Stephanie Topalian is one of the most beautiful and talented artists of Armneian origin. She has got the best of Armenian and Japanese genes in her.
Stephanie Topalian, known as Stephanie (ステファニー in Japanese), is a Japanese/Armenian singer, songwriter and actress. Her beautiful appearance and fantastic vocal have won hearts of people all over the world. As we already said, she is part Armenian and part Japanese. So, do you think she looks more Armenian or Japanese?
Keep reading to learn more about her and see if the information will change your view of her and her origins.
Stephanie Topalian, a Armenian & Japanese: Biography
Stephanie Topalian was born on August 5, 1987, in Los Angeles, California. Her father is Armenian, and her mother is Japanese.
Stephanie graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University Law School. She is bilingual, speaks Japanese and English. Stephanie currently lives in Japan, but she has a strong commitment to her Armenian background.
In an interview, Stephanie told the touching story of her grandparents. Her Armenian grandmother’s father (Artine Mikaelian) lived in the Ottoman Empire, which Armenians consider to be the Western Armenia.
He was seven years old at the time of Genocide. He tried his best to take care of his family, but there was little he could do. His mother died from hunger in front of his eyes.
Her Armenian grandmother’s mother lost her parents during the genocide. So, bother of her great-grandparents were taken to the “Bird’s Nest” orphanage.
The orphanage was founded and managed by Maria Jacobsen. She was a missionary from Denmark and she dedicated her whole life to humanitarian support during the Armenian Genocide.
In Lebanon, Artine met his future wife, Aghavni Gichanshayan, the two got married in Beirut.
Stephanie’s grandfather Jean Pierre Topalian was born in Marseille, France. Her grandmother, Koharik Mikaelian Topalian was born in Beirut, Lebanon. They met through mutual friends, got married and moved to USA, Wisconsin.
In the 1980s, Stephanie’s mother and father met in Yamaguchi, Japan. Her father was sent there with the U.S. Army.
Stepahine Topalian: Singing Career
Stephanie began singing at a young age. At the age of 13, she moved to Japan with her family. At the age of 14, Stephanie decided to send an audio demo tape of her songs to different productions.
Japanese music producer, Joe Rinoie, was the first to respond to Stephanie. He was impressed by her singing. Stephanie was only 19 years old when she made her first debut in Japan from SME Records Japan (it’s part of Sony Music).
In 2007, she received an award of the “Best New Artist” during the 49th Japan Record Awards. Later, she released two albums.
In 2008 came out her self-titled album “Stephanie” and in 2009 “Colors of my Voice”. Her magical voice and wide vocal diapason have already touched thousands of hearts in Japan.
Some of Stephanie’s songs were featured in Japanese anime films. Her debut single “Kimiga Iru Kagiri” and the single “Because of You” became the ending themes of the anime “Kiss Dum”.
Her fifth single, “Changin”, was chosen as the ending theme of the anime “D.Gray-man”. In early 2008, her single “Friends” became the ending theme for “Gundam 00”, the anime television series.
Stephanie Topalian: Back to Roots
In February 2015, Stephanie was announced as the new member of the music group Genealogy that represented Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, the most popular European song contest, broadcast all over the world.
The concept of the Genealogy group was unusual and very symbolic.
Armenian nation was commemorating the centennial of 1915 Armenian genocide. So, descendants of Armenian genocide survivors from all continents of the world gathered to form a group, which recorded the song “Face the Shadow”.
Five Armenian diaspora artists are symbolizing five petals of the forget-me-not flower. This flower is the symbol of the memory of the Armenian genocide centenary.
- Stephanie Topalian, living in Japan, represented the Asian continent.
- Vahe Tilbian, from Ethiopia, represented Africa.
- Tamar Kaprelian, from the USA, represented the American continent.
- Essaï Altounian, from France, represented the European continent.
- Mary-Jean O’Doherty Basmadjian, from Australia, represented Oceania.
- Inga Arshakyan, from Armenia, accompanied them.
All of these artists are well known on their continents and are talented singers, who have lived (except for Inga) far from their homeland their entire life, but have saved their commitment to their roots.
Stephanie, together with the other foreign members of Genealogy, received an Armenian citizenship on 28 April 2015. Armenian passports were given to them by the President Serzh Sargsyan.
Genealogy and their “Face the Shadow” single represented Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, finishing 16th overall, which was a rather good result.
Stepanie Topalian: Acting Carrier
Stephanie is also taking part in films as an actress. She debuted in the film “Pride” in 2009, based on “Pride” (プライド) manga series by Yukari Ichijo.
Stephanie played the protagonist, aspiring opera singer Shio Asami. Stephanie also took part in the film’s theme song, “Pride ~A Part of Me~” that also featured SRM.
Besides the Pride, in 2009, Stephanie also starred in a short film, called “It’s All Good”. 2014, Stephanie starred in a film, called “Tokyo Tribe”.
Stephanie Topalian: Discography
Stephanie sings, “I throw away my useless pride. May kindness come to this world” and then “Even if I show off my bravery and my strength, I can’t survive alone. Our promise remains firmly in my heart… We’re friends forever”. In early 2008, “Friends” became the ending theme for the anime television series “Gundam 00”. The song kept the position in the Top 10 of Japanese Oricon charts.
Stephanie’s Most Famous Song in Armenia
The music video for the song was directed and shot by Aren Bayadyan. In one of his interviews the director said, that the team was very inspired by the group name and the logo, the tree of life.
The concept of the video is the idea of genealogy, showing the shift of generations and the phenomena, that the new generation is replacing the older one. Even though the generation is a new one, it still holds the traditions and values of the older generations.
The song became a subject of controversy due to allegations that it conveyed political messages. In particular, it was believed that the song was created as a tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide (centenary was commemorated in April 2015).
The reason for that was the lyrics and its original title, “Don’t Deny”, perceived to be a call for recognition of the genocide. The delegation continues to deny any specific political subtext in the song.
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