New Album Drop from Mondo Grosso

Mondo Grosso is Italian for big world and is the stage name of Japanese DJ and record producer Shinichi Osawa. Crafting a variety of EDM flavours over the years – acid jazz, house, etc. – the sound on his newly released album, Reborn Again and Always Starting New, is an excursion off the beaten path to more creative concoctions. Grosso is regarded as one of the country’s best DJs. The new album, his first under the Mondo Grosso moniker, is selling well in the land of the red sun, in the iTunes Top 5, with a couple of tracks that are particularly popular: “Labyrinth” featuring the vocal talents of Hikari Mitsushima and “Planet Tantra” featuring Aska (Asuka) Saito of girl group Nogizaka46. We have embedded the MV for the former below.

Someday We’ll Know FAKY

It’s time to talk J-Pop. The world’s second largest music market is seeing a number of new artists release some delicious tracks. Akina (California), Anna (New Zealand), Lil’ Fang (Tokyo), and Mikako (Fukuoka) are all-girl group FAKY. Around since only 2013 and releasing a debut album the following year, the girls recently dropped a smoking hot EDM track called “Someday We’ll Know” off new EP Unwrapped. The MV, embedded below,  is interesting as it starts off at night and bright daytime hits halfway through. FAKY is good at incorporating international styles of music into J-Pop making for a culturally rich sound.

One OK Rock Talks Ambitions

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Japan’s One OK Rock is a four-member rock band from Tokyo. The first album from the group appeared in 2007, but it was not until the fourth album in 2010 that superstardom came. The group has released its eighth album, Ambitions. The album is doing very well internationally. It sits in the iTunes Top 10 in both Canada and the United States, and is #1 in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and not surprisingly Japan itself. Track “Take What You Want” features Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer and track “Listen” on the Japan edition of the album features Canadian superstar Avril Lavigne. We have embedded the song below.

The Most Popular Japanese Song of 2016?

Girl power is on full throttle in the world’s second largest music market, Japan. Girl group AKB48 completely slayed the country’s charts in 2016. On the year-end Billboard Japan chart, four of the Top 10 songs were from the group, including #1. And that chart topper was “Tsubasa wa Iranai” meaning no wings are needed. According to Oricon, it sold one and a half million copies. View the MV below.

Gen Hoshino Tops the Japan Hot 100

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Gen Hoshino has the #1 hit in Japan with “Koi” (which means Love). The singer-songwriter’s debut solo album appeared in 2010. He has also done acting and voice acting work. The music video for “Koi” is stylish and visually pleasing with beautiful clothes and a circular black and white checkerboard stage. Have a look below.

Take a Love Trip with AKB48

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These days, one cannot talk JPOP without mentioning AKB48, a girl group that originally had 48 members. Talk about going big, the group has now expanded to over 130! AKB is short for Akihabara, and area of the world’s largest city – Tokyo – where the group is based, owning its own theatre and performing daily concerts there. Having so many members enables various subgroups, or “teams” to perform in shifts. AKB48 has sold over 40 million records and earns annually up to 130 million USD. It is not uncommon to see a song by the group at the top of the charts in Japan, and its latest, “Love Trip”, has done just that. Check out the MV below.

Namie Amuro’s Hero

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Japanese superstar Amuro Namie is back with new song “Hero” which is tearing up the charts and cheering on the Rio Olympics. She has been referred to Japan’s Madonna or Janet Jackson and has been recording since the mid-90s. Amuro’s “Can You Celebrate?” from 1997 is considered the most successful single from a solo female artist in Japan having sold nearly 2.3 million copies. Namie began her music career at 14 with group Super Monkeys. Besides a recording career, she is also a recognized dancer, fashion model, actress and businesswoman. Have a listen to new song “Hero” below!

Japan’s Perfume Wafts Internationally

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Japanese EDM trio Perfume has released its fifth studio album Cosmic Explorer. The album follows a slew of hit singles which are included on the disc: “Star Train”, “Relax in the City”, “Sweet Refrain”, “Cling Cling”, and “Pick Me Up”. With Universal Music since 2012, the Hiroshima group is on the cusp of an international breakthrough having already slayed the Japanese charts at multiplatinum status and put on concerts in the United States and United Kingdom. Perfume’s fresh, futuristic sound continues on the new album, and we cannot mention Perfume without citing its incredible music videos which are just as exciting as the music. “Pick Me Up” MV embedded below.

Japan’s Babymetal a Hit in the UK and Australia

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Heavy metal group Babymetal recently became the highest charting Japanese band of all-time on the official UK albums chart. Metal Redistance, released at the end of March, debuted on the chart at #15. It did even better in Australia at #7 and also flattered the Americans with a Billboard U.S. placement at #39. Babymetal is fronted by three teenage females nicknamed Su-metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal. Though performing predominantly in the Japanese language, success in the Anglo market has been attributed to the girls’ beautiful vocals and the high quality of the music, with original melodies, excellent instrumentation, and top-notch production. Embedded below is the MV for track “Karate” (now at 6.6 million views) which will give you a taste of this fabulous band.