As always, since this is my first of a new article type, I’d like to start with a brief explanation of what this article will be. “The Gamer’s Theme” will be a series of articles discussing music – specifically music that has some bearing on video games that you may not be aware of. So musicians that inspired characters, or that provided their voices for the songs of a game, or whose subject matter covers gaming. Things like that.
The first I’d like to cover is a personal favourite of mine: Jade Valerie Villalon. Jade Valerie Villalon is a singer who was born in the US – California to be specific – but had to go abroad to find fame. She’s most well known in East Asia – China, Japan, Korea. However, nearly every gamer has heard her voice at least once.
How do I know this? Because I’d be willing to bet you’ve all at least seen the opening sequence from Final Fantasy X-2. And if you’re like me, you probably heard it way back then and wondered who it was – but never really thought to look it up. Well, Jade Valerie was chosen to be the voice for the English songs in FFX-2 sung by Yuna. She did both Real Emotion and 1000 words.
Thanks to that, I looked her up and found that she had several albums and dozens of songs. And they all have a truly unique sound to them. It’s very hard to describe her music, except to say that she touches nearly every genre in some way. Most of her songs have some classical influence to them, but genres range from pop to rock to rap to reggae and everything in between. I strongly recommend you keep an open mind and take a listen to some of her songs because she’s a fantastic vocalist.
A bit of a snippet into her history, she really made her name known as the frontwoman for a band called Sweetbox from 2000 to 2007; during which time she was approached by Square Enix to do the vocals for Yuna’s songs which were featured on the Japanese version of the Adagio album. With Sweetbox, she released 5 unique albums as well as nearly as many compilation/live albums and a dozen singles. After leaving Sweetbox, she has done 3 albums on her own, as well as one compilation with a famous Japanese violinist Emiri Miyamoto; called ‘Saint Vox’.
It can be hard to find her music here in North America but you can order them off e-bay and various music import websites, and some of her albums can be found on various digital music services such as mp3mixx or last.fm or others.
A few links to some of my personal favourites of her songs on youtube
Everybody – Sweetbox : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wARvccizoQ
After The Lights – Sweetbox: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiYZG6lVjRs
Undone – Jade Valerie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ujjlPu7DqM
Girl from Tokyo – Sweetbox: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Obj45gdZs
And of course:
1000 Words – Sweetbox(FFX-2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrVr8lUn0Mg&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_502725 – Note: The song is very popular for AMVs, and as such I couldn’t find a youtube link to the song that wasn’t an AMV for something, so I picked one for FFX/X-2 at least ;)
And that closes our first edition of ‘The Gamer’s Theme’ – hope I’ve helped to give you something new to listen to!