It seems whenever I tell someone I like Japanese music the first thing that usually pops up in their mind is, “oh he must be into that cute anime shizz.” Or a close second, “he must like that overly cute and zany bubblegum type of pop. The kind I saw those reactors react to some time ago.” Even among some of today’s kpop fans this kind of reaction hasn’t been that out of the norm for me to come across. Which is why today I set some time aside to share what I actually listen to, because big shocker, my playlist couldn’t be anymore different from that.
Now don’t get me wrong if you like Bubblegum pop, anime music, groups with near 50 people in them, cute girls groups that dress like high school girls, anything a long those lines, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You should be able to do you and be proud of it. Actually my goal today is just to expand on those things by showing the other side of the coin. Or things that are closer to the other end of the spectrum. Basically I just I want people to know there is more out there for them to explore if they so choose to.
So with that out the way I do hope you at least find some of my picks mildly interesting. Now onto my playlist. 🙂
And for us to begin today I can’t think of anything better than Faky‘s Better With You. When beginning a list like this I do think you kind of want something a little familiar at the start to ease in to, and that is what this quintessential dance track will no doubt do. No matter from what part of the world you are I feel like lately a good dance track is most universal. and this bop certainly delivers that banger type of beat you would want and that you would hear at a club near you.
Also if you happen to be into kpop(you probs are if you follow my blog 😛 ) an added plus is that this song and video have a feel and flow you are already use to. Since this group kind of reminds me, and maybe will remind you too, a bit of T-ARA. Probs that’s just due the use of EDM. There is a plenty of it. Either way even with out any comparisons or knowing what is being said I’m sure most of you will feel the need groove a long to it and that’s all that matters. It’s got mad hype atmosphere with surprisingly killer vocals for a song of this type where you could easily fall back and just rely on the beat.
In addition props to the editor because the editing in this really matches the fast beats but without the cuts feeling too fast or over abundant.
FAKY / Better Without You
Moving along I’d like to introduce you to a group called BananaLemon. I want to showcase this group next because I feel like they ooze a special, much more mature, kind of charm. That to me makes them stand out even more. Again if I were to compare them to a kpop group(i know comparing is bad) just for a sec, based solely on this song, I would say they give more of a MAMAMOO sort of vibe than anything else. I say that cuz they pull of the soulful kind of vocals and also nail the seductiveness with ease.
These are the J-Queens of Power Vocals.
P.S. the rap at around 1:48 is quite legit. It’s short but that deep sort of rap voice is among my fave type of rap voices. waaah just with it was longer.
This group is all around charismatic. They are sexy but it mostly stems from their confidence.
BananaLemon ‘LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME’
Next we get into the rap portion. As you all know my fave genre has slowly become rap, so of course if I’m gonna be listening to music from Japan I’m gonna be looking for that particular genre there too. Well I’m glad to say I’ve been able to find some good stuff. One person in particular that has stuck out to me in recent days is Yayoi Daimon. Why? In short, cuz she be getting it.
I think I’ve mentioned it before, I always be falling hard for the bad girls. and lets just say it’ll be near impossible to find a girl in japan with more swagger and attitude than her. She’s the kind of girl that knows what she wants and has the confidence to go for it or just outright take it. Furthermore I think she spits fire and more importantly I’m amazed by how she pushes the envelop. 🤔
Her MVs are the kind of stuff you would expect more from western rappers. Take a look.
p.s. let me take a moment to give her stylists some props too. The clothing choicess, the hairstyles, the dark lipstick, and big hoop earings brought me flashbacks to the 90s-oos chola look I use to love so much. haha
大門弥生 (YAYOI DAIMON) 「 NO BRA! feat あっこゴリラ 」
Probs safe to say she is inspired by Nicki, Iggy, Cardi, and the likes of them. lol
Then to follow up on that we then we got a hip-hop unit. Yah I said unit. Not 1, not 2, but 3 girls in this group. From my understanding they are part of a bigger idol group called E-Girls. I haven’t checked them out but I probs will eventually because I like this song.
I’m recommending this because I like how the beat builds off traditional asian beats. Also I enjoy the overall production/direction. In a video with a pulled back budget, the editing and weird filters really are key. Shizz gets kind of trippy. Video flows despite not a lot actually going on. Plus the color grading is cool. It’s like got a bunch of colors but yet at the same time doesn’t feel colorful.
Ultimately everything gives this a down and dirty street kind of feel. Like these girls are your traditional type idols but you wouldn’t know watching this. This feels like something released by an underground group.
スダンナユズユリー / LOOK AT ME NOW
Then again moving forward we take a small break with something different. Of course my main things in the music world are songs that are turnt up, got edge, and make you wanna go clubbin, however, I do appreciate something with a good story too. And that is what we got here. In particular a good “girls love” story.
This showed up on my recommended section a couple days ago and I’ll admit the thumbnail peaked my interest. Little did I know I was about to be in for a “feelz trip.” It’s amazing when a 7 minute MV can be just as intriguing as a regular length drama. It’s got a solid beginning, middle, and end. It finds time to let scenes breath, have characters develop, and have conflict in so little time!
My only complaint is why do these type of stories always have to be so darn tragic. Who ever was in charge of this production knew what they were doing. Showing you the drawing progress throughout the entire song only to have it ruined in such a heart breaking fashion. Then that ending…that ending… 😥
Anyways let’s not be depressed and move on shall we.
Finally we get to Chanmina. Hopefully you remember that I’ve talked about her before. She was one of the very first Japanese rappers I ever ran into so she holds a special place in my heart. The things that really draw me to her is that she really puts thoughts into her lyrics, as she write them herself. As well as how she is able to sing pretty good in addition to rapping.
Furthermore I like the range in category of her music videos. She has things that feel somber and are thought provoking, to things that feel straight up rachet AF. Songs that are beautiful, to songs that go balls to the wall.
If I ever expressed my type of girl it would describe her to a T. A badass with a beautiful brain.
P.S. this song itself has some interesting social commentary in it. For example it talks about how society has become about following trends and people are loosing their uniqueness. Pretty much becoming mindless drones. And how if everyone is too busy being a follower then the world is just gonna end up a boring place.
CHANMINA – Doctor
and here is a song that’s completely different in structure and feeling yet complimentary so I want to add it too. one of my most fave of hers. 🙂 It shows how she can get you riled up and feeling turnt with a song one second ,but next thing you know, in another song you are experiencing strong feelz. In this song it goes back to themes of individuality/sticking out. I think a huge reason for me liking her is how self-reflective she can be.
Her journey to self love in this song truly is a thing of beauty.
Welp, there you have it folks. Was this at all interesting? Did you find a good song or two? let me know. I may do this again sometime in the future. I got lots of other songs I’d like to share that aren’t your traditional bubblegum pop either. Anywho until next time. Bye Bye.