We’ve been keen to keep an eye open on the rising UK performers scene here at J-Pop Go over the years. A scene that’s brought us Beckii Cruel and Scarlett Young amongst others, emerging from the rapid sink or swim showcasing of YouTube.
Kelsey Ellison has grown up with a strong interest in Japanese pop culture, inspired by anime soundtracks and Japanese idol outfits. In 2012 she was part of Oishii!Ichigo, the performance outfit orchestrated by Beckii Cruel and whose finest moment was the pop sensibility of the single ‘Gametime’.
We interviewed Kelsey in 2012 as part of the then 3-piece combo where she explained: “I’ve always loved dancing, singing and performance since I could talk and walk!”. Graduating from the pop combo in 2013, post-Oishii, Kelsey has been steadily building up an audience via YouTube on her popular channel (under her former guise of Kelsey KimonoTime) which features not only makeup tips and dance videos, but also some hilarious sketches, such as the legendary ‘10 Steps To Become Real Life Anime!’.
The natural progression of all this is the forthcoming release of her new single ‘Pom Pom’. It marks a step up for this YouTube star as she applies her creative talents to original music productions fueled, apparently, by bourbons and bonkers ideas. But does the final song make the grade?
Musically, Kelsey is pulling from more of a Western pop perspective here, which isn’t surprising as she cites the likes of Gwen Stefani and Lily Allen as inspirations. Plus, she worked with Maya Von Doll (Soho Dolls) on the song – a talent that also penned material for the likes of Nicola Roberts, which could explain why there’s a touch of Girls Aloud on this particular number.
“Welcome to my life – its like Disney gone wrong” sings Kelsey on the catchy slice of electropop that is ‘Pom Pom’. The video pulls in a lot of Kyary-esque visual ideas in a quick cut of edits that jump between TV stations on Channel Kelsey. Sharp-eyed viewers will also spot some cameo appearances from the likes of Beckii Cruel and Abi Mills.
Anyone who has been watching Miss Ellison’s musical progress so far is probably going to be surprised by ‘Pom Pom’ and the decision to step away from a broader J-Pop influence. But that’s a benefit as it demonstrates she’s capable of a much broader musical palette.
As a debut it’s bright, bold and, more importantly perhaps, lots of fun.
‘Pom Pom’ is released 28th April 2014 on the UKG label via most digital outlets.