Jpop newcomers I enjoy listening in 1st quarter 2008

In Japanese music industry there is a lot of talents coming out each year. Through several sources, I came across a few J-pop talented newcomers that sings really well and produce great music. My definition of newcomers is artists that debuted no more than 1 year. Below is the 6 new artists or units that I enjoying listening from January to March 08.

1. Alan – Ashita e no Sanka, 2. Skelt 8 Bambino – My Friends, 3. Ragdoll – Monochrome Eyes, 4. Aoyama Thelma – Last Letter, 5. Saori@Destiny – Sakura, 6. Shimizu Shota – Home


Alan - Jpop newcomers I enjoy listening in 1st quarter 2008

Alan (阿蘭 or 阿兰) is a Tibetan/Chinese singer and Erhu player from Sichuan province who debuted in 2005 with the album Sheng Sheng Zui Ru Lan. Then she was scouted by Avex Japan and made her Japanese language debut in 2007 with the single “Ashita e no Sanka”.

I only notice Alan when she released second single “Hitotsu”. I immediately attracted by her great voice when listening to this single. After that, I searched and listened her debut single “Ashite e no Sanka” which I think it’s one of the most unique song I ever heard this year. It’s not your average J-pop tune, because it was blended with Chinese music instruments together with singing style of Alan. Not to mention that she is beautiful too.

She has a grand wish that she hope World peace, and building a happiness bridge among Asian countries through her songs. Plus, there is a great review about Alan’s debut at Channel Ai blog.

Skelt 8 Bambino

Skelt 8 Bambino - Jpop newcomers I enjoy listening in 1st quarter 2008

Skelt 8 Bambino consists of 5 members. Each of them has their own group activities but because of having the same interest, they group together in Spring 2006. S8B major debuted in 2008 under Nayutawave Records.

I know them through their second single “My Friends” which is a catchy Rap song. I really love this song just after second of listening to the song. It’s a song of friendship, no matter we are getting together or apart, we are still friends that kind of feeling. Great for graduation song.


Ragdoll - Jpop newcomers I enjoy listening in 1st quarter 2008

Ragdoll is a dance music unit consists of two member, Yummi (vocal, dance, lyricist) and Tatsugoo (Keyboard, DJ, Composer and Art Direction). Sounds like they are doing all the music and production jobs! Ragdoll released two mini album back in the end of year 2007, but I only discovered them this year.

The first song got me hooked to them is “Cycletime” in their second mini album. Since then, their dance music had been poisoned me for quite a long time. However my top favorite song from Ragdoll is “monochrome eyes”, i like it a lot. Many people thinks that the female vocalist Yuumi’s voice was like the early days of Ayumi’s voice, but I don’t think that way. Check out their Myspace page to listen more of their songs.

Aoyama Thelma

Aoyama Thelma - Jpop newcomers I enjoy listening in 1st quarter 2008

If I say Aoyama Thelma is the hottest newcomer in 1st quarter of 2008, I think everyone will agree to me? Indeed because not only releasing her fist album “DIARY” and chart topping single “Soba ni iru ne”, she also featured in some other artists music as well.

Aoyama Thelma (青山テルマ) is a Japanese R&B artist who debuted in September 2007. She is one quarter Trinidadian. She is famous for her collaboration song with SoulJa: Koko ni Iru yo and her answer song, Soba ni Iru ne (which reached #1 on Oricon charts in its second week, and stayed in top 10 for 12 weeks).


Saori@destiny - Jpop newcomers I enjoy listening in 1st quarter 2008

Saori@Destiny major debuted in March 26, 2008 with single “Sakura”, although she released a single back in December 2007. Saori@destiny is a Japanese technopop artist produced by Oonishi Terukado. She is part of D-topia Entertainment. From her official site, it says that Technopop x Candy Girl House = Saori@Destiny.

I’m absolutely digging sweet candy electro pop style musics like Perfume, COLTEMONIKHA, Capsule type of musics. So, Saori@destiny’s music well fitted into my music taste.

Shimizu Shota

Snimizu Shota - Jpop newcomers I enjoy listening in 1st quarter 2008

Shimizu Shota (清水翔太; Born February 27, 1989) is an ex-SUGER member and current solor singer/songwriter, known for his collaborations with Dohzi-T, and 加藤ミリヤ on the Celine Dion tribute album. He made his solo debut on February 20th 2008 with the single “HOME.”

Despite his young age, he sings really well. He will put full emotion when performing a song which I like it very much. His music leaning towards R&B style and artists that he respect is Danny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles.

End note
Well, these are the six J-pop new artists that I enjoy listening to their music. Try listen to their music through the music player embeded above. Hope you like the songs too. And do you have any new artists that I missed out?

Credits: Theppn | Wikipedia

Welcome spring with sakura songs

Welcoming spring with sakura songs

Spring is just around the corner. When thinking of spring season, many people will thinking of the warm and beautiful cherry blossom or sakura. Around the end of March to beginning of April is the best time to view the blossoming sakura or o-hanami in Tokyo and Kyoto area. Sakura is a very beautiful flower and I had seen many beautiful shots of sakura and sadly I did not experienced it by myself. Fortunately I have sakura-themed songs be with me.

Below is the playlist of songs that is related to sakura. I always like sakura songs because the flower gave the artistic feeling and it feels good to listen. The first song of the playlist is the famous traditional Japanese folk song “Sakura“. I remember I sang the song before during my primary school’s singing class. Plus, there are many artists sang sakura songs in various music genres but mostly are calm, beautiful and cheerful. Continue reading

Tatsuro Yamashita – Zutto Issho Sa

Tatsuro Yamashita - Zutto Issho Sa

Normally when I watch a Japanese drama, I will skip the ending credits part. But in “Bara no nai Hanaya” I let it played until the end because the song played in the ending credits sequence is very nice to listen! It is the drama theme song call “Zutto Issho sa” written and sang by one of the most influential Japanese musician Tatsuro Yamashita.

“Bara no nai Hanaya” is my most favorite drama of the winter 2008 season. The story is nice and engaging, the relationship is very twisting and interesting. It is not an ordinary getsu 9 love drama. I’m definitely recommend this drama to everyone. “Zutto Issho sa” portrays the look and feel of the drama, and the lyric is beautiful too. Continue reading to listen to the song with lyric and translation! Continue reading

JERO: An African American debut as Enka singer

JERO: An African American debut as Enka singer

We always said that music has no boundaries. On the 20th February 2008, JERO from America, debut as a Enka singer in Japan with his debut single “Umiyuki”. He is the first African American enka singer in Japanese music industry. This is very surprising and unbelievable, JERO’s debut had successfully became a hot topic. “Umiyuki” ranked 16th on the first day of sales and now move to 2nd spot in today’s single ranking chart!

JERO (ジェロ) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now he is 26 years old. During his childhood days, he got influenced from his beloved grandmother who is a Japanese, and start listening to Japan Enka music. Since then, he found that he loves the genre a lot and starts singing as well, in order to make his grandmother happy. In year 2003, he came to Japan to pursue his dream to become an Enka singer. He appeared in NHK for two months and won numerous karaoke competition. Then, to become an amateur enka singer, he had vocal training for two years and finally debut in year 2008.

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Aoyama Thelma feat. Soulja – Soba ni iru ne

Aoyama Thelma feat. Soulja - Soba ni iru ne

Aoyama Thelma is another new female singer that I enjoy listening recently. On the 23th of January, she released her latest single ‘Soba ni iru ne’ featuring another spotlight artist Soulja. They had been collaborated before when releasing ‘Koko ni iru yo’ in September last year. Some might had guess, ‘Soba ni iru ne’ is the answer song to ‘Koko ni iru yo’. It’s quite a sorrow love song but very warm to listen.

Aoyama Thelma, born in October 27th, 1987, is a Japanese female R&B artist. She had a quarter of Trinidad and Tobago mix. She started to have interest in singing since age of 10, so she began with singing Gospel songs. During high school era, she attended voice training to strengthen her voice. Now still studying in University, she already participating in few singer’s work such as Dohzi-T, DS455, Sphere of Influence and received good feedback. Her soft yet powerful, emotional and great voice control ability, she is the spotlight artist of this year!

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Music Station Love Song Request Best 111

Music Station Love Song Request Best 111

On the 11th of January, Music Station had a 2 hour special show on “111 best love songs” that voted by music fans of Japan. All time love song “LOVE LOVE LOVE” by Dreams Come True gets the number 1 spot while you can check out the rest of the songs at the song list here. It is a great show and heard some really good love songs and I decided to compiled the full song listings to share with you all.

Finding all the 111 songs is not easy job at first thought, but thanks to the great community of Imeem, it make this job possible and I successfully made this playlist in 2 days. Thanks everyone and you can listen to all the 111 songs right here! Continue reading to listen to the songs as well as the full song list. Out of the 111 love songs, which one is your most favorite?

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Year of mouse, listen DE DE MOUSE!


According to Chinese Zodiac, 2008 is the year of Mouse (or Rat). Well when relating mouse or rat to popular culture, people might think of cartoon character Mickey Mouse, or last year animation movie Ratatouille or even classic cartoon Tom and Jerry for example. Now please add another member to the list, introducing the unique music world of DE DE MOUSE!

Quoted from Last.fm, DE DE MOUSE is a Japanese Dance/Electronica artist from Tokyo. His musical output is closely linked to and often accompanied by matching artwork, helping to further carve out the respective musical theme. During live performances he relies heavily on the use of visual arts. His music can furthermore be characterised as having an oriental feel. De De Mouse has thus far released an album and an EP going by the names of “tide of stars” (2007) and “east end girl” (2007) respectively.

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J-pop songs & artists I enjoy the most in 2007

J-pop songs & artists I enjoy the most in 2007

It’s been a great year for all the J-pop enjoyment, big thanks to the convenience of the web technology that let me easily access to the music that is never happened before. Because of this, I get to know more of the diversity of Japanese music industry, although I think that I’m just touching 5% of all. Plus, with the social music site Last.fm, I get to know which artists’ works I listened the most for the year 2007.

From the artist chart, the top 5 J-pop artists are: YUI (1,004 spins), Kimura Kaela (703), GReeeeN (658), Hamasaki Ayumi (547), and ERIKA (460). Can’t believe YUI get the number 1, which has 50% more spins than my “godly” idol Ayumi! About the Japan 4 new divas that I written back in May, Yuna Ito get 6th place but Ayaka did not even get into top 25 spot, well she had nice tunes but seems that I not really into her songs. Besides that, I also discovered some great new artists and groups that I would like to express, as well as some songs that I really like in 2007.

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Celebrate Christmas with J-pop

Celebrate Christmas with J-pop music

It is going to be a lonely Christmas celebration for me T.T, it has been like this for 22 years of my whole life. Fortunately I still have my best companion always by my side, and “she” is Japanese Pop music. During the Christmas celebration month, many Japan artists releasing songs and singles related to the wonderful Christmas Day. Here I collected some and share with you all :D.

There is 16 songs total in my Christmas J-pop playlist. Some of them are release this year, and some is older. Many popular artists sang songs related to Christmas or have Christmas feel for example L’Arc en Ciel, Namie Amuro, Ketsumeishi, Mai Kuraki, B’z and many more. Personally I think the Ketsumeishi’s song sounds the best. Continue reading to listen to the songs and more.

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Yui Aragaki – Heavenly Days

Yui Aragaki - Heavenly Days

On the 5th December 2007, sweet and natural popular idol Yui Aragaki has release her debut album “Sora”. The album consists of 10 soothing tracks including “Heavenly Days” and “Memories” which is the insert song and theme song of her movie called “Koizora” and “Koisuru Madori” respectedly. With her frequent exposure in various fields, Gakky appears as one of the biggest and most promising new music star right before the end of 2007!

According to a personal interview with her in Music Station in November, singing has been a dream of her. Well, I’m happy of her because it is a dream comes true! To come out with the best results, her dream was assists by many popular singer-songwriter including Tsuji Ayano, Ando Yuko, Toko Furuuchi etc. Besides that, she also participated in writing the song lyrics too. She has very pampered and soft voice, so her songs almost are comfortable and sorrow like “Heavenly Days” which I am introducing here.

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