Rina Sawayama’s Releases Live Footage of New Song ‘This Hell’ Performed at Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2022
02.June.2022 | MUSIC
Niigata-born singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama recently announced that she would be releasing her long-awaited new album Hold The Girl in September 2022. The artist, based in London, recently performed at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2022, a popular U.K. music festival. Her new track, This Hell, was met with massive fanfare, and those who missed her performance in person can now watch it on YouTube!
This Hell – Rina Sawayama (Big Weekend 2022): https://youtu.be/42iGscAMjTo
Along with the live performance footage, Sawayama has also revealed a lyric video for This Hell. The video is what fans would expect, harnessing the artist’s incredible creativity.
This Hell – Rina Sawayama (Official Lyric Video): https://youtu.be/yZKThkBA42M
Rina is scheduled to perform at SUMMER SONIC 2022, which will be held in Tokyo on August 20 and Osaka on August 21.
The song This Hell is the first to be released under a new partnership between Rina Sawayama’s Dirty Hit label and Universal Music Japan.
Rina Sawayama’s 1st Album SAWAYAMA Gets Limited Edition CD and Blu-ray Release in Japan
16.June.2022 | MUSIC
Rina Sawayama, a Japanese singer-songwriter based in London and active worldwide, will release a Japan-exclusive Commemorative Edition of her first album SAWAYAMA on August 3, 2022.
The artist’s first album was released on Sawayama’s Dirty Hit label, which has also released music by The 1975, Pale Waves, and Wolf Alice. It quickly became a worldwide sensation, receiving high praise from a number of media outlets, with Rolling Stone hailing it as a “thrilling adventure in music” and the New York Times calling Sawayama a “model musician for the streaming age.” The BBC named SAWAYAMA album of the year, saying that the musician “is a uniquely compelling artist who deserves all the attention she gets.”
The album was also named Album of the Year by Consequence of Sound, NPR, Paste Magazine, Rough Trade, and Uproxx.
Comment from Rina Sawayama
“Ultimately, this album is about family and identity. The theme is about self-understanding in the context of belonging to two different cultures–for me, both British and Japanese. It’s important to find a place where you can be at ease inside–where you can break free of stereotypes and simply be yourself without hiding your flaws.”
Sawayama was named Vogue Japan’s Woman of the Year 2019 and was the winner of Spotify Japan’s Early Noise 2020 award. The song Chosen Family, featuring Elton John, was used during the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. She is scheduled to perform at Summer Sonic 2022.
Chosen Family (with Elton John) – Performance and Lyric Video
SAWAYAMA (Deluxe Edition) -Japan Exclusive Commemorative Edition- includes a 2-CD set containing 27 tracks, including remixes by SEKAI NO OWARI’s global project End of the World, acoustic tracks, and the aforementioned Elton John collaboration track. It also comes with a Blu-ray featuring music videos. On September 2, Sawayama will release her second album Hold The Girl.
Expectations are high for Rina Sawayama going forward, so keep an eye on this incredible artist!
From Harajuku to the world! Chasing the bright future of a rising star, FRUITS ZIPPER
FRUITS ZIPPER is a group quickly rising to stardom, debuted from “KAWAII LAB.” KAWAII LAB is a new project to introduce Japanese idol culture from “Harajuku”, a fashion town where various cultures and personalities gather, to the world. Members of the group include Amane Tsukihashi, Suzuka Chinzei, Yui Sakurai, Runa Nakagawa, Manaka Mana, Karen Matsumoto, and Noel Hayase.
Even before their debut, the group garnered attention for their breathtaking visuals. Their performances are so powerful, you would never expect such refined skill from such an adorable aesthetic, which is known to captivate the hearts of their fans. The group is produced by Misa Kimura, a model and TV personality who is also the general producer of “KAWAII LAB. She will utilize her experience and creativity as the leader of the idol group “Musubizm” to introduce idol culture to the world.
Expressing FRUITS ZIPPER’s world through collaborations with creators
Furthermore, even before their debut, the group drew a lot of attention because of their collaborations with many different renowned creators. Among the collaborations includes the artist photos created by video director/art director/3DCG artist YUKARI. She uses a cutting-edge trend of CG-moving techniques, in addition to still-images. The mysterious colors of bright light that embraces the girls are definitely eye-catching.
Catchy and cute choreography of FRUITS ZIPPER
Followed by the debut song “Kimino Akaruimiraiwo Oikakete,” a song with a positive message for the future, “Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro,” with its cute choreography and lyrics, won the hearts of people and was selected as one of the “TikTok Hot Songs in Japan” and charted on the Billboard. More than 13,000 videos using ”Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro” have been posted on TikTok with the hashtag “#わたしの一番かわいいところ (Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro).” The long-awaited third single “Kanpeki Syugide☆”, which was released on May 20, is an energetic tune created by music producer Manaka Suzuki.
Performances that reach into people’s hearts and minds
A pop-culture event presented by Asobisystem “ASOBE!!,” was held at Spotify O-EAST on May 26th. In addition to FRUITS ZIPPER, fellow Asobisystem members Atarashii Gakko! and IDOLATER, who is also a member of “KAWAII LAB.”, performed at the event. Many other remarkable idol groups also took part in the event, enlivening the venue.
Alongside their regular performances, they are scheduled to participate in a number of events, including the “LEADING PALETTE! and “HYPE IDOL! vol. 20” at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall both June 12th. Make sure to come and see their live performance, it’s sure to steal your heart!
Additionally, KAWAII LAB. will be serialized on “Moshi Moshi Nippon,” a website that provides the latest news of Japan to the world. The articles will be published in hopes of sharing the charm of IDOLATER and FRUITS ZIPPER with people not only in Japan, but also around the world. Details will be announced soon. Stay tuned for more from KAWAII LAB.!
[LIVE REPORT] Atarashii Gakko! Performs at Zepp DiverCity
24.May.2022 | MUSIC
On May 20, the indescribably unique four-member dance and vocal group Atarashii Gakko! performed Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo! Given their performance at such a well-known venue, the name of their solo concert was fittingly ‘Wha–?! Graduating from Obscurity ~AG! FRIDAY AFTER SCHOOL~.’
The group signed with American multi-media company 88rising in January 2021. The label is attempting to introduce more unique Asian music to the US, and it doesn’t get much more unique than Atarashii Gakko! The girls have over 3.8 million TikTok followers, and their April single WOO! GO! was released as a tie-in with NIKE Juku, amassing praise from audiences worldwide.
As fans of the band have come to expect, the concert began with the sound of chimes, leading into the first song, Toumei Boy. Followed by an intense dance performance, fans were captivated by the show, which was performed overseas last month to an audience of 25,000 fans. Following the song Final Humanity, a bizarre video began playing, leading into the fan-favorite CANDY from the group’s EP SNACKTIME. For the first time in the group’s solo performance history, backup dancers joined them during the track Night Before the Exam.
Starting with Otona Blue, the members appeared clad in colorful decorations, making it seem as if they were singing on TV. The girls have an unprecedented stage presence that has helped them catapult their career forward, from obscurity to performing one of the most well-known venues in Tokyo. Happy Hormones shoed a cuter side to the girls, offering fans a glimpse beyond their usual hardcore dance moves. The audience joined in, waving their hands from side to side and flashing peace signs.
The Italian disco tune Fantastico began with slow-motion movements and added limbo dancing into the choreography, giving the members a chance to show off their comedic skills. Anyone who follows them on social media is well aware of how hilarious they can be!
Suddenly, a man dressed as a construction site security guard emerged on stage, performing an impressive rendition of the robot. This man turned out to be DJ Morley Robertson, who joined the girls in Intergalactic, starting with the members calling out “We are Bestie Girls!” As Atarashii Gakko! danced to this classic Beastie Boys tune, Robertson addressed the audience, shouting “The night is just getting started!”
Pineapple Kryptonite shows off the girl’s dancing skills, but the Pineapple Kryptonite REMIX treated fans to an acrobatic performance that brought the energy in the venue to the max.
Member MIZYU spoke to the audience about the choreography in WOO! GO!, the girl’s newest track, calling on them to join in. The members also performed the Spanish version of Free Your Mind, cementing their place as one of Japan’s most global acts. Towards the end of the live show, the members hugged and showed the audience how close they are as friends, bringing everyone to tears.
The Zepp DiverCity concert was a whirlwind of excitement and energy. Those in the audience could see how Atarashii Gakko! has improved since their debut, and everyone is excited to see how much higher they can soar going forward.
The archived video of the performance is officially available until May 29 at 23:59. Check out a comment from the group immediately after the concert below!
Comment from Atarashii Gakko!
“This was the best live performance we’ve ever done! With our past shows, the four of us have designed everything ourselves. This time we had a lot of other people involved, and we could really feel the love from both the staff and the audience. During the show, I felt like I was having a conversation with the audience without words. I could see everyone’s faces from the beginning to the end, and it made me so happy. Each day, we interact with so many fans through social media, but being on stage in front of them is so different. We can feel how much they love us and we can really be ourselves. Just before the show started, we reminded ourselves to just have FUN! That’s why this became our best concert ever. I hope we can share all of this love and happiness on an even bigger stage next time!”
TV Anime Series ‘Run with the Wind’ to Hold Orchestral Concert in Tokyo
The concert featuring the TV anime series Run with the Wind based on the novel Run with the Wind by Shion Miura, will be held on December 29, 2021 at Ebisu The Garden Hall.
For this concert, Production I.G, the animation company that produced the anime series Run with the Wind, will be involved in the video production. Based on scenes selected by composer Yuki Hayashi, the video has been re-edited for the concert and will be delivered with a live performance by the gorgeous musicians.
The day will surely be a special one, where you can enjoy the music of the special band orchestra alongside a number of masterly scenes. Don’t miss this chance to experience the world of the film before the Hakone Ekiden, the university relay race in January that the characters are striving for!
Original work: Run with the Wind by Shion Miura (Shincho Bunko)
TV Anime ‘Run with the Wind’ Orchestral Concert
When: December 29, 2021 from 18:00（Gates open at 17:30）
Where：Yebisu the Garden Hall
Kyodo Tokyo https://tickets.kyodotokyo.com/kazetsuyoconcert
E plus https://eplus.jp/kazetsuyoconcert
Ticket Pia https://w.pia.jp/t/kazetsuyoconcert
Lawson Ticket https://l-tike.com/kazetsuyoconcert
Rakuten Ticket http://r-t.jp/kazetsuyoconcert
Official Site: https://kazetsuyo-anime.com
Hololive Third Generation Members to Hold First Live Event at Tokyo Dome City Hall
The third-generation members of the globally popular VTuber group Hololive will hold their first-ever live event on November 25, 2021, at Tokyo Dome City Hall. Members Usada Pekora, Houshou Marine, Shiranui Flare, Shirogane Noel, and Uruha Rushia will take to the stage at the show, titled Fan Fun Island!
Tickets for those streaming the event online can now purchase tickets on either SPWN and Nico Nico Douga, and advanced tickets for those going to the venue are also on sale now. A number of exclusive goods will also be on sale, and those living outside of Japan will also be able to buy limited-edition merch on the English event site!
Hololive Fantasy 1st Live – Fan Fun Island
Date: November 25, 2021
Venue Opens at 17:00 / Stream Starts at 17:30 / Show Begins at 18:00
Location: Tokyo Dome City Hall
Official Site: https://fanfunisland.hololivepro.com/
Available: September 20, 2021 – December 25, 2021
Purchase from SPWN: https://virtual.spwn.jp/events/21112501-jpfantasy
Nico Nico Douga Pay-per-View Tickets:
Available: September 20, 2021 – December 25, 2021
*An archived video of the performance will be immediately available after the show. Those purchasing a ticket can watch as many times as they wish until December 25, 2021 at 23:59.
Hip Hop Unit DOBERMAN INFINITY Announce Nationwide Tour Concert to be Broadcast Through WOWOW
23.September.2021 | MUSIC
DOBERMAN INFINITY is a four-MC, one-vocalist group that formed in 2014. The group is always moving towards their best goal, holding their first solo performance at Japan Budokan in 2018 and celebrating their fifth anniversary with the ‘DOBERMAN INFINITY LIVE TOUR 2019 5IVE ~We Will Meet in the Promised Place~’ arena tour in 2019.
The group ventured on a national tour recently, marking their first tour in over a year and a half. WOWOW have announced that the Tokyo Garden Theatre performance, which was held on September 13, will be broadcast through their service on November 23 2021. DOBERMAN INFINITY member P-CHO spoke, saying “I want to tell everybody who listens to DOBERMAN’s music that, as the tour name states, you are ‘HERE.'”
Even though the audience was unable to shout and cheer, the venue was packed with more exciting productions than ever before. Don’t miss out on this passionate live concert, where you can see the bonds between the members, the band, and the music!
DOBERMAN INFINITY LIVE TOUR 2021 “HERE”
Broadcasting / Streaming: November 23 2021
※WOWOW On-demand viewing will be available in the archive for one month following the broadcast.
※The show cannot be viewed with the WOWOW On-demand free trial.
Official Site: https://www.wowow.co.jp/doberman/
Your Voice will Reach the Members in the Fifth UVERworld x nana Online Collaboration Event
16.September.2021 | MUSIC
UVERworld has collaborated with karaoke social media app ‘nana’ for the fifth ‘Screaming for THE LIVE’ project. You can participate in the event until September 20, 2021.
The UVERworld and nana collaboration has been held four times since December 2020, proving popular with Crew (UVERworld fans) each time. Even fans who attend the live concerts can’t convey their feelings using their voices or meet the members when they want to. In order for Crew’s voices to reach the members, nana has agreed to work together with UVERworld to create this collaboration project.
This time, the available songs are ‘Rai Chou E’ and ‘SOUL,’ which were released on September 1, 2021. You can participate by singing and cheering along to the official instrumental through the nana app and sharing the recording using the hashtag. The shared voice recordings will be used at future live events.
Don’t miss out on this unique experience where the artist and fans are able to connect with their voices!
BABYMETAL to Release Live Vinyl Series on Streaming Platforms
27.August.2021 | MUSIC
To celebrate the groups 10th anniversary, BABYMETAL is releasing the 10 BABYMETAL LEGENDS LIVE VINYL SERIES on streaming services, with some of the 9 general release titles being made available for the first time.
METAL RESISTANCE Chapters 1 to 2 will be available on August 25, Chapters 3 to 7 on September 8, and Chapters 8 to 9 on September 22. These dates will coincide with the release of the vinyl series.
Although some tracks will not be available due to rights reasons, many of the most famous live BABYMETAL performances from the past decade will now be easily accessible. This includes their Tokyo Dome performance, the largest in the history of the group, as well as BABYMETAL’s solo concerts in the UK and North America.
Spotify’s official BABYMETAL account is now featuring an original Canvas that will play while listening to the new tracks.
BABYMETAL announced that they will ‘seal their LEGEND’ on October 10, and won’t be visible for a while. While it’s unclear what this might mean for the future of the group, this is the perfect time to reminisce on how much they have accomplished over the past decade.
10 BABYMETAL LEGENDS LIVE VINYL SERIES
Release Date: August 25, 2021
Fukuoka-based Rock Band yonawo Wears Zoff Glasses at Album Release Event
New Generation rock band yonawo is celebrating the release of their new album with a live online event, yonawo 2nd full album ‘Haruka Ima’ Online Live Supported by Zoff. The event will take place on August 14, 2021, and will start at 20:00, so don’t be late!
The band garnered plenty of attention this April after appearing as models for the Zoff CLASSIC Summer Collection. yonawo is scheduled to appear at a number of music festivals this summer, and their unique style is turning heads in the fashion industry.
The upcoming live stream will be free to watch, so fans from around the world should be sure to tune in!
This event is being held as a part of the new Zoff Rock project, blending music and fashion with Zoff’s stylish eyewear designs. Viewers will have a chance to win a pair of glasses worn by the yonawo members by taking a screenshot of the event and posting it on Twitter with the hashtag #yonawozoff! Be sure to follow the official Zoff Twitter Account (@Zoff_INFO) and say which glasses you’d like in your entry! The glasses will also come in a case signed by the members.
With the release of their new album, yonawo will also be holding their biggest one-man live tour to date, playing shows in seven locations across Japan. Tickets for the show are on sale now!
Keep your eyes on this up-and-coming group!
yonawo 2nd full album ‘Haruka Ima’ Online Live Supported by Zoff
When: August 14, 20:00
Where to Watch: yonawo’s Official YouTube Channel
August 14, 2021 (after the stream) until August 15, 2021, 23:59
How to Enter:
- Follow Zoff’s Official Twitter Account (@Zoff_INFO)
- Take a screenshot during the livestream
- Choose which member’s glasses you’d like to wear with the hashtag #yonawozoff
- Post a tweet with the above contents, and you’ll be entered
Campaign Details: https://www.zoff.com/news/210811_yonawo
*If you do not indicate which member’s glasses you’d like, your submission will be invalid.
*Winners will receive a lens exchange coupon redeemable at any Zoff store nationwide.
*Prizes will be shipped in an autographed glasses case.
Zoff ROCK: https://zoffrock.com/
Opening August 17, 2021
Free Online Japanese Music Festival NEXT VISION JAPAN 2021 Heads Online With XR Technology
24.February.2021 | MUSIC
A collection of Japanese companies, such as IMAGICA GROUP, IMAGICA EEX, PICS, Robot Communications, IMAGICA Lab., Photron, IMAGICA IRIS, Cosmo Space, and more are coming together to host NEXT VISION JAPAN 2021 XR LIVE (NVJ2021 XR LIVE), an no-audience concert that will take place at the Geo-Cosmos stage at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Odaiba, on Tokyo. It will be streamed live on YouTube for free on March 16, 2021 from 20:00 (JST).
NVJ2021 XR LIVE will incorporate the latest in XR technology to create an entirely new online live music and future entertainment experience.
The event has an incredible line-up of artists set to perform including singer-songwriter Sayuri, Cö shu Nie who is known for their themes for the Tokyo Ghoul anime series, ixR from AKB48, ballet dancer Mizuka Ueno, the New Japan Philharmonic orchestra, and more.
According to a survey carried out on July 30, 2020 by CyberZ, OEN, and Digital InFact, it is predicted that the amount of money that will be earned from online live concerts in Japan will grow to 100 billion yen by 2024. It is fitting then that events such as NVJ2021 XR LIVE are working to create more immersive and innovative shows.
National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation | Comment
“Geo-Cosmos is an exhibit that was made to connect lots of people allowing them to see the everchanging Earth from space. It uses several different pieces of scientific data to project the real appearance of the earth and shows the possibilities of 3D visual representation created by scientists and creators. This concert will serve as a new challenge for Geo-Cosmos. We hope you look forward to seeing Geo-Cosmos ‘transform’ on the live stage in this fusion of the real and the virtual.”
NEXT VISION JAPAN 2021 XR LIVE
Date: March 16, 2021 @ 20:00 (JST)
Style: No-Audience Live Stream
Platform: YouTube and elsewhere
Official Website: https://eex.co.jp/bunka/
Rina Sawayama Drops New Track ‘Bad Friend’ Along With Karaoke Video
17.April.2020 | MUSIC
Rina Sawayama dropped a new single yesterday entitled Bad Friend which is taken from her new debut album SAWAYAMA which released today.
In Bad Friend, we hear Rina pour out her emotions via velvety vocals and a smooth beat as she sings about a past friendship. The song is already been played over and over in Japan on SONAR TRAX on J-WAVE and New Fire!! on InterFM897.
Rina has not been shy in sharing on social media how Bad Friend is a super special one to her. She explains the track was inspired by a best friend she used to have, but she unfortunately ran from that relationship in her early 20’s. She said that anyone can end up being a bad friend, but pondered why.
Rina Sawayama – Bad Friend (Karaoke Video)
Rina has also announced a new set of UK and US tour dates, see below and mark your calendars.
Released: April 17, 2020
2020/9/20 – Glasgow, Scotland @ King Tuts
2020/9/22 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
2020/9/23 – Birmingham @ O2 Institute3
2020/9/24 – London, UK @ Electric Brixton
2020/10/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theater
2020/10/30 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
2020/11/1 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
2020/11/2 – Seattle, WA @ Newumos
2020/11/7 – Minneapolis, MN @ TBC
2020/11/8 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
2020/11/10 – Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
2020/11/12 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage
TBC – Philadelphia, PA @ TBC
2020/11/15 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
2020/11/16 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Official Website: https://www.rina.online/
Rina Sawayama’s ‘Chosen Family’ is a Love Letter to the LGBTQ+ Community
04.April.2020 | MUSIC
Rina Sawayama has graced us with yet another track from her forthcoming debut album Sawayama which is set to hit shelves on April 17, 2020.
Chosen Family is the name of the new song from the singer-songwriter and it dropped on April 3. The penultimate track of her album and the last one she wrote for it, the song comes after Rina asked fans to interpret the meaning behind the song before its official release. She posted the chords and lyrics for it and asked fans to get creative while self-isolating. Rina followed up the track’s release with a video on her YouTube channel showing fans how to play it.
Chosen Family is produced by PC Music’s Danny L Harle who has worked with artists such as Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX. It also has Jonny Latimer on board, who has co-written tracks with Ellie Goulding and done studio work with Sam Smith.
The song is an ode to the LGBTQ+ community who Rina considers her chosen family. Speaking about her inspiration for the track, Rina says: “Chosen Family’ is a very special song for me. The concept of a chosen family is, to me, a queer one – people are often kicked out of their homes or ostracized by their family, friends, and community after coming out. This can be an incredibly painful experience that can be remedied by finding a new ‘chosen’ family.”
She continues: “The chorus lyrics ‘We don’t need to be related to relate, we don’t need to share genes or a surname’ is an invitation for anyone that feels that sense of otherness to find their chosen family, where they can truly be themselves and feel loved. I dedicate this song to my queer friends who I now consider family – it’s essentially a big thank you to them, as I love them so much and I genuinely don’t think I would be alive right now if it weren’t for them.”
Rina’s popularity continues to grow worldwide, including in Japan. She performed on the MBS television show Jonetsu Tairiku last year. She was also chosen as one of Vogue Japan’s “Women of the Year” for 2019. Her song XS was also included in Spotify Japan’s “Early Noise 2020” list. Her debut album is now available for pre-order.
Speaking about Sawayama, Rina says: “The album ultimately is about family and identity,” she explains. “It’s about understanding yourself in the context of two opposing cultures (for me British and Japanese), what ‘belonging’ means when home is an evolving concept, figuring out where you sit comfortably within and awkwardly outside of stereotypes, and ultimately trying to be ok with just being you, warts and all.”
Rina Sawayama as born in Japan. She and her parents moved to the UK when she was 5-years-old. She discovered her love for music and studying in her teens, and went on to study at the University of Cambridge. She began to notice the differences in culture between people of different races, and what exclusion was. Rina carved her own identity from these experiences, tying her Japanese and Western roots together, and evolved into an artist that defines her unique pop style.
Sawayama will be released on April 17, 2020 via Dirty Hit.