Japanese-British singer-songwriter and model Rina Sawayama has released her new single titled “Phantom,” from her upcoming album titled “Hold The Girl.”
In 2017, she self-released her debut extended play, Rina. After signing to Dirty Hit in 2020, she released her debut studio album, Sawayama, to widespread critical acclaim.
In March 2017, her single “Cyber Stockholm Syndrome” premiered on The Fader. Sawayama described the genesis of the themes of the track as: “the digital world can offer vital support networks, voices of solidarity, refuge, escape. That’s what ‘Cyber Stockholm Syndrome’ is about: pessimism, optimism, anxiety, and freedom.”
In 2017, the singles “Alterlife” and “Tunnel Vision”, a duet with Shamir, were released, followed by her debut EP Rina. Sawayama was then an unsigned artist, and Rina was released independently; she confirmed on Twitter that she worked for two to three years to save money to release the EP.
The Guardian deemed the EP “bracing and modern”, stating that Sawayama had proven “she can shepherd pop into the future, too”. Pitchfork ranked Rina in its list of best pop and R&B albums of the year. In 2018, Sawayama released the single “Valentine” on Valentine’s Day. The music video for album track “Ordinary Superstar” was released in June 2018.
In August 2018, Sawayama released the track “Cherry”, in which she explores her sexual identity. Sawayama embarked on her Ordinary Superstar Tour across the UK, the US and Canada in late 2018. In 2019, she performed as the supporting act for Charli XCX’s tour across the UK.
In 2017, Sawayama was ranked in The Guardian’s “18 for ’18” list as well as Dazed’s “100 people shaping culture in 2017” list. Her main influences came from 1990s and 2000s musical acts such as Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Hikaru Utada, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Evanescence, NSYNC, Kylie Minogue Limp Bizkit, Pink, Ringo Sheena, Taylor Swift, and Janelle Monáe among others.