Sandii's birth name was Aya, but she preferred to be called Sandra during childhood. Sandra became known as Sandy or Sandi in her teen years and the nickname stuck.
Following a debut single release on an indie label in Hawai'i, Sandi returned back to her home country of Japan to work as a DJ and entertainer, securing her first record deal with Toho with the support of Kyu Sakamoto (Sandii would later in her career record a version of his classic hit "Sukiyaki").
She soon met Makoto Kubota and they were a couple for over 20 years. Sandii joined Makoto's group Sunset Gang as a backing vocalist and percussionist while also releasing solo records. Her first success (as "Sandy") was "Goodbye Morning" which won the 1976 World Popular Song Contest, followed by a top hit in Japan, "Mystery Nile" released under the pseudonym Sandy O'Neil (not her real name - it is an anagram of "Nile").
In the late 1970s Sandii recorded a number of sessions using different names, and sometimes uncredited, often for TV and radio commercials.
In 1980 Sandi was re-christened Sandii at the suggestion of Harry Hosono, because of her Hawaiian connections.
In 1981, inspired by Blondie, Makoto and Sandii decided to pool the resources of both their acts to create Sandii & The Sunsetz.
In 1990 Sandii resumed her solo career, although still using most of The Sunsetz as backing musicians, and began to explore world music more widely with the support and encouragement of Makoto.
In 1996 Sandii released the first of her Hula inspired albums, and this is a path she has concentrated on since, becoming one of the top Hula masters in the world.
Sandii is still recording but also runs schools teaching Hula and also works as a TV presenter.
Sandii Discography Tracks
- 69 Vocals
- 8 Instruments & Performance
- 33 Writing & Arrangement
- 4 Featuring & Presenting
- 8 Production
- 1 Visual