Name: 石井里佳 (Ishii Rika)
Stage names: Peachy, 石井リカ (Ishii Rika)
Date of birth: February 26th, 1980
Place of birth: Hiroshima, Japan
Date of debut: October 1st, 2001 (Member #35)
Graduated: December, 2002
Rika Ishii is a Japanese singer and actress.
She started her career under the management of Kaori Okui in 2000 as Peachy, before joining as a soloist within Hello!Project in 2001, from which she graduated in 2002.
In 2003 she re-debuted as a singer using her real name.
Ishii Rika’s debut in the music scene was in October of 2000 under the name «Peachy». She released three singles over the following two years, all with a bubblegum-pop sound. A few months after the release of her third single, in October 2001, Ishii transfered to Up-Front Agency. She started working in the offices of UFA (probably to test her working ethics and working morals) before becoming a regular in the TV Tokyo mini-drama «Shin Bishoujo Nikki» (which also starred Fujimoto Miki).
In November 2001, she participated in her first Hello! Project album, «The Douyou Pops 1 Christmas to Fuyu no Uta Shuu».
Ishii’s first concert performance was at «Hello! Project 2002 ~Kotoshi mo Sugoizo!~» in January 2002. Here she was introduced as a new member along with Fujimoto Miki and Satoda Mai.
Ishii continued to appear in various Hello! Project releases, namely the Douyou Pops series, and was a member of the 2002 shuffle unit Odoru 11.
In December 2002, after the release of Shinsaku Douyou Pops 1, Ishii Rika graduated from Hello! Project.
No official reason was given, but in an interview in a French (!) magazine (in 2009), she stated that she no longer wanted to be an idol, but wished to release songs with words and music made by herself.
In 2003, Ishii held her first live performance, and shortly after she signed to the record company bm.3 and released her first self-produced single as 石井里佳 (her real name) in September. It would be three more years before she’d release her second single «Ao». Songs from the single was used in the movie «Zoku», in which Ishii had one of the main roles.
In 2007 or 2009 she got a new website, and probably left the record company Bm.3 around the same time. She signed with mona records, and started focusing on live events and releasing singles.
In 2007 and 2008 she released four indies singles, only available at her live events. Her fifth indies single was released under the label mona records.
Several of the events held was under the arrangement of an agency (?) called mona. From what I understand «mona» has its own record label, mona records, and also have a cafe as its location and has several artists under its wings, Ishii being one of them.
The artists have many events at that cafe and also released a compilation album which Ishii has been a part of. The same month she was also featured at indiesmusic.com, with three singles / EPs available for purchase.
In 2008, an interview with the popular Japanese girl group Perfume revealed that they have covered her song «Super Jet Shoes» ever since their debut in 2000. They said it suited them since the song was happy and up-beat, and they have performed it at concerts together ever since.
In 2009 she released her fifth indies single, «blue», under mona records.
In the fall the same year, a promotion video for the movie «Asahi Daigaku» with Ishii singing the theme song «Boku no Michi» was released. Another song, «Wedding Story», is also featured in the movie. Her song «Kokoro» was used in a commercial for Olympics pen, and a music video was made. «Wedding Story» and» Boku no Michi» also have music videos.
Other promotional appearances at this time included writing a theme song for Asahi University in Gifu Prefecture and providing music for a commercial for the Akita View Hotel. In addition to all her latest promotion tie-ins, her long-awaited debut album, «Aoi Kuma», was released on September 3rd, 2010.
Her second album was released in April 2013, followed by her third album in September the same year. In December of 2013, Ishii teamed up with 5 other singers of Sora-uta releasing the song «La La La Ashita no Sora e» («LaLaLa明日の空へ»).
She is also hosting her own radio show, called Rika Ishii Retro Style (石井里佳のレトロスタイル), and in late autumn of 2014 it was announced that Ishii would release her major debut single (again). If you don't take her idol career as Peachy into consideration, this is the third time she has announced a major debut release. The title of the single is xx and it sold/charted xxx.