Zippy Lately (November 8 – November 14, 2010)

1. Utada The Best

If you know one person from J-Pop then odds are Hikaru Utada is likely to be the one you would know. She’s beyond famous into a new realm of “Woah!” However when Utada came stateside her album hardly made a splash even among hardcore J-Pop fans. There are many reasons for this. Part of the blame can be directed at the US’s mostly unreceptive ears, but equally at fault was Utada and her song selections. So imagine my surprise when I hear there’s to be an “Utada The Best” release. Unsurprisingly, as Utada’s own tweet telling fans not to buy the album indicates, this appears to be merely an attempt by the record company at getting more money by releasing her songs again. Therefore in support of Utada I acquired the album through alternate means and gave it a listen. While there are a few remixes thrown in, to add at least something new, on the whole it just reminded me why Utada’s songs didn’t carry over here. If you’re an Utada fan this is old news to you, but for those who have never listened to her music let me just suggest you’re better of buying her original US release, or even better put a few more dollars towards an import of hers.

2. Hyadain

I am a fairly internet savvy individual; however, I still find myself learning about cool music through friends and not through websites/social networks. Still I am glad to have friends like my co-host The Cay, who turned me on to Hyadain. Hyadain is an internet mix artist who adapted video game music and added his own spin to the delight of many listeners. Hyadain, who only recently revealed his true identity, earned much credibility through his mixes, and thanks to The Cay I’ve listened to everything from Hyadain’s “Rap de Chocobo!!”, to his Mario mix, and his retro anime medleys. While I strongly recommend you check out his work don’t just take my word on this. Japanator has also featured a couple posts on Hyadain.

Click here to visit Hyadain’s YouTube Channel.

3. Piko

In the early days of internet memes one could rightfully say “the internet giveth and the internet taketh away”, because fame came and went so quickly for viral stars. Nowadays though, for no apparent reason that I’m aware of, people like Justin Bieber are becoming celebrities thanks to the internet and keeping their celebritydom for longer largely because of the internet.  Piko is such a case, as he hit Japan’s YouTube equivalent, Nico Nico Douga, and took it by storm! Thanks to his unique ability to sing both female and male vocal ranges Piko developed a fandom which grew and grew until he himself had a record contract. Now Piko has released a couple singles including his latest single Story.  While Piko probably is the nearest equivalent to a Japanese Justin Bieber, as opposed to Bieber I actually like some of Piko’s work. Of course it’s too early to tell if Piko will truly stand the test of time, but something tells me Piko’s fandom is more than just the internet’s passing fancy at work.

Click here to watch Piko’s PV for Story

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