Not living in Japan can make it kind of hard to learn about popular artists or great new indie music, but sometimes I stumble upon wonderful gems. These artists I’m going to tell you about are some of my favorite Japanese music artists and yes, the genres are very different, ranging from electronic pop to rock.
One of my favorite Japanese music artists of 2018 and still kind of today is Radwimps, though I’m sure you’ve heard of them due to their success from Kimi no Na Wa so I’m just going to ~honorably mention~ them here. 🙂
Also these are in no particular order. Now on top the jams!!
Chanmina is a fusion of rap and pop, and bridges a lot of Kpop vibes into her Japanese songs. Originally she wanted to move to South Korea and become a Kpop star, but her friends dissuaded her because of the low chance of becoming a solo artist there.
If you’re not into rap, I’d check out her song Pain is Beauty. It’s one of those songs you sing and act all dramatically sad to when you’re home alone. Oh what? Is that just me?
When I found this song I put it on repeat for an embarrassing number of times. Like honestly, I can put a good song like this on repeat for a very long, long time. I remember in 7th grade I put Faith Hill’s song “Breathe” on repeat while I slept every night for a few months because it just lulled me to sleep.
If you’re a fan of Ichiban no Takaramono from Angel Beats then I’d definitely listen to this song and check Aimer out! This is my favorite song of hers and it’s not even listed at the top of her Spotify most popular, if that speaks any volumes.
This song was apparently the 2nd OP to Kill la Kill, I either don’t remember or, well, kinda didn’t finish it (oops haha). But I found this MV a couple years ago and just loved the aesthetic and beat. I really love songs that have a lot of fun crazy instrumentals, but also have a really strong, pretty voice that can be heard very well over them.
If you like continuity in your artists, check her out! Similar to Fall Out Boy or Cascada, her music is all a similar vibe that assures a good listen to each and every song you listen to. And I don’t know about you, but that’s totally my thing. 🙂
I’ll be honest, I’m the type to become obsessed with one song and take forever to check out the other music the artist puts out. But I was so happy when I finally checked the rest of Misokkasu’s music.
It’s rock. It’s friggen good. AND their music videos are just so captivating and interesting to watch. I think it took awhile to check out the rest of their albums because they weren’t on Spotify a few years ago, but they are not. All their Spotify info and song titles are in Japanese, so I think that’s maybe why they’re not as known. With only 2,600 monthly listeners, won’t you go give them some love!?
If you’re a DJ that does shows at cons (like at Daisho Con!) and don’t put on REOL, what’s wrong with you!? Haha, that’s probably a very specific demographic…
…but basically REOL is a great electronic pop/rave type music and it’s something I love listening to when I get ready for a night out. It gets the blood flowing, for sure.
BONUS! Aya Kamiki
I may have said Radwimps was my favorite artist of 2018, but my favorite Japanese artist of all time is hands down Aya Kamiki. I put her as a bonus because she was big in 2005-2010 and hasn’t really made much since, but like any freakin’ classic artist, you NEED to listen to her if not anyone else on this list. I remember reading that she wanted to make more indie type music so she broke off to do that, and I think that’s her W B X collab? I’m not quite sure, but I adored literally all her albums.
And while I was looking her up to write this, I found a video where she was live in the US for the first time THIS FREAKING YEAR, AT NAKA KON. I am so beside myself, it’s not that far away and granted I don’t know if I would’ve been able to go, but I would’ve damn well tried!! I love you Aya <3 Me and my friend called ourselves the Kamiki Sisters and we printed off pictures of Aya and punk lolita outfits because we couldn’t actually buy them hahah. Good times.
Aaaand there’s not 5, but 6 Japanese music artists you need to check out! And by check out I mean literally just click play on the embed YouTube video and get addicted immediately. If you liked any of these and have any similar artist recommendations for me, PLEASE comment below!! Or follow me on Instagram @karisenpaii and DM me!
Thanks! Ja ne!