I have written a few blog posts about Asian music, including Boa, 2NE1, G-Dragon, and a couple on Korean guilty pleasures, Utada Hikaru, and one on Korean, Japanese and Indian music I like. Check out those as well.
She has a very unconventional voice, grating and nasal, but it works. She is a product of the J pop movement of the early nineties, however her music has proven to have staying power. Unlike other Japanese artists who perform ballad like songs, or very hyper power pop, Chara has been heavily influenced by soul and funk.
Her older stuff is very hyper, this song "reason" is no exception, but its great. I have also posted her song "heroine" in one of my other Asian music blog posts.
Ai is actually Japanese-Italian/ American (3/4s Japanese 1/4 Italian) and was born in California. What drew me to her music is her voice, its so powerful! Female Asian pop artists (not all) tend to have higher pitched singing voices, but Ai has a deep soulful voice.
Ok, maybe her music is a bit stereotypical. It's cheery power pop sung by a cute bronzed haired Japanese girl with huge fake eye lashes. However its just happy music and sometimes that's all you want.
Another Japanese singer with a diverse background. Aoyama is 1/4 Trinidadian and has spent time in California as well as Japan.
After creating this list I realize I am seriously lacking male vocalists...and bands. I'm not going to put any on any the list for the sake of "completeness" or "diversity," however I'll keep this in mind for the next Japanese music list whenever I have the urge to make one. The truth is, I don't listen to a lot of male Japanese musicians and all the new Japanese singers I find happen to be female, but I'll try harder to find some guys for next time!
New Outside Column!
3 hours ago