With a large music industry such as Japan has, second largest in the world, it is inevitable that music fans will be inundated with a profusion of good (and also less good) music from this country. It is impossible to keep track of this and write a review about it per video. But to avoid missing out on gems, it is time for a weekly list of new music videos from lesser-known Japanese musical acts that are definitely worth watching. We are now looking back on a couple of videos that were released in week 1 of the year 2021. Enjoy the new discoveries!
Ryota Yoshinari – Holiday
For many, Ryota Yoshinari is better known as the bass player of ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D, but since the band is currently not active, the musician has been working on his solo project. In around 7 months time, he released 6 music videos with his original work. The most recent music video is a day in the life of his brother Yu-ta (X Made Alcoholic Santaclaus), currently residing in Belgium, while you hear Ryota sings and play the music. — Recommended by Francisca
PINOS – アマテラス (Amaterasu)
Nao and Kyon are behind the band PINOS, both have a different background as vocalists in music, NAO was active in an emo-pop/rock band and Kyon in a loud rock band. In the summer of 2016, when their bands quit, they decided to start working together. PINOS got formed in January 2017 in which they both sing, play an instrument and make the best use of each other’s talents. To date, they have released four singles. — Recommended by Francisca
Hi,how are you? – 明日泥棒 (Thief of Tomorrow)
The Kyoto-based duo Hi,how are you? (aka Haihawa) started the new year good with the release of their sixth album, almost a year and a half after their last album. Each song on the album is inspired by a different month and might bring some nostalgia with it (maybe also with the drawings included in the booklet). Formed in 2011, the duo, consisting of guitarist and vocalist Harada and keyboardist and vocalist Mabuchi, is jokingly described as a dangerous duo. — Recommended by Francisca
un-not – タイムライン feat. 渥美幸裕 (Timeline featuring guitarist Yukihiro Atsumi)
It has taken three years for the Neo acoustic pop band un-not to release a new music video. Formed by singer-songwriter Masae in the summer of 2011, the band project released a couple of EP’s before releasing their first album in 2017. After some silence around un-not, it seems that the project has returned with this music video and a plan to perform again. It is now waiting for a new CD release. — Recommended by Francisca
zzz – Sixth Sense (feat. Carlos Ma-chan)
It is always interesting to notice how small the world is. At the time of the making of the song Sixth Sense which was produced by Carlos Ma-chan, zzz was producing the first solo single by Carlos Ma-chan, a cover of in 2018 released song by zzz. Currently, zzz is based in Tokyo to further develop his DIY activities and wants to build a mansion with his music. — Recommended by Francisca
TOKKIBUTSU – bloody天照 (bloody Amaterasu)
Currently on a mission to conquer all 47 prefectures, Osaka-based rock band TOKKIBUTSU will film videos of their music in DIY style at interesting locations in Japan. The set-up is as seen in the music video linked below: they will film it while performing their music and sharing their excitement on street. There is still a long way to go for the road trip band and there is already a lot to see on their YouTube channel! — Recommended by Francisca (new upload in February)
KKIICHIII – Try Again
KKIICHIII is a singer-songwriter who is trying to make his breakthrough through ASOBINEXT’s programme. In the past year, he has shared several demos and music videos, including a track on which Marya (known from KING BROTHERS, Rinda&Marya, N’Shukugawa BOYS (N’夙川BOYS)) has collaborated. In between arranging and mixing his music, he is also active in streaming mostly retro games that he has collected. — Recommended by Francisca
Next week we will be back for a new list of new music videos to check out. But you can also look back to the earlier editions of this weekly article series for when you yearn for more musical gems!