Kahimi sings in English, French, and Japanese (among other languages) with whisper-like vocals. A number of her early songs were written for her by Momus. She also has a strong connection to Cornelius, who collaborated on many early works, and whose trendy Trattoria label released many of her EPs in the mid-'90s. Karie currently lives in New York City, though she spent much of her career in Paris.
Kahimi was born the daughter of a major hospital doctor in Utsunomiya. She was raised by her strict father, and says she was not allowed to do things kids usually do, like watching TV, dating, etc. She was influenced by Serge Gainsbourg in her teens and by Cathy Claret's first album. After graduating high school, she moved to Tokyo and entered a vocational college to study photography. After graduating, she made a short career as a freelance photographer. In 1990, her friend established a record label and Kahimi was asked to participate. She made her debut as a vocalist, alongside Takako Minekawa as the female duo "Fancy Face Groovy Name". Later in 1994 she released her first solo album, Mike Alway's Diary, which was produced by Keigo Oyamada (aka Cornelius). At this time she was referred to as "Shibuya-kei Princess", and her personal relationship with Oyamada was highly publicized. She later moved to Paris to pursue her career. She now lives in New York, and recently toured Japan with Otomo Yoshihide and Jim O'Rourke, who has also written songs for her dog, a black french bulldog named "Gomes".
Two projects were released in 2007, the live DVD Muhlifein and the rarities collection Specialothers.