Japanese acts rarely pop up on the bills for Western festivals, especially for hyped-up ones that attract heaps of media attention. But Wednesday Campanella, a dance-pop trio blending rap with techno with way more genre than I can fit in here, have pulled off this feet.
They will appear at this year’s Camp Flog Gnaw festival (and carnival) in Los Angeles, held on October 28 and 29. As the unit rises up the ranks in Japan, they now seem to be setting up for more global ambitions.
The group, fronted by tornado-in-human-form KOM_I, will join the likes of Lana Del Rey, Migos, Solange and many more for the weekend gathering. The event was founded and is organised by Tyler, The Creator of the LA hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, one of the decade’s most buzzed-about rap groups. The festival has become a force in America’s live music scene, attracting some of the nation’s top talent. Plus, they have boardwalk games and the sort of rides you would find at a state fair. What’s not to like?
This is a big step for Wednesday Campanella and their global ambitions. They’ve performed in Texas (at the SXSW Music Conference and Festival) and at San Francisco’s J-Pop Summit in recent years, but those are biggie-sized industry gatherings and Japan-specific events, respectively. Camp Flog Gnaw represents a more general music festival, and both exposes the genre-skipping group to a whole new demographic, while also lending them cred thanks to being slotted next to some of the most popular acts in America. And Wednesday Campanella are a good fit, as they deliver high-energy live shows often involving KOM_I heading into the audience...or sailing over them while in a giant plastic ball.
It comes during a year where Wednesday Campanella are taking off in their home country. They released the well-received album Superman earlier in 2017, and have since booked spots on popular TV shows and major music festivals across the country. Relive one of their biggest hits this year, below.
Not many Japanese acts have appeared at major American festivals. A few notable exceptions; X Japan played Chicago’s Lollapalooza back in 2010, while Boredoms graced the bill on the same fest back in the ‘90s, when it was a touring affair. BABYMETAL and ONE OK ROCK have popped up on a few hard-rock-leaning line-ups, while Boris have also appeared at times. Yet these happen pretty far and few between, and Wednesday Campanella’s appearance is one of the biggest developments internationally for J-pop this year.
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