2010 Music News
Ami and Yumi reunite with their mentor Tamio Okuda for another single release.
Read More - Posted 11-30-10
Their leader Tetsuya will be releasing a solo album entitled "COME ON!" on January 5, 2011.
Read More - Posted 11-24-10
Madskippers release Galaxy 7
On December 15, 2010 Tsuyoshi Suzuki will be releasing his new electro rock band album on iTunes and Beatport.
Read More - Posted 11-15-10
November 2-28 is your chance to checkout this great gothic duo.
Read More - Posted 11-1-10
Underground heroes sign with Starwave Records.
Read More - Posted 11-1-10
It's been awhile but Puffy will be doing a show on October 10, 2010 at New York's Irving Plaza as part of the "Far East To East Showcase (FETES)" in the New York Anime Festival.
Read More - Posted 7-12-10
The masters of the shamisen are coming back to the US for a tour beginning on July 30 at Otakon.
Read More - Posted 7-12-10
A sad day for fans of High and Mighty Color as they've announce their intention to break up. They will be releasing a farewell single "Re: ache" on August 11 featuring the songs Re:ache, night light parade, day dreaming and a live version of RED.
Read More - Posted 6-18-10
Everyone's favorite high school uniform wearing band is back with their second album, featuring 13 songs including Shunkan Sentimental, Taiyo to Kimi ga Egaku STORY and Namida no Regret.
Read More - Posted 6-18-10
Got ghost stories? Here's your chance to get them out there as part of the promotional tie-in with the upcoming release of "Kai-Ki: Tales of Terror from Tokyo." Judges will include J-Pop idol and actress Erina Mano.
Read More - Posted 6-1-10
The grandfathers of Japanese Heavy Metal are back with a new 14 track album entitled "King of Pain" on 5-19-2010.
Read More - Posted 5-20-10
New Vamps Album set for 7-7
Vamps will be releasing a new album on July 7th featuring the song "DEVIL SIDE". Limited edition includes a bonus DVD featuring music videos for their single and album songs.
Read More - Posted 5-13-10
Been putting off buying your L'Arc-en-Ciel CDs? Now's the time. On March 10 they will release four CDs, each containing songs picked by each band member.
Read More - Posted 2-5-10
The pop star is serving up a double release of her third greatest hits album "BEST - third universe" featuring 16 hits and her eighth album "Universe" featuring 13 new songs.
Read More - Posted 1-15-10
Yumi started the new year with a new husband. She apparently broke up with her long term boyfriend Nao Omori in August and has been dating what is being described as a "29 year-old businessman" since September.
Read More - Posted 1-6-10
The band will be filming four music videos in Hollywood, CA on January 9, 2010.
Read More - Posted 1-6-10
2010 Interviews Archives
"It was absolutely shocking when I heard DJ KUDO for the first time in my life. I thought DJing was just playing another artists song and that's it. But it was nothing like that!" - Tsuyoshi Suzuki
For Tsuyoshi Suzuki, aka DJ Numanoid, spinning songs at a live gig will always be in his blood. Owner of the label "Madskippers" and master of many projects and personas, Tsuyoshi has dedicated himself to keeping alive Tokyo's underground scene. "Save the Underground" is their motto, and we hope Tsuyoshi will keep at it for a very long time to come.
On December 1, 2010, Tsuyoshi Suzuki was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World.
Tsuyoshi Suzuki Interview.
- Posted December 9, 2010.
"Music was always in me. Music is love -- one of the little self-expressions that prove existence to us. I believe music is the love that ties the minds of people together." - Gunji
Hard driving guitars complement the powerful voice of Gunji from the curiously named group "the fool". They play some heavy rocking music that gets our heads bobbing -- and to some extent that's all that matters. Backed by Starwave Records, this three player group composed of Gunji, Goo and TACA are definitely a band to keep an eye on.
Their first album, "Crazy frogs around the world", is filled with strong songs that display the fast-paced and very sleek music style of Gunji, who says "Even if you are crazy you must not give up your dream. Value love. Love yourself. Don't fear life. This is my message for my fans."On November 4, 2010, before taking off on their tour of Mexico, Gunji from "the fool" was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. the fool Interview.
- Posted November 9, 2010.
"When I was six I secretly wanted to be a pop singer. When I was thirteen I formed a copy band of The Beatles. At that time I had a dream that we would be a worldwide famous band." - Yukihide Takekawa
Singer-songwriter Yukihide Takekawa's dream for worldwide success came true after Godiego, the band he fronted and helped formed in 1975, released the album "Magic Monkey", consisting of songs written for and inspired by the popular TV series "Monkey" (aka "Saiyuki") which was based on the classic Chinese novel "Journey to the West". "Monkey" first aired in Japan in 1978 and was comically dubbed into English a year later and became a huge success with audiences in England, Australia and New Zealand. The album went to the top of the charts in Japan and established Godiego as being the most popular group in the country at that time, a string of hits followed and some chart success overseas. For many music lovers in the West, Godiego was the band that introduced them to J-Pop -- they remain a national treasure.
Yukihide started his music career as a solo artist and has gone on to release over fifty albums (including those with Godiego). He remains a popular figure within the entertainment world of Japan where his infectious songs have been featured in films, television shows and computer games. A prolific songwriter, Yukihide is busier than ever and doesn't look like slowing down anytime soon. Thank God!In October 2010 Yukihide was kind enough to give an interview to writer Spencer Lloyd Peet. Yukihide Takekawa Interview.
- Posted October 22, 2010.
"About three years ago, I had a show in Asagiri, near Mt. Fuji in Japan. And then a guy fell in love with TsuShiMaMiRe. And half a year later, he was looking for the theme song of Power Puff Girls in his job. And he asked us." - Mari
That song, Hyper Sweet Power, would help to bring a larger audience to the curiously named group TsuShiMaMiRe. These three woman play a fast faced, hard rocking style of music full of fun -- perfect for the spunky anime show.
Having already released several albums over the years and performed in the U.S., TsuShiMaMiRe have just released their latest album, "Sex on the Beach", with another U.S. tour coming in November.So come checkout the group who says "TsuShiMaMiRe has so much energy and so much passion, and we are gonna make a new world together with everyone."
On October 6, 2010 Mari from TsuShiMaMiRe was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. TsuShiMaMiRe Interview.
- Posted October 13, 2010.
"I wanted to be that boy who grew up very ordinarily, played in a band, knew the live music houses. Now I can say that I have become that man who does music seriously." - Ryota Okiyama
From the moment we saw the exuberant vocals of Manatsu Nagahara we wanted to learn more about the four person group SEBASTIAN X... and we're glad we did. Their music is filled with an upbeat fun that's hard to resist, something of a mixture of a pop version of Shonen Knife and a Ska band.
Now on their third album, the band shows every sign of being here to stay. So come take a listen to the sights and sounds of SEBASTIAN X, you'll be glad you did.On September 6, 2010 the members of SEBASTIAN X were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. SEBASTIAN X Interview.
- Posted September 30, 2010.
"Keep trying hard! I was shown that my dream was achievable, so never think the impossible can't happen."- Beckii Cruel
Once upon a time a teenage girl hit on the idea to record herself dancing to Japanese pop music and upload the videos to the internet. Nothing unusual about that -- teens post their best dance moves for everyone to see all the time. But after the view count of this particular teen's videos rose up into the millions it was becoming clear that there was something very special about her. Hailing from the Isle of Man, Beckii Cruel has found a way to naturally capture the kawaii spirit that Japanese culture so adores.
Now the subject of a BBC documentary and singing her own original songs in Japan, Beckii Cruel still manages to keep a level head about her unexpected internet celebrity status, saying: "I get lots of emails asking about the best way to become famous. I have to tell them that I don't know, because I didn't go looking for it. I would just say to everyone, enjoy what you do, and don't hang everything on a wish to be famous."On September 5, 2010 Beckii Cruel was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Beckii Cruel Interview.
- Posted September 17, 2010.
"We went through a time before we debuted where we didn't have money or fans. We feel very grateful that we were able to debut at all. We wanted to write a song that would thank all sorts of people to whom we owed our careers." - MICRO
That song, Thank You!!, by the group Home Made Kazoku (Home Made Family) would go on to be used in the anime series "Bleach". A second of their songs, Shooting Star, also made an appearance on the popular show and helped to bring the group some just deserves. Composed of singers MICRO and KURO and the talents of DJ U-ICHI, this threesome released their fifth album, "Circle", earlier this year.
While we think the word "fun" goes a long way in describing the group's varied style, they describe their craft as "Our music is based on hip hop, but we mix up all kinds of music and try to make our own Home Made Kazoku sound."On August 2, 2010, the members of Home Made Kazoku were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Home Made Kazoku Interview.
- Posted September 6, 2010.
"For me, music is art and a way of life, but so much more. It's a mission. To learn more about how I understand life and life around me." - Kitaro
Legends in music are born from a burning desire to chart their own path. For Grammy and Golden Globe Award winning Kitaro, his path would lead him into the heart of the New Age music, yet go far beyond any such label. A true genius of composition, Kitaro's works have expanded into many genres, but at their core is a wondrous spiritual understanding for expressing the depth of human emotions.
His credits are vast, from his scores for the film "Heaven and Earth", his "Silk Road" series to more recent "Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai" series and his score to the upcoming film "442 - Live With Honor, Die With Dignity." There seems no end to his ability to fill our world with music that moves the heart.On July 22, 2010 Kitaro was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Kitaro Interview.
- Posted August 9, 2010.
"I want to know myself. I want to be someone who sees the world, and can see herself within the world. I also want to write for other people. I write songs in all different styles." - Ai Takekawa
Having the ability to compose songs in both English and Japanese has made Ai Takekawa globally accessible. Not only is she a talented singer-songwriter, she is also a "Music Discoverer" for the English-language Japanese pop show J-MELO, broadcast internationally on NHK WORLD. It is due to her involvement in the series that she has managed to make her vocation a vacation, and on July 2, 2010 she performed in Europe for the very first time at the Japan Expo in Paris, followed by the first ever J-MELO fan meeting in London two days later, which will air on September 13, 2010.
It's no wonder she's a natural at turning her life experiences into melodic songs, her father is none other than singer-songwriter Yukihide Takekawa who fronts the popular group Godiego, best known outside of Japan for writing and recording the opening and closing theme tune to the classic 1970s TV series Monkey (aka Monkey Magic/Saiyuki). For Ai, music is her life, and it's her gift to the world.On July 4, 2010 at the J-MELO fan meeting in London, Ai Takekawa was kind enough to give an interview to writer Spencer Lloyd Peet. Ai Takekawa Interview.
- Posted August 2, 2010.
"It's very difficult to describe our own music, and we don't want people to think that we can only do certain things. We hope to challenge many things and create our own STEREOPONY sound." - STEREOPONY
From the first time we heard their debut song Hitohira No Hanabira we knew the group with the oh so cute name was something we wanted to hear more of. With the good fortune of having that song featured on the popular anime show BLEACH and the backing of Sony Music, these three gals from Okinawa have been able to craft a style of music full of emotion and pop.
So come learn the story of the group who says, "All of our lyrics are about our honest feelings, so we never tried to be positive or expressed positivity too much as that wasn't necessary what we were feeling."On June 16, 2010 the members of STEREOPONY were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. STEREOPONY Interview.
- Posted July 22, 2010.
"At first, we didn't think to release our works until we signed with a major company or label. But we got many comments and messages from our fans and friends asking us questions like "where can I buy your songs?" We decided that we'd produce our songs by ourselves and release them on iTunes." - tomo
The digital revolution in music has been both a blessing and a curse for musicians. For tomo and emi of the fledgling group RAINASH it has provided an international bridge for their fans to enjoy their music as the duo perfect their craft. First brought together while searching for other band members on a website, it only took one session together to realize they were a perfect match for each other.
With a musical style they describe as being both "heavy and dark" with an emphasize of maintaining a catchy pop flavor, we think these two are a duo to keep an eye on.On July 7, 2010 the members of RAINASH were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. RAINASH Interview.
- Posted July 15, 2010.
"Hideki is just really good at interplaying with my melodies. I was very impressed and actually cried when I listened to his work on Another Day." - Kazuha Oda
When the vocals of one artist flow perfectly with the sounds of the guitar, bass and drums of a band you have found something that no amount of corporate backing can create -- magic. We've heard a lot of that magic in songs like Close To You, I Still Remember and Another Day from the group Kazha. Composed of Kazuha Oda on vocals, Hideki Matsushige on guitar, Yota Sato on bass and Rui Aranai on drums, this new group released their first album "Overture" in 2010 and are currently touring the US.
With music that is both elegant and emotional, we think this new band may well be making some major waves in the near future.On June 3, 2010 the members of Kazha were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Kazha Interview.
- Posted June 9, 2010.
"The mental conflict and passion of life are transformed into a song... and then the melody and music is made." - WEZ
Welcome to world of Emo & Screamo as the Kobe-based band WEZ plays it. Recently formed in 2008, they've landed their first song God knows on the Kobe compilation album "COMIN'KOBE'10" with hopes of promoting their own album "Cross their eyes" later this year.
Composed of Mutt on guitar and vocals, DON on bass and "w9d" on drums and screams this punk rock band rocks to the motto "I'm just screaming!!"On May 24, 2010 the members of WEZ were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. WEZ Interview.
- Posted June 1, 2010.
"I wanted to be a songwriter, and write songs for big name people, but as I encountered different problems, relating to race, gender, poverty, and life in general, I didn't find anyone out there who represented me to perform my songs and speak my lyrics." - Miwa Lyric
And so began a life's journey into the world of music, poetry and soul searching. Miwa Lyric, born in Los Angeles, has dealt with the issues of Japanese-Americans all her life. Profoundly affected by the works of Tupac Shakur, she took rap as the major instrument in her own self-expression.
So if you are in the mood for some gritty rap about life and death and everything in between (and have no problems with Parental Advisory stickers on your music) come learn the story of the rapper who says: "Light lip gloss, I wear flip flops, I don't crip walk but I'm still hip hop."On May 21, 2010 Miwa Lyric was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Miwa Lyric Interview.
- Posted May 28, 2010.
"This song is about girls falling in love. This is a wholly new song for me in a sense that the sound approach is different from songs I've performed before." - Yui Makino
That song would be Fuwa Fuwa♪ from Yui Makino's first single release on March 3, 2010. Fans of anime might best know Yui Makino for her voice acting on shows such as the "Tsubasa Chronicle" series and her singing theme songs for shows like "Soseino Aquarion". Gifted with a charming voice for both genres of entertainment, we think Yui Makino is a talent to keep an eye on as she more fully explores the solo musical side of her career.
In June she'll be returning to Paris to perform at the Japan Expo with additional shows being scheduled for Japan.On May 21, 2010 Yui Makino was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Yui Makino Interview.
- Posted May 24, 2010.
"Most important things is the melody for Gurigula's music. First we make a melody and next give it a rhythm and phrase. And last add a gimmick." - HAL
Gimmick or no, when fashion meets the world of Japanese rock you never know exactly what to expect in the long run. Formed in 2009, the three member rock band Gurigula are taking their shot in a genre of music that boasts both great talent and less-than-inspired processed groups. With a look that is both appealing and distinctive and a sound that impresses we think Gurigula may just have what it takes to play with the big boys.On May 4, 2010 the members of Gurigula were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Gurigula Interview.
- Posted May 13, 2010.
"They discovered afterward that "ar" is often used as an abbreviation of such words as "artificial reality," "Augmented Reality," "air life," and that makes them happy about having chosen this name." - ar
As a name for a Japanese band "ar" probably rises to the top as one of the most improbable we've come across. Composed of Atsushi Kubo on vocals, Yoshitaka Fujimoto on bass and Tsubasa Ohta on guitar, this group plays a laidback style of music with a distinctly melancholy mood. Their latest album "LOVE LU LE LO" was released last year through Thistime Records.
So if you're in the mood for some contemplative tunes come take a listen to the band with the inexplicable name and, should you find yourself in the Nagano area, be sure to check out Atsushi's club "9k jikan".On April 28, 2010 the members of ar were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. ar Interview.
- Posted May 6, 2010.
"The reason that I started a band was after watching the TV show "Prince" in junior high school. The performance of the man who played the song piano and the guitar looked very cool to me. It differed a lot from the music of our band now of course." - KOICHI
We don't know exactly what type of music that man played, but we do know that the group Fairy Mirror plays a very appealing version of rock music. Self-described by the group as "Melodic Power Metal" and good old "Heavy Metal", all we need to know is that their songs rock.
Hailing from Osaka, the group has released two albums so far with a third in the works. Composed of JUNO on Vocals, KOICHI and MORI on guitars, MARI on bass and SUGURU banging the drums, this five member group got our heads bobbing.On April 15, 2010 the members of Fairy Mirror were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Fairy Mirror Interview.
- Posted April 29, 2010.
"I would like to express my thoughts and messages -- even difficult or philosophical thoughts -- with language easily understood by the audience. First, I deliver our messages to people, and then I send the messages further into their mind. This is my "Pop" music." - Zinc White
After listened to their first few songs we knew we had found something special. Zamza, who took their name from a Kafka novel, play a driving form of rock music overflowing with smart emotion. With rousing songs like Satori, MANGA and in a waking dream this four person rock group are well worth a listen to.On April 2, 2010 Zinc and KOHTA from Zamza were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Zamza Interview.
- Posted April 16, 2010.
"I think the lyrics are very much influenced where we grew up, and all the views of the landscapes we have... so I think it'll give a deeper feel if you listen to our music in Tokushima." - Kumiko Takahashi
When you think of Japanese music the city of Tokushima on the island of Shikoku probably isn't the first place that comes to mind. But for the group Chatmonchy, their hometown has been a catalyst to creating their distinctive style of rock music.
First formed in 2004, the all girl band have released three albums and just completed their first tour of the US. And thanks to the good people at Ki/oon Records and iTunes, you can now enjoy their music from the comfort of your own homes... though no doubt Tokushima's tourist board would love you to come visit them in person.On March 28, 2010 the members of Chatmonchy were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Chatmonchy Interview.
- Posted April 13, 2010.
"At first, the name was "Biological Space" and then we changed it to Bioooo. At that time, we had two more members so we shorten the original name "Biological Space" to "Bi" and added four "o" to indicate that we are four." - Ken
And that's how you get the name "Bioooo", the musical duo of Ken and Hiroka. First paired together in 2007, the two have been playing electro music for the dance club scene in Tokyo's Shibuya and Shinjuku neighborhoods ever since. With a diverse and growing song list the two are looking toward the future with hopes of releasing their first album together soon.Till then, come take a listen and learn the story of the duo who say "We ourselves want to continue creating music which musicians can enjoy as their favorite songs for a long time."
On March 14, 2010 the members of Bioooo were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Bioooo Interview.
- Posted March 19, 2010.
"I was scouted by Victor and Sony Music representatives. Both offered me contracts, but it was too hard to choose one, so I rolled some dice. It was an odd number, so I signed a contract with Victor Entertainment." - Ryunosuke
Ryunosuke is a singer/songwriter from Chiba, Japan who describes his musical style as Acoustic Rock. Unhappy with the "business" aspects of the Japanese music industry, he formed his own label "Unbalance" from which he has produced his last two albums. Now joined by the "Unbalance Circus Orchestra," Ryunosuke creates a powerful style of music all his own and plans to release his latest album, "Otogizoushi," later this year.
So come take a listen and learn the story of the man who says: "Music need a soul. If I can make music which completely satisfies me, it will become a part of me."On March 1, 2010 Ryunosuke was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Ryunosuke Interview.
- Posted March 9, 2010.
"We would like to say that we have the heart of teenagers." - KEN
When the all male punk group THE CABINETS got back together in 2007 they decided the time had come to make a change. The tough looking boys decided to broaden their look and sound with the gothic charms of singer MIKAKO. And from what we've seen, it was a good decision.
With their first self-produced album PIERROT and an animated stage show the group are looking forward to a new year of live performances and recording. So come take a look at what happens when Sid Vicious joins forces with a Gothic Cinderella.On February 19, 2010 the members of THE CABINETS were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. THE CABINETS Interview.
- Posted March 3, 2010.
"Our songs often have spiritual messages. When I write that kind of lyrics, I feel like someone else is teaching me. I don't know why but I can easily write about a feeling or experience that I have never had." - Rheason Love
When you answer a "singing job for video game music" ad in Japan you never know where it might take you. For Nao Otokura aka "Rheason Love" one fateful ad launched a career of singing and songwriting that took her from her home in Osaka all the way to the US. Teamed with the upcoming producer AKI (aka Akinori Ishiyama) the two have released several of their songs on iTunes with hopes and plans for finding a major label for their music in 2010.
So if you're looking for some soulful music with much to say about life and death, come take a listen to the duo who say "I am Japanese and respect American music, so I wanna try in America, I wanna send out my music alongside those I respect. Even if people say I'm reckless, I should sing in a place that I think is the greatest."On January 23, 2010 Rheason Love and AKI were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Rheason Love Interview.
- Posted January 26, 2010.
"For me, writing a song is like giving birth. Recording is the closing stage of the songwriting process. I feel like I'm almost done with child raising. Finally, I can say goodbye to my son or daughter... Bye-bye my kid. Live strong and cut your way. The world will judge you soon." - Itsuka
They may go by the name "unnatural" but the duo of Itsuka and Mitsu play a country/pop style of music that is entirely down to earth. In 2009 they celebrated their ten year anniversary of making music together with the release of "DIP", a seven track album that includes their signature piece Now!
So if you're in the mood for a Japanese version of country tunes come take a listen and discover the answer to an amorous riddle: "Why did Itsuka and Mitsu have a hard time finding more band members when they were first starting out?" You just might become one of their "unnatuLOVERs" in the process.On December 24, 2009 the members of unnatural were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. unnatural Interview.
- Posted January 12, 2010.
"My family has never actually seen me sing or dance in a club, so they're wondering how I actually do it. My friends say "It's not like you, Ayaka. It's not you!" They can't believe it." - Ayaka Ikio
After first seeing the video for Ayaka Ikio's song Get Out we weren't at all surprised by her comment. With a series of popping tracks like Spin Me Round and some rather risqué ones like LoLLyPop she has taken a successful career in modeling into the world of Japanese dance music. Ayaka Ikio released her first two albums in 2009 and toured throughout Japan.
With 2010 now at hand her goals continue to rise with her talent as her music is now available internationally through JapanFiles. For those not living in Japan we also bring good news as she told us "I really, really want to play a gig in America -- please wait for me!"On January 2, 2010 Ayaka Ikio was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Ayaka Ikio Interview.
- Posted January 9, 2010.
"Sometimes I like to be a Japanese office lady by wearing a suite with my hair up. Wearing chequered pants with handcuffs and chains makes a girl with Rock style. Wearing a light pink dress with a frill makes Reni Lolita style. Everyday I would like to be different. Cosplay is my life!" - Reni Mimura
Do you think you have to travel all the way to Tokyo to see Japanese costume players doing their thing? Well think again. Reni Mimura brought her show to Manhattan in 2008 and performs on a regular basis with her MoeMoe Dancers. Winner of a Tokyo talent competition in 2006, its not hard to see why she is making a name for herself in the kawaii world of Japan's cuteness culture. Her upcoming shows on January 16 and 24 will be featured in a documentary on NHK (Japan's version of PBS).
So put on your maid outfit, Naruto jumpsuit or whatever floats your boat and come hear the story of the girl who says "My ideal situation is the audience not paying attention to me, but everybody is liberated and dancing themselves. That's when we become one. Reni and audience feeling calm and gentle, and we are one."On December 24, 2009 Reni Mimura was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Reni Mimura Interview.
- Posted January 6, 2010.
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