Mystery always sells well in the music industry. The same holds in Japan, where withholding an artist’s background information or name — or even what they look like at all, as evidenced by a band wearing wolf heads — can intrigue potential listeners. In 2017, this formula has produced another outfit on the rise in Japan, one who play while wearing elaborate headgear and who have had next-to-no personal information that reaches the masses. A quirky name helps too — meet Kami-sama, I Have Noticed.
The project emerged late 2016, gaining attention for their visual side, put on full display in the video for “Dakara Boku Ha Fukuo Ni Sugaate Imashita.” Every member of the four-piece band wears a white helmet resembling a cross between a ghost and a Mario-style turnip, sort of like a distant cousin to Marshmello. Those things never come off, and couple with the band name and their logo, gives Kami-sama a defined image right off the bat. The music helps too. On the above-mentioned song, they play speedy rock featuring sudden twists and turns, but never gets too lost in technical show-offery. And most importantly, the vocals manage to seamlessly move from a whisper to a shout at a quick pace.
The band have released three more videos since their emergence, highlighted by the especially dramatic “CQCQ,” which has racked up over 9 million views on YouTube since May. Not too bad for a band completely hiding every personal aspect of who they are. Buzz has grown with each new song, and last week the quartet released their self-titled debut album. The collection itself works better as an introduction to the band than as a piece illuminating any new elements to their sound — don’t worry about finding it outside Japan, watching the videos is enough. But their full-length is doing well, generating further media attention and performing well on streaming services. With this much buzz under their masks, Kami-sama are now firmly set to be one of 2017’s breakout acts.
Here's the big question - does anyone have any clue who they are? Nothing solid yet.
Kami-sama are signed to Warner Japan, and appear to be eyeing non-Japanese markets too. Fans think Kami-san’s lead vocalist sounds similar to Mafumafu, an internet artist who received lots of attention last year for vocal videos posted to Japanese video site Niconico. Yet that’s pure speculation. For now though, just dive in and experience the mystery of one of the year’s big Japanese acts.
Hear us on SBS PopAsia Digital Radio
Listen in 24/7 on Digital Radio, by downloading our free mobile app or by streaming live here on our website.
Download the app here: