I think that you can convey a fact by words, but you can not convey the truth only with those words," says Misia, taking a break from recording sessions in Tokyo's Shibuya district. "And I believe music is what can fill it out."

The dreadlocked soul-singer has recently embarked on two trips that have affected her outlook on life, as well as the message of her songs. A live tour last year saw her perform around some of Asia's other metropolises: Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul and Hong Kong. But it was her trips to some of Africa's most deprived hot spots that left a lasting impression.

Misia, who has seen all eight of her gospel-influenced pop albums hit the top three since her 2.5 million-selling 1998 debut, inspired the creation of the Child Africa organization after getting involved in various fundraising activities in 2002. Aimed at supporting education and creating sustainable societies, Misia has visited Kenya, Malawi and Mali to raise awareness and offer support.