Ahead of KYARY PAMYU PAMYU’s return to the UK this month, a chance to reflect on her dazzling 5 years in music…
Since her musical debut in 2011 Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has swiftly become not only one of the leading lights in the world of J-pop, but also achieved a global presence that many Japanese artists can only dream of.
But the 5th anniversary of her debut has also set the scene for an intriguing variety of projects, including a new compilation album and a new global tour, that also sees KPP landing on these shores for a performance on the 8th July.
The new KPP Best album pulls together the pop confectionery of early singles such as ‘PONPONPON’ and ‘Fashion Monster’ through to contemporary releases including ‘Mondai Girl’ and ‘Sai & Co’. If you’re lucky enough to snap up the Japanese limited edition release you also get a wonderful 4 disc KPP-faced package!
The compilation album provides a testament to Kyary’s evolution as an artist over the years, under the guiding hand of writer/producer Yasutaka Nakata. But it’s the combination of engaging pop and wonderfully bizarre visuals of ‘PONPONPON’ that have set the template for KPP’s career – and also won her fans around the world.
Now, the release of a new Kyary single has become something of an event among her fervent fanbase. It’s a a keen desire not only to enjoy the latest pop outing, but also a curiosity to see what visual styles are going to be employed in the complexity of the accompanying promo videos. The bold visuals of ‘PONPONPON’ have paved the way for the the futuristic sports spectacle of ‘Family Party’ and the evocative history tour of ‘Yumeno Hajima Ring Ring’.
The video for ‘Sai & Co’ keeps that tradition going with a video that’s packed with a super-dense level of visual treats. It’s also a testament to the carefully choreographed dance routines that have become a vital element in Kyary’s pop arsenal.
‘Sai & Co’ (which is a play on the Japanese word saikou, meaning ‘greatest’) also marks another commercial tie-in for KPP, this time for Coca Cola in Japan. Kyary has chalked up a variety of promotions and commercial partnerships over the past 5 years. But rather than being committed to any bland corporate output, the brief for many of these collaborations allows Nakata free reign to craft engaging pop tunes which slot in easily into the KPP oeuvre.
As a live artist, Kyary has also managed to stage some stunning concert performances that weave together a sense of theatre with an eye for eye-catching costumes and dynamic choreography. Her last global tour was a demonstration of her broad appeal, pulling in 35,000 audience members across 11 countries.
Although her live shows abroad often mean a scaling down of some of the more visually spectacular elements of her domestic shows, her UK performances have seen a gradual raising of the bar. In 2014 Kyary’s toybox stage presentation gave the show a particular charm (and scaled up her debut performance in the UK from the previous year). Meanwhile, her 2015 Roundhouse performance saw an association with Moshi Moshi Nippon to add on a daytime festival prior to the evening’s concert.
Her forthcoming live show at London’s Koko venue forms part of Kyary’s KPP 5iVE YEARS MONSTER WORLD TOUR 2016 which once again sees the J-pop star taking to a global stage. The tour includes countries such as Singapore, Australia, USA and Taiwan – all countries that have taken Kyary to their heart and demonstrated that the power of J-pop continues to expand as a global interest.
The broad appeal of Kyary seems in no danger of slowing down any time soon. Her particular brand of catchy pop is something that’s clearly designed to escape the boundaries of culture and language. Here’s to another 5 years of KPP goodness!
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performs at Koko, London on 8th July. Tickets via: http://www.seetickets.com/event/kyary-pamyu-pamyu/koko/963083
KPP 5iVE YEARS MONSTER WORLD TOUR 2016
KPP Best is available via:
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/album/zui-gao-ep/id1098010290?app=music&ls=1