Nana MizukiView in iTunes
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Nana Mizuki is part of the large contingent of Japanese pop stars who began among the ranks of anime voice actors. Building her sound on a particularly demure format at the beginning (following her best known characters), Mizuki soon built a following for her slightly harder pop, utilizing a somewhat stronger and deeper voice than was the case with many other female vocalists in the same genre. Releasing her first singles in 2000 and her first full-length album at the end of 2001, Mizuki began with basic pop influences from the anime series that she had worked on. As her career developed and additional albums were released, she began infusing her sound with rock elements, adding faster riffs to her songs, as well as an occasional electric guitar solo. The stylistic break from the rest of her cohorts proved a worthwhile course, as Mizuki was pushed to the forefront of the J-Pop genre album by album, culminating in her seventh full-length, Great Activity, which held a Top Ten position on the Oricon charts for nearly a full year after its release in late 2007.