Keeping up with the sheer number of J-Pop artists emerging from Japan’s ever-busy music scene can be tough, especially with so many high profile bands and artists appearing to be hogging the limelight. It’s not surprising then that some talents can sometimes slip under the radar.
The name Yun*chi is probably unfamiliar to many J-Pop fans, but the fact that she’s coming via ASOBISYSTEM, better known as the home of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, might make people sit up and take notice. In fact Yun*chi has a background that’s not that dissimilar to Kyary’s with a foot in the modelling scene. In fact she modelled as part of Julie Watai’s Hardware Girls project which is one of the outlets that first brought her greater attention.
But Yun*chi had already grown up with musical ambitions from an early age as she had been encouraged by her mother (who is herself a singer) and later began working with Kz(livetune) (such as this superb take on the Kare Kano theme song), who would be familiar to those that have an interest in the ever-expanding Vocaloid genre (last year’s Hatsune Miku-starring Weekender Girl is a good example) but who had also been behind the Tell Your World tune (again featuring Miku) which was used as part of a cm for the Google Chrome browser in Japan.
It’s always going to be difficult for Yun*chi, who is now essentially moving into a wider musical world behind her more famous stable mate. However, although there are always going to be some similarities between Kyary and Yun*chi, there is a much more grounded approach by Yun*chi to the hyper-anime style that Kyary has appropriated. Musically, she’s going for a much more conservative and traditional J-Pop finish, but with enough of an edge to make her stand out from the many other potential J-Pop stars struggling for attention. Yun*chi’s debut song Reverb adequately demonstrates this approach, even if the giant lip dancers look like they’ve walked directly out of Kyary’s last video! But rather than employing the talents of 6%DOKIDOKI mastermind Sebastian Masuda, ASOBISYSTEM have instead focussed on pairing Yun*chi up with the more traditionally stylish VANQUISH label.
Yun*chi’s debut release, a self-titled mini album, arrived last November and once again features production and collaboration duties with Kz(livetune).
ASOBISYSTEM are clearly confident that Yun*chi is headed for bigger things and are promoting her as a “sparkling voice” designed to captivate everyone. We look forward to seeing where she’s going next!
Text by Paul Browne
4th January 2013