galvanized by co-productions like Gouryella's "Gouryella" and Veracocha's "Carte Blanche".
The track "Gouryella" was released in May 1999 and became a huge hit scoring various chart positions around the world, including a top fifteen position in the UK Singles Chart. The next single, entitled "Walhalla" made it on the charts worldwide, peaking at No. 27 in the UK Singles Chart. Released through the Tsunami imprint, both singles went on to be certified Gold on record sales. Corsten's club and chart success as an artist and producer led him to become an in-demand remixer for both underground and high-profile artists. Summer 1999 saw the release of Gatecrasher Wet, the third compilation album by Sheffield-based club Gatecrasher, which included his remixes of Cygnus X's "The Orange Theme", Matt Darey's "Liberation" and The Generator's "Where Are You Now?". Following his massively successful remix of Art of Trance's "Madagascar", Corsten was asked to remix several singles, including William Orbit's arrangement of "Adagio for Strings", Push's "Universal Nation", Faithless's "Why Go?", Moby's "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?" as well as "New Year's Day" for U2.
His remix of Barber's "Adagio For Strings", released in late 1999, was awarded at the 2000 Dancestar Awards for best remix of the year of 1999. In 1999, Corsten was elected "Producer of the Year" by Muzik Magazine at the Ericsson Muzik Awards in London and, in his home country, received the Zilveren Harp music award for his numerous contributions made to Dutch dance music. Ferry made his debut on DJ Magazine's Top 100 DJs Poll in the same year at the #77 position. Aside from producing, he began mixing the Trance Nation series for Ministry of Sound, his first installment became a commercial success, selling over 400,000 copies and charting for three weeks at number one in the UK Compilation Chart. Furthermore, Corsten made a mix compilation album together with Robert Smit called Tsunami One. In September 2000 the third Gouryella single entitled "Tenshi" was released. On March 9, 2001 Tsunami released "Soul On Soul", a collaboration between System F and Marc Almond
Ayumi Hamasaki is a Japanese singer, record producer, model and entrepreneur. Through her entire career, she has written all her lyrical content, has sometimes composed her music. Born and raised in Fukuoka, Hamasaki moved to Tokyo at fourteen in 1993 to pursue a career in singing and acting. In 1998, under the tutelage of Avex CEO Max Matsuura, Hamasaki released her debut single "Poker Face" and debut major-label album A Song for XX; the album debuted at the top of the Oricon charts and remained there for five weeks, selling over a million copies. Her next ten albums shipped over a million copies in Japan, with her third, selling nearly three million. A Best, her first compilation album, is her best-selling album, with more than four million copies sold in Japan. Since 2006, after her album Secret was released and single sales have declined. Hamasaki has sold over 50 million records, making her the best-selling Japanese solo artist of all time. Hamasaki has several domestic record achievements for her singles, such as the most number-one hits by a female artist.
From 1999 to 2010, Hamasaki had at least two singles each year topping the charts. Hamasaki is the first female recording artist to have ten studio albums since her debut to top the Oricon and the first artist to have a number-one album for 13 consecutive years since her debut. Hamasaki's second remix album, Super Eurobeat Presents Ayu-ro Mix, is recognized as one of the best selling remix albums of all time and remains her only album to be recognized in a worldwide accreditation. During the height of her career, Hamasaki has been dubbed as the "Empress of J-pop" because of her popularity in Japan and Asia. Following an ear infection in 2000, she has suffered worsening hearing loss and is deaf in one ear. Born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Hamasaki was raised as an only child by her grandmother, her father had left the family and never again came into contact with her. Hamasaki's mother worked to support the family, so Hamasaki was taken care of by her grandmother, she described herself as a "tomboy" when she was a teenager, as a “strange kid” who “liked to be alone”.
At age seven, Hamasaki began modeling for local institutions, such as banks, in order to supplement the family's income. She continued this career path by leaving her family at fourteen and moving to Tokyo as a model under SOS, a talent agency, her modeling career did not last long. Under the name of "Ayumi", Hamasaki released a rap EP, Nothing from Nothing, on the Nippon Columbia label in 1995, she was dismissed from the label. After this failure, Hamasaki took up acting and starred in B-movies such as Ladys Ladys!! Sōcho Saigo no television dramas such as Miseinen, which were poorly received by the public. From August 1995 to March 1996, Hamasaki co-hosted the SoundLink "magazine" Hōkago no Ōsama for the Nintendo Satellaview once a week with Shigeru Izumiya. Growing dissatisfied with her job, Hamasaki quit acting and moved in with her mother, who had moved to Tokyo. Hamasaki was a good student, earning good grades in junior high school, she lost faith in the curriculum, thinking that the subjects taught were of no use to her.
Her grades worsened. While living in Tokyo, she attempted to further her studies at Horikoshi Gakuen, a high school for the arts, but dropped out in the first year. Hamasaki did not attend school or have a job, so she spent much of her time shopping at Shibuya boutiques and dancing at Velfarre, an Avex-owned disco club. At Velfarre, she was introduced to Max Matsuura, through a friend. After hearing Hamasaki sing karaoke, Matsuura offered her a recording deal, but Hamasaki suspected ulterior motives and turned the offer down, he succeeded in recruiting her for the Avex label in the following year. Hamasaki started vocal training, but skipped most of her classes after finding her instructors to be too rigid and the classes dull; when she confessed this to Matsuura, he sent her to New York to train her vocals under another method. During her foreign sojourn, Hamasaki corresponded with Matsuura and impressed him with her style of writing. On her return to Japan, he suggested. Hamasaki made her debut under Avex at 19 on April 8, 1998 with the single "Poker Face".
It—and the following four singles—were not major hits, however each release was better than the last, thus increasing her exposure and presence on the market. Hamasaki's debut album, A Song for ××, was "unassuming": the tracks, composed by Yasuhiko Hoshino, Akio Togashi, Mitsuru Igarashi, were "cautious" pop-rock songs. However, Hamasaki's lyrics, introspective observations about her feelings and experiences that focused on loneliness and individualism, resonated with the Japanese public; the songs gained Hamasaki a growing following, the release of the album was a success: it topped the Oricon charts for five weeks and sold over a million copies. For her achievements, she earned a Japan Gold Disc Award for "Best New Artist of the Year". With Ayu-mi-x, the first of a series of remix albums, Hamasaki began moving beyond the pop-rock of A Song for ×× and began to incorporate different styles including trance and orchestra. Hamasaki began to experiment with different musical styles in her singles as well, releasing dance