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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Song of the Week! 2 February 2013

Now back to some requests for this month! This first one is by tetsutaro, who wanted to see this J-Pop song being featured. Ready to see it?

Allx3 (122)x4 (171) x4 (268)x6 (407)
 Taiko 0.5, Taiko 3DS

The pattern of most of our J-Pop picks in the past share a common pattern; they've all been established hits from 5 to 10 years back, sometimes even older. It's quite unusual then to see a completely brand new hit storm the Taiko songlist so early into its tenure. Cashing in on popularity to widen the player audience? It's a perfectly valid strategy if true; even if it wasn't picked on the spur of the moment, this is still a pretty sweet song.

This is from Japanese model and blogger Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ), the artist name for Kiriko Takemura (竹村桐子). Before hitting the stage overseas as a singer, this girl from East Tokyo was a popular fashion blogger in Japan, which allowed her to expand her line of work, both as a model for Harajuku fashion magazines (Kera! and Zipper) and as a businesswoman by launching a popular line of fake eyelashes. The nickname Kyary was born in this period of her life, derived from her school memories: since she liked following Western fashion and culture in her childhood, classmates started calling her Kyary, as an alternate spelling of a western name, Carrie.

The first promo single of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's career as a singer was PON PON PON, released both as a single (June 20th, 2011) and as part of her first albums. While Kyary is the singer, the song itself was directed and produced by Yasukata Nakata (中田康孝), ex-member of the Japanese electropop band Capsule and currently producers of many other groups, mainly Perfume (Polyrhythm). But the major feature that contributed to make of the song a viral hit was its music video, a mixture of Japanese kawaii culture, random weirdness and popular culture referencing, all taking place in "a room of a girl who isn't good at tidying up". It gained much momentum outside of Japan too for the sheer weirdness of it all; it became one of the most viewed J-Pop music videos among the American audience in the last year. At the time of its release, the singer cited Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry as inspirations for the song's dance choreography.

Like Memeshikute, PON PON PON's journey on Taiko began on Taiko 3DS before its arcade debut. It features simple patterns like many other licensed songs from J-Pop, with many dkd and kdk patterns, and uses the actual voice from Kyary instead of a cover.

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