Miz was born 1981 March 6 as Mizuki Watanabe (渡辺 みづき) and raised in the rural town of Kitami, Hokkaido. She expressed an interest in music at a very young age, admiring the likes of director Hayao Miyazaki and J-pop acts such as Dreams Come True while growing up. She also realized a passion for singing during her adolescence, which she has said was sparked by Lauren Hill's performance in the "Sister Act 2" film.
During her high school years, Mizuki regularly attended a local beauty salon called "Dejavu", where she had formed a friendship with the head beautician. They would often go to karaoke together, where she would wow her stylist friend with her impeccable vocals. Knowing how much Mizuki wanted to be a singer, the stylist urged her to enter a talent competition called the Princess Audition that year.
In 1998, 3200 contestants competed in the Princess Audition, and Mizuki walked away the winner. She then went on to Tokyo to work on her newly acquired music career. Her debut single, I WILL, was released in March 1999, followed by a second single later that year. In 2002, she performed a song for the soundtrack of a visual novel PC game.
Mizuki then met seasoned Swedish producer Tord Backstrom, who took her to Sweden and started her musical career in a new direction as Miz. While working with Tord, she recorded the song Say It's Forever for a studio album by an easy listening group known as GARP and began recording her next solo effort.
Miz's first major single, New Day, was released in Japan in February 2004. Miz returned to Sweden shortly after its release to continue working on her upcoming albums; one for Japan and one for Sweden. Her first Japanese album, Say It's Forever, was released in Japan that September, and less than a month later, her all-English album Story Untold hit stores in Sweden. Both albums were received well and held respectable positions on the charts. Say It's Forever also fared particularly well in Taiwan, peaking at #2 on the charts.
Miz released five singles and two full albums. She then decided to take her image and musical style in a different direction when she parted ways with Victor Music in 2007 and was signed to NAYUTAWAVE Records, a division of Universal Music. She also announced that she would begin releasing future material as Mizrock instead of just Miz, releasing an EP and four singles under the new nom de plume. In September 2009, however, she announced that she would switch back to Miz after having parted with NAYUTAWAVE and joining a talent agency called Mammoth Pro.
During the latter part of 2008 Miz signed on to share the role of Maureen (along with Erika Mochizuki) in the Hibiya Theatre Creation stage production of RENT (credited as Mizrock). The show ran from November 7th to January12th. She rejoined the production for another run in 2010.
In October 2010 Miz joined the presenting cast of a weekly radio show, broadcast by Tokyo MX, called Geki Otoboke plus, which ended in March of 2011. The following month she joined a new Tokyo MX production, a music variety TV show called Otoboke no Yoru, in which the hosts were presented as a "family" as Miz played a musician lodging with them. The show concluded the following September. In October 2011, she began co-presenting a new Tokyo MX show with a similar format, OTOBOKE Bar, followed by Otoboke POPS from October 2012. She retired from the show the following September.
In January 2012, Miz performed in the 25th anniversary stage production of I GOT MERMAN, and in a week-long production of TATTOO 14 the following May. She reprised her role in TATTOO 14 during a week-long revival in June 2013.
In September 2014, Miz announced on her blog that she had married and will be taking a break from performing, parting ways with Mammoth Pro to perform freelance and spend time with her husband and family. In late 2015, Miz became active again when she updated her blog design and announced her casting as Okame, a 17th-century kabuki leader, in the 2016 DNA Sharaku stage production. Her blog also posted an online-only web advert for Avail's Extra Light Denim clothing line featuring a newly recorded track. In early 2016, Miz announced she'll be performing in a June 2016 Japanese stage production of Radiant Baby, an original American stageplay about NYC-based artist/activist Keith Haring.
did you know?
♠ Sometimes people think Miz is the same Mizuki Watanabe (渡部 みずき / "渡部 瑞貴") who portrayed Sailorvenus in the Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon stage production from July 2002 to January 2003, but this is just simple name confusion. Miz has never performed in any Sailormoon musicals.
♠ Contrary to what is currently stated on her English Wikipedia entry, Miz was not in any of the live-action "Hana Yori Dango" adaptations, nor is she the creator of an illustrated comic series or of relation to violinist Mizuho "Miz" Mori. I'm also fairly certain she isn't the American WWE wrestler.
♠ Waiting entered the Swedish music charts at #8 on its release, making Miz the first Japanese solo artist to place within the top ten with a Swedish release.
♠ Before her dream of becoming a singer came true, Miz planned on being a beautician. She had already applied to a vocational school when she entered the Princess Audition.
♠ Modelled for the winter 2005 issue of n+, a fashion magazine published by the online shopping site nuan+, to promote the release of Backseat Baby.