A focus on the big J-pop developments in this week’s SBS PopAsia J-Pop roundup…
A Japanese Take On “Despacito”
No song has been bigger in 2017 than Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” ft Daddy Yankee. That’s literal, if YouTube views mean a lot to you, as the song zoomed by PSY’s “Gangnam Style” and Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” to be the most seen clip on the video sharing site. Yet despite ubiquity in most of the world, the number isn’t particularly well known in Japan. How does a label change that? Recruit a silly artist named Papaya Suzuki and his troupe of old-man dancers to perform special choreography over the number. This is how “Despacito” was introduced to the country on a larger scale this year, and you can watch this effort below.
AI Featuring Kanna
J-pop artist AI recently contributed the theme song for the new Japanese drama Kanna San, starring Naomi Watanabe in the titular role. The song, below, got a video this week, and finds Watanabe making a cameo as the character she plays. It’s a pleasant, ultimately upbeat number that works not only as intro music to a TV show, but as a nice pick-me-up.
Just off the release of her single “Forevermore,” J-pop powerhouse Utada Hikaru shared a “documentary” music video for the number that viewers outside of Japan can check out here. If you want to get some deeper insight into how the clip - which finds her performing an elaborate dance - came together.
ONE OK ROCK
Do you happen to live in Europe, or are able to get to said continent this December? Do you also happen to enjoy the hard-rock-leaning stylings of Japanese rock outfit ONE OK ROCK? Well I have good news for you. The band is spending that month jaunting around several countries, with shows in the Nordic area, the U.K. and more. Check out the full listings here.
On the physical-centric Oricon charts, Flower edged out K-pop group MONSTA X to top the singles side of things, while J-pop old timer Keisuke Kuwata (lead singer of deeply influential group Southern All-Stars) had his new solo full-length top the album ranking. When it comes to digital sales, Hoshino Gen’s “Family Song” reigned supreme. But across all streaming services, the pair of DAOKO and Yonezu Kenshi dominated with their “Uchiage Hanabi,” which you can watch below.
Video of the Week
When you are an idol group indulging in metal sounds and imagery, you need a visual side every bit as ridiculous as the music. “Occulty idols” NECRONOMIDOL deliver just that in the clip for “DAWNSLAYER,” a chugging number joined by a slightly unsettling clip. Watch below!
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