- 1 Early life in Japan, family
- 2 Educational background
- 3 Career
- 4 Personal life, ex-boyfriend Charlie Heaton
- 5 Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
- 6 Appearance, clothing style
- 7 Net worth and salary
Akiko Matsuura is a popular singer and drummer, who performs in several rock bands at the moment, including Pre, Comanechi and The Big Pink. She is also well-known for being the ex-girlfriend of Charlie Heaton, the star of the super-successful Netflix series “Stranger Things”, and is the mother of his son, Archie.
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Early life in Japan, family
Akiko “Keex” Matsuura was born in 1994, in Osaka, Japan. Her parents were both entrepreneurs in the sphere of restaurant business. Akiko shared in one of her interviews to the List in 2010 that her parents owned a barbeque restaurant, and she fell in love with fried food from her early childhood.
Later Akiko moved to London to pursue her music career, but has admitted that she misses her homeland, and still prefers Tokyo to London. She shared in her interview with Nasty Galaxy in 2013, that she liked Tokyo more as it seems more colorful and bright for her. She also enjoyed visiting multiple good restaurants in the capital of Japan, as she liked sushi and ramen soup in noodles bars. Akiko enjoyed shopping in Tokyo, as she complained that she often couldn’t find the clothes and shoes to her taste and style in London.
Akiko attended a local elementary school in Osaka, but as her parents moved to London with her, she matriculated from high school there in 2012. She also studied art for some time, and developed good skills in painting.
Still being a school student, Akiko was keen on playing the drums and singing, so in 2005 she created a music band called Pre (or often written with the capital letters – PRE), inviting musicians from other London rock bands, Seafood and Todd.
Along with Kevin Hendrix and Matt Warburton – who joined the band while playing at the same time in Male Bonding – Akiko attracted a talented guitar player, John Webb and the experienced drummer Richard “Rodney” Bennett, who took his nickname from the famous composer who had the exact same name.
The band released several singles such as “Dudefuk”, which was included in the “Counter Culture” compilations CD launched by Rough Trade Shop in 2006. PRE also recorded the “Treasure Trails” EP, and their album called “Epic Fits” was recorded on the base of Lovepump United Records and Skin Graft Records in September 2007.
As of 2019, the band is still touring, playing music in the genre of noise rock, and Akiko is holding the position of the frontwoman singer and drummer. It was PRE where she started learning how to stage-dive and how to shock the public with her semi-nude looks; Akiko later used her bizarre image in her new projects, such as The Big Pink and Comanechi.
The Big Pink band
The band called The Big Pink was formed in 2008 by its original members Milo Cordell and Robertson “Robbie” Furze.
After the successful release of their first single entitled “Too Young to Love” at the beginning of 2009, the band attracted a lot of attention, both from the audience and their colleagues, who desired to collaborate with the new talented duo. The Big Pink appeared at the NME Shockwave Awards to get their Philip Hall Radar Award, winning in the category “Best New Act”, and it was then that Akiko was invited as an additional person to record several singles with the band. She performed with Milo and Robbie as a singer and drummer, but soon quit to focus on her own music.
The band was formed in 2009, when Akiko decided to break from performing with PRE. She met her Comanechi band-partner, Simon Petrovitch, at a barbeque party, and they instantly got along due to their mutual love of barbeque dishes. ‘Since I was little, I was obsessed, and Simon loves barbecues too. So we spoke about barbecues, and then the conversation went to music’, as Akiko says about their first meeting in her interview with The List in 2010.
The name of the band was her idea, and it comes from a joke about the Olympic Gymnast from Romania named Nadia Comaneci. Akiko remembered watching the Olympics where Nadia won her first gold while she was only 14 years old, and the audience was impressed with her outfit which was a tiny skimpy leotard. This look spawned a lot of jokes in Japan, and a lot of people there started using the phrase ‘a bit Comaneci’, which meant “too tight clothes” or “almost nude”. This joke had a lot to do with Akiko’s stage image, as she kept on performing mostly in underwear.
The band released a few singles, such as “Death of You”, “My Pussy” and “R.O.M.P”, which were later included on their first album “Crime of Love”, when Charlie Heaton, the future father of their child with Akiko, joined the band as the drummer in 2013. The band started touring the UK, having successful shows in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, etc. In September 2013, the band performed in Toronto, also appearing at the Pop Montreal Festival. As of 2019, Akiko is still the frontwoman of the band, touring mostly around the UK, and collaborating with many other noise rock bands, such as Divorce, Ell V Gore and Big Lonely.
Multiple side projects
Akiko’s controversial stage image made her one of the most sought-after performers to collaborate with in the music society of UK rock bands. She enjoyed this attention to her person, admitting that she didn’t want to become famous, but wanted to make good music: ‘Playing in a band is really fun at first and everything that goes along with it, like getting a label or recording an album, comes later. <…> Sometimes it’s just for fun. I didn’t have much big desire, like, “I wanna be really famous”, she said in her interview with The List in 2010.
Akiko is well-known for her awkward jumping on the stage, involving the audience in the show. Due to her passion for stage-diving, she once injured her face badly after landing right on her nose.
Personal life, ex-boyfriend Charlie Heaton
Akiko and the future star of the Netflix series “Stranger Things” Charlie Heaton met occasionally at one of their mutual friend’s party. At first they agreed to play together in Akiko’s band Comanechi, but a few weeks after Charlie’s joining the band, their romantic relationship became obvious to all their friends.
A few months later, Akiko became pregnant, and gave birth to their son Archie in May 2014. When Archie was just a few months old, Charlie and Akiko broke up, but maintained an amicable relationship for the sake of their child. Charlie visits Akiko and Archie in London where they reside at the moment, but doesn’t have much time, being busy with his projects in Los Angeles. Akiko appears to be single, while Charlie is rumored to have an affair with his “Stranger Things” on-screen love, Natalia Dyer, though neither have confirmed this information.
Who is Charlie Heaton?
Charlie Heaton was born on 6 February 1994, in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire UK. After failing to reach worldwide fame in the music sphere, Charlie switched to acting, landing his first role in the “DCI Banks” series in 2015 after just a year, which made him famous overnight. His character of Jonathan Byers in the Netflix hit “Stranger Things” gave him an opportunity to work with such A-list celebrities as the Golden Globe winner Winona Ryder, Golden Globe nominee David Harbour, and the star of “The Lord of the Rings”, Sean Astin.
Getting $150,000 per episode, Charlie is now assigned to the fourth season of the fantasy horror drama, sharing the screen with young stars Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo. Charlie was reported to have been busted in the airport at Los Angeles where he landed to head to the premier of the second season of “Stranger Things”. The authorities said the drug-sniffer dogs found several traces of cocaine on his personal things, so he was put back onto the plane and sent back to the UK. Charlie denied that the information about drugs was the reason he was busted.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
- Akiko likes American food and enjoys burgers, but hates doner kebabs and diner-style hamburgers, as they remind her of drunk people in the bars eating in the night.
- Her favorite alcohol drink is beer.
- She likes animals, mostly cats and dogs.
- Akiko is a supporter of the scandal music band Pussy Riot, who were imprisoned for their performance in the church. She followed the news about the destiny of the band members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, and spread the word about their activities.
Appearance, clothing style
Akiko has long black hair with bangs, and says that she has never even thought of changing her hair style, as she finds long black hair to be the only true rock hairstyle: ‘I can’t imagine Joey Ramone or Ozzy Osbourne having short hair’, she said in her interview for Nasty Galaxy in 2013. Akiko has dark brown eyes. Her height, weight and vital statistics are not available. As to her clothing style, she often wears short skirts and pants, prefers black leather jackets, and adores accessories such as rings and bracelets, considering them to be as important as shoes and dresses.
As to her shoes, she prefers wearing boots as it is much easier to stage-dive when she is not wearing high heels: ‘I’ll break my ankles!’, she laughed during her interview in 2013. Akiko is a fan of artistic make up – her favorite cosmetic product is black eyeliner.
Net worth and salary
Akiko’s net worth is reported to be around $1 million, and it will probably grow, as she is still performing with several music bands, such as Comanechi, PRE and many others.