On April 18, RADWIMPS surprised their fans by announcing a special guest for the on-going Asia leg of their 2024 world tour, The way you yawn, and the outcry of Peace: Japanese singer-songwriter Toaka.

If the fact that the band’s first ever Manila concert this May quickly sold out wasn’t enough, this news had many of their Filipino fans even more excited for the special night.

“I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen there but I have been waiting for this tour for so long,” shared RADWIMPS’ frontman Yojiro Noda in an interview with Billboard Philippines earlier this year when asked on what their Filipino fans can expect. With Toaka’s surprise inclusion, the unimaginable is now definitely going to happen.

Ahead of her special appearance with RADWIMPS in Manila this May 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Billboard Philippines compiled a list of fun facts to help you get to know the budding soloist. Check out the list below.

She is the angelic voice you hear in RADWIMPS’ most streamed track yet

This first one is quite obvious.

You’ve either heard it on countless Instagram reels and Tiktok videos about Japan. You’ve seen tons of covers on Youtube. Or maybe you’re just a big fan of Japanese music.

With nearly 140 million streams on Spotify alone, “Suzume”, the first theme song of the Makoto Shinkai-directed animé movie of the same name, is, without a doubt, RADWIMPS’ biggest track yet. This was no easy feat to attain given that the RADWIMPS songs from the other critically acclaimed films of Shinkai’s, Your Name and Weathering With You, were undeniable hits as well. And yet, with Toaka’s voice, the band managed to achieve the impossible with “Suzume”.

She actually had her start on TikTok

Courtesy of @toaka_desu.

Before Toaka became known worldwide for “Suzume”, she had her humble beginnings on TikTok.

Like many aspiring musicians from all over, the platform was one of her avenues for sharing her passion for music to the rest of the world. Sooner or later, it didn’t take too long before her raw talent reached the radar of RADWIMPS.

In an interview with an American animé and film distribution company, the band revealed that they discovered Toaka when their label had presented them with a couple of “good singers” from Tiktok. And upon hearing Toaka’s voice, they knew the search was over. “The moment we heard her voice, we knew she was special,” revealed RADWIMPS bassist Yusuke Takeda in the interview. Despite her demo having the worst sound quality out of everyone else, the band found her voice “stunning”, and thus led her to singing their biggest song yet.

She recently just released her first EP

Any artist’s first major release is a huge milestone and congratulations are in order because Toaka just released hers earlier this February.

Entitled Boku dakeno Ai (roughly translated as A Love That’s Only Mine), the up-and-coming singer-songwriter’s first EP consists of her first three singles: her debut song “Cinder ella”, “Discord-disco”, and the EP’s title track, “Boku dakeno Ai” as well as two other tracks. These two are “Maiden”, which Toaka describes on her Instagram as being a song “about unfulfilled feeling[s] delivered with [a] pop sound” and “Sanagi” (Pupa), which she describe as being “about hopes and anxiety of wanting to spread my wings and fly away.”

An upcoming song of hers was recently featured in a commercial campaign for a fashion school in Japan

Courtesy of @toaka_desu.

On top of her seeing the world and touring with RADWIMPS, Toaka is also busy churning out new music.

In an Instagram post, she revealed that a new song of hers, “NEW ERA”, would be featured on the 2024 commercial campaign of the Professional Institute of International Fashion, a fashion school in Tokyo. “Wanting to keep running as far as I can and pursue my dreams without running away from my own battles, I wrote this song,” she stated in the post’s caption. “I hope this song stays within your heart as you take a step toward your future!”

“NEW ERA” is slated to be released this April 24.

While waiting, catch a snippet of “NEW ERA” through the aforementioned PIIF commercial below:

She also has a new song for an upcoming live-action movie

Speaking of new music, Toaka has more in store for everyone.

Following her major introduction to the world through “Suzume”, Toaka is once again blessing another film with her voice.

Entitled Ikoku Nikki (Worlds Apart), the film is set to feature her new track “Yoake no Anata e” (roughly translated as “To The Dawn That Is You”). Based on the hit manga series of the same name by author Tomoko Yamashita, it stars veteran actress Yui Aragaki in the lead role. It is set to premiere this coming June. “I wrote this song like a letter to the characters of the film who are strong and gentle,” said Toaka in an Instagram post announcing her involvement in the movie. “What is kindness and what does it mean to interact with people? I think I was able to incorporate all my current understanding into this song.”

Watch the trailer for the film below:

Before this Asia tour, she has performed and toured with RADWIMPS already

Lastly, of course, one would think that, with a song as big as “Suzume”, it would be wrong not to hear the actual singer perform the track with RADWIMPS. This is what the band probably thought as well.

Ahead of this Asia tour, Toaka has already appeared numerous times with RADWIMPS to perform their viral collaboration live. This includes a couple of shows in Japan and China from 2022 to 2023 as well as the Latin America leg of The way you yawn, and the outcry of Peace earlier this year.

Undoubtedly, Toaka is already warmed up to perform for the Manila crowd so definitely expect her to put on one special, breathtaking performance with RADWIMPS this coming May.


Courtesy of @toaka_desu, photographed by Takeshi Yao.

RADWIMPS, alongside Toaka, are set to grace the stages of Manila for the very first time at the Smart Araneta Coliseum this May 1. Find out more about the upcoming concert and RADWIMPS’ growing artistry through Billboard Philippines‘ interview with them here.