Two of the 1990s biggest J-pop hitters, Tetsuya Komuro and Daisuke Asakura, recently formed a new group together called Pandora. The project allows the pair of electronic artists, who played a big role in shaping the Eurobeat-inspired sound of Japanese music in the 1990s, to play around with more contemporary styles. Their first song is “Be The One,” and besides bringing two behind-the-boards legends together, the single also shines a spotlight on the future via singer Beverly. See a clip below.
First, the music. Komuro and Asakura came to prominence during a decade big on pounding Eurobeat, the prior in particular finding a way to bring a high-energy dance style to the mainstream effortlessly. “Be The One” features elements of the pair’s golden years; primarily, the beat, which unfolds at a fast skip bringing to mind early ‘90s J-pop. Yet that’s where it stops. The rest of “Be The One” incorporates more modern electronic flair. The synthesizers sound crisp and clear, while the song builds up in a similar fashion to a big-stage EDM without the whiplash bass drop that often follows (though, hey, we are going off of the preview only here). It isn’t the first time either Komuro and Asakura have touched on modern sounds, but it is their best effort to date.
Yet the key to “Be The One” is up-and-coming singer Beverly, an Avex performer who gives the track its soul. She’s a belter of a vocalist, drawing easy but accurate comparisons to Ariana Grande, but she doesn’t go too big on this electronic cut. Rather, she glides over the synthesizer whirlwind and adds a sweet melodic vocal line over Komuro and Asakura’s production work. It’s not quite the best use of Beverly’s skills, but the association with two legends is clearly an intentional move to get her cred up.
So what is Beverly’s story? She’s a vocalist who has been promoted specifically because of her vocal capabilities, she’s won numerous singing competitions, for a taste of her resume, and she dropped her debut album AWESOME this past May. Yet her biggest exposure to date comes via the number “I need your love,” which served as the theme for the popular drama TV show CRISIS. Beverly recently appeared twice at this year’s A-Nation event in Tokyo, getting the prime slot for all of the rising acts. But don’t expect that to be the last time to hear from her.
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