[Childhood wasn't exactly a fun, memorable place for her. It wasn't bad, per se, but it was nothing memorable and certainly nothing she wanted to remember. Her father was a businessman who expected her to be on her best behavior. Her mother was a homemaker, traditional and upright who expected her to be the same.
Rise Kujikawa was a young girl, the only child of this couple, who was raised in a strict household and taught that girls should be raised to be proper and quiet and capable of managing the household so that the husband wouldn't have to. It wasn't that she didn't love her parents, but at the same time it was the kind of love that came out of obligation more than true affection.
Things at school weren't much better. Though she often kept her head down and minded her own business, often times she would find herself at the mercy of other kids and mocked relentlessly for her meek disposition. This carried on for the early years of her life and nothing seemed to change until she was maybe nine years old.
At nine, it was the first time she heard it. It was hard to say what "it" was, but it was definitely something that came through sharp and clear to her in a way she'd never heard before. A steady beat, a rhythm she could pick out, something amateur but still following a pattern. She could never explain it, but hearing it was calming. Being able to hear the snippets of music helped her get through her day even when the days were at its worse. She found herself being scolded more than once for bobbing her head in time with the music and though she was ashamed of herself and couldn't explain why the sound was there, she didn't stop.
It wasn't constant, she found out later. Sometimes the songs would dip out for days or weeks at a time and start up again. Sometimes they would happen at the most inopportune times like when she was taking a test or trying to sleep. Though she would never say so, the soft backbeats and the strings of the violin helped her concentrate and the hum of the rhythm and melody of the piano served as her lullaby for years.
At eleven, one of her relatives decided enough was enough and mousey, shy Rise needed to grow a spine and show the world what she was made of. She never wanted to be a musician. She never wanted to be an idol, someone who was all smiles and cheer and pep, prancing around on stage and in the short skirts and ruffles. And yet, by chance, she knew how to sing. She knew how to sing and found she could dance and by sheer luck she was chosen. She had won. She was selected out of so many other girls to be a pop star and she was afraid to say yes. She had a hand on the phone ready to sneak around her family and say no to the opportunity, duck back into her shy and quiet life when the tune struck up again. Music...made her happy all these years, didn't it? Maybe that was the key to it all.
It was a whirlwind not long after that, meetings and contracts and negotiations and writing an album and choreography. Rise never wrote her own music at first. The label thought she was too young at first and so she was slated to whatever they wanted her to sing. She was young. She was slated to whatever they wanted her to do for promotion. Movies, commercials, public speaking, music videos. She never had a break after that and it suited her just fine. People were excited to speak to her and be around her...but not her.
Risette. That was her name now. Rise Kujikawa got to keep her shy, quiet life but Risette was fun and exciting, selling out concerts left and right as studios fought for rights to her image. This continued day in and day out as she grew. Luckily for her, the sounds in her head also continued day in and day out.
It was only as she grew older and started learning more about sound that she realized, crazy though it seems, the music was coming from someone else. It was an art that was perfected, something that was given the same time and care that she gave her music. More instruments were mixed in as time grew on, and it wasn't until she was thirteen that she first heard a voice.
The vocals were rare, but she could tell that it was a boy. She couldn't say how old he might have been, but he had a bit of a drawling accent to him that made it very distinct. When he sang, it wasn't like her with charismatic energy but little things like he was entertaining one or two people. Later, her mysterious voice would learn the art of rapping and further confuse her, driving her to wish she could change the station.
It never occurred to her that, perhaps, he could hear her, too. She never thought it was a two-way connection, never concerned with possibly being on someone else's mind. She was starting to get burnt out, everything coming to a head even though she has several dates left in her tour, a new movie she has a table-read for and an airline commercial to shoot in three days. Rise was busy, and yet...she wondered.
She was due to go on stage soon and she remained in her dressing room, doing her best to prepare for the show of her life just like every other night. Carefully though, she paused, glancing across the room before getting up and locking it to pace the room. Sometimes if she was lucky, she could get a response. So with the door locked and ten minutes 'til showtime, she closed her eyes and sang a bar of one of her songs, sending out a test to see if she would connect at all. (It was stupid. But it still, somehow, made her feel better all the same. Maybe this would be the day that would prove to her it was all in her head and magic like this wasn't real.)]