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2011 Music News

Archive Note: 2011 was a slower year for both news updates and interviews at J-Pop World.

New Puffy album "Thank You"
Fifteen years later... Puffy are still going strong with their latest anniversary album, "Thank You", including a twelve show tour of Japan from April 2 to May 15.
Read More - Posted 5-12-11

Japan Earthquake Donations
One easy and fast way you can help the people in Japan recover from the Earthquake and Tsunami is to donate to the international Red Cross organization. You can specify on their donation page for your funds to go to helping the Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami relief efforts. Donate Now
Read More - Posted 3-14-11

ViViD new single and new label
The visual kei band ViViD signs with Epic Records for the January 19 release of their new single, "Yume" ~Mugen no Kanata~.
Read More - Posted 1-18-11

2011 Interviews Archives

Saori@destiny - click for full size

"I was very excited that my debut song was chosen for the game "Secret Online". They made a costume of the game character for me and I really enjoyed performing this song while wearing the costume!" - Saori@destiny

It's not much of a mystery why electropop producer Terukado saw potential in the up and coming talent mysteriously named "Saori@destiny". Paying her dues as a hopeful "On The Way To Akihabara Idol" she had her first break when her song Destiny's War was chosen for the game "Secret Online." Now backed by the new label, D-Topia Universe, Saori@destiny may soon be setting her sights well beyond Akihabara Idol status.

On July 10, 2011 Saori@destiny was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Saori@destiny Interview.
- Posted August 11, 2011.

Aira Mitsuki - click for full size

"I think that when doing a live performance you never know what will happen. Even if I think I'm succeeding, the audience might not accept it, or when I feel I'm not succeeding, the audience might have the opposite response and like it." - Aira Mitsuki

We like it. Since the debut of her first album "Copy" in 2008, Aira Mitsuki has been making a name for herself with a fun Japanese electronica sound. Produced by Terukado Onishi, Aira has gone on to release three studio albums and perform throughout Japan. Her videos for songs like BARBiE BARBiE have shown that she has a flare for fashion as well as music.

On June 29, 2011 Aira Mitsuki was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Aira Mitsuki Interview.
- Posted July 14, 2011.

Nao Watanabe - click for full size

"Music mirrors my own heart. Music is meeting people and is the means of communication to connect with them." - Nao Watanabe

Beautiful piano. Enchanting voice. Music from the heart. That's how we described Nao Watanabe's sound from the moment we first heard her. Self-described as a painfully shy girl who discovered music as the vehicle to express herself to the world, Nao's songs convey a genuine love of life and the music she makes.

So come learn the story of the woman who says: "To be alive. This is the simplest and easiest thing, but the most difficult thing. This is also the most beautiful thing."

On June 24, 2011 Nao Watanabe was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Nao Watanabe Interview.
- Posted July 5, 2011.

Yuya Matsushita - click for full size

"Music is everything to me. Without music, I wouldn't be here in America now, and I would have been a completely different person. It made me who I am today." -- Yuya Matsushita

If success breeds success, the multi-talented Yuya Matsushita seems headed to the top. With a growing acting career in Japanese dramas such as "Quartet" on his resume and songs like foolish, foolish, Trust Me, Bird, Mr. Broken Heart you might think you've seen all his skills... until you see what an amazing dancer he is as well.

Hailing from Kobe, Japan, Yuya just made his debut performance in the US as the MusicFest Guest of Honor at FanimeCon 2011. His new single "Bird / 4 Seasons" and album "I Am Me" have also been released to the US via iTunes.

On May 30, 2011 Yuya Matsushita was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Yuya Matsushita Interview.
- Posted June 14, 2011.

TAIA - click for full size

"There isn't a particular style that we decided on. It just naturally turned out this way. That's why I think we will continue to change." - TAKA

Goth, metal and rock are the common descriptions of the group TAIA. Taking their name from the Japanese word for raven, TAIA originally formed back in 1998 in Okinawa. In 2002 their song Beware won first prize at the Okinawa Goza Music Festival, effectively launching the group on their current path. With three albums released and an energy-charged show, the group, under the sultry vocals of SEIKA, show every sign of being a force to reckon with.

So come learn the story of the group who proclaim: "We all like different genres of music, so when we're composing, each individual adds their own arrangement and their own personalities. That's how our current style came to be."

On May 9, 2011 the members of TAIA were kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. TAIA Interview.
- Posted May 11 , 2011.

Jake Shimabukuro - photo by Danny Clinch - click for full size

"If everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place." - Jake Shimabukuro

It doesn't take more than a few seconds of listening to Jake Shimabukuro's rendition of Why My Guitar Gently Weeps to realize you've discovered something special. For this Hawaiian native, the ukulele has become the ideal instrument to spread the sounds of the Aloha spirit around the world.

As a proud fifth generation Japanese-American, there could be no better place to spread Hawaii's famous feel-good music than Japan itself, about which Jake says: "I feel very connected to my Japanese roots. I travel to Japan a lot and I love the food, culture and people."

His latest CD, "Peace Love Ukulele" highlights the well developed depth of his performance on an instrument that might seem simple to learn, but in the hands of a true master, is able to conjure up the island spirits in song.

On January 31, 2011 Jake Shimabukuro was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Jake Shimabukuro Interview.
- Posted March 7 , 2011.

Kazumi Toyoshima - click for full size

"I think I was fortuned. I grew up with comfort. But that taught me to learn hungry spirit." - Kazumi Toyoshima

From the official bio of Kazumi Toyoshima: "Started compose music since 2000 actively, form the unit called BL-M. With and without BL-M he has been actively creating his own composition and establishing his own style. During the years of mid 2000s, for about 5 years, he had been away from the music scene. In the 2009, he came back from the silence to restart his music career. Today his production has been progressed and expose to the various media mainly overseas. Since 2009, he released 3 single as his solo project and those 3 of the music clips (promotion video) were aired in CATV in New Zealand as well as in Australia."

"Also his exclusive interview were aired on J-Pop Exchange radio show (wvcr) and aired several times in that show with his collaborated and produced artists. His songs were also aired in LA radio show Independent Corner (Indies401) and his song Legend Of Mind has been nominated as the Best song in the last year by voting from the listeners."

That interview was conducted on March 20th, 2010, by SeanBird from J-Pop Exchange. Reproduced here with permission for J-Pop World. Kazumi Toyoshima Interview.
- Posted March 1, 2011.

Daisuke Tsutsui - click for full size

"When I was 19 I went to London to see many concerts and clubs. I thought... I'm much better than them, which gave me more confidence in myself. So I bought a guitar and recording equipment and started to produce music!" - Daisuke Tsutsui

When we first heard the opening songs for Daisuke Tsutui's project "Galaxy 7" we knew we'd run across something special. Unhappy with the support he was getting from his former label, Daisuke made the move to Tsuyoshi Suzuki's Madskippers label. "Galaxy 7" runs the gambit from rocking songs like Blackmetal and King Cobra to more reflective songs like Cheese shocking.

So if you're looking for something new and a little different, come take a listen to the man who says "I'm trying to keep as an actor on the stage... there is this totally different person coming out after I switch on from the inside."

On January 10, 2011, Daisuke Tsutsui was kind enough to give an interview to J-Pop World. Daisuke Tsutsui Interview.
- Posted January 27, 2011.

Kazha - click for full size

We interviewed Kazuha Oda as part of her band Kazha back in June 3, 2010. She's had some major changes in the band since then, including the addition of two new members, Zen and Masaya. On January 10, 2011 Kazuha and the new members were kind enough to give us a follow-up, which can be read along with their original Kazha Interview.

- Posted January 18, 2011.

J-Pop World Interviews and News Archives page