Over a year into the pandemic and still a lot of events occurring online, HYPER JAPAN is one such event which has moved to an online version for the first time. As part of this, FAKY were involved in a special called HYPER Show! with FAKY. An intimate fan experience over Zoom, watching never before seen footage from a headline show from earlier in 2021, followed by a Q&A. First let’s find out a bit more about the group.
FAKY are a five-person group, first forming in 2013 under Avex’s Rhythm Zone record label. The current line-up consists of Akina, Hina, Lil’ Fang, Mikako, and Taki. There are a range of nationalities in the group, as Akina is half Japanese and American, whereas Taki’s roots are from France and the Philippines, all reflected in their music as it bounces between Japanese and English lyrics. FAKY saw early success in 2016, when their EP Candy reached number 3 in the iTunes album chart. Not only that, they have seen success reaching the Top 10 of Spotify’s Viral Top 50 playlists in both Japan and the United States. Their global attention is reflected in before the pandemic, FAKY have performed at events across the world including countries such as Brazil, Spain, and Canada.
Wasting no time, they jumped straight into the FAKY footage which was a pre-recorded live show in front of no audience. Interestingly in the Q&A section, Akina mentioned originally it was meant to be in front of a small audience but the group were glad as it meant they could make eye contact with fans at home through the camera, something they made great use of. Not only that, as their cameras were on, fans could see the members watching back over it and see their reactions to not only the footage, but the chat as well. It has to be said, visually and audio-wise it was edited to a high standard, and really allowed the girls to show off their singing voices as they delivered incredible vocal performances on each track.
The set starts with Little More, a blend of smooth pop with an R&B vibe, coming together as a real fusion of J-Pop and Western Pop. In the softer verses, the dimmer lights emphasize the tone as the dance moves are more minimalist, contrasting with the more upbeat chorus as the lights go up the dancing also becomes more dynamic. With a quick cut, the costumes have suddenly changed as they jump into GIRLS GOTTA LIVE. Again, showcasing a pop fusion, this song brings more sass to the vocals and dancing more about small but strong movements. Through the sheer amount of energy, it was easy to forget you were at home and not at the show in person.
For the third song, FAKY brought out Last Petal, a track more on the J-Pop side of the scale with a powerful ballad style chorus with a softer choreography to reflect the tone. Next was my personal favourite track of the night, Light. Where different styles of pop have been mentioned before, this was more straight out of the 80s. A really funky rhythm drives the beat, as the girls move around the stage energetically. With an overall more brighter and varied light design, it was impossible not to move along to it. Creating more of an impact as the next song, Who We Are, features the girls all huddled together, a vocal focused performance. Wearing their emotions on their sleeve, the girls don’t hide how much this song means to them. Showing their unity as they support Lil’ Fang who it gets the better of, it only adds to the performance. Towards the end, they make the most of the camera as they form a circle around it as it pans round to each of the girls before they huddle around again for the last couple of lines.
The last two songs were the unseen footage, picking up the mood with a strong pop anthem of Antidote. Featuring plenty of dance breaks, each member truly got a chance to shine and show off their skills, backed with the catchiest chorus of the set. The finale was their signature hit, Candy. Not letting the fact the audience was at home stop them, there was a call and response section, utilising the other members to create an audience-like sound so the viewers at home didn’t feel so crazy shouting at their screens. It was a truly strong finish, as the video ended it went back to the live cameras where Taki spoke in English, thanking the fans for attending.
Again, wasting no time it was straight to the Fan Q&A where the audience were encouraged to turn their cameras on to make it a more interactive and intimate experience. The first round of questions were ones the audience had already sent in, and a real kudos to the MC flawlessly moving between speaking English or Japanese, pending on which language the girls spoke as Akina and Taki spoke in English, Lil Fang parts, and Mikako and Hina only Japanese. Questions had a great range from specifically talking about FAKY, to even about the girl’s everyday life. One particular question of interest was about an album, which Akina said they couldn’t comment on yet, an answer itself in the audience’s mind. This, and just the atmosphere itself, really allowed the girls to show their different personalities. Not only through their answers but how they were generally acting. It was very relaxed, allowing everyone to have fun. FAKY even were happy to go on a bit longer, making it an absolute treat for the fans. Just when you think the whole event was special enough, each audience member was given a number for a raffle. It was cryptically mentioned at the start, building into 5 lucky members winning signed postcards from the group. Unfortunately like all good things, it had to end and finished off with a webcam group photo.
＼💓Thank you HYPER JAPAN💓／
— FAKY (@FAKYjp) July 10, 2021
The Hyper Show! with FAKY event turned out to be a not to be missed intimate experience. With an atmosphere that felt more like chilling out with them, watching the show and with a Q&A that felt more like a friendly chat. The live show was incredibly well put together and it was enhanced by getting to see FAKY’s reactions as they watched along with the crowd. Hopefully it won’t be too long until they can actually perform live at a HYPER JAPAN event.