The talents of Jonathan Britton were on display at Hyper Japan’s Christmas Market this year as the accomplished singer entertained audiences across the weekend.
A student at The BRIT School, Jonathan was scouted via the StarNow talent website by Darren Martyn. He has provided backing vocals on John Galea’s second EP as well as being a temporary member of music group RTC3. But it was his appearance on Japanese TV show Nodojiman THE WORLD that confirmed his enthusiasm for J-Pop as he walked away with the Special Trophy for his appearance. Keen to pursue a Japanese music career, his passionate vocal style marks him out as a performer to watch in the future. J-Pop Go caught up with Jonathan to ask him a few questions about his music and plans for the future.
How did your interest in J-Pop start?
About 3 years ago I started watching this anime called Mai Hime. I ended up falling in love with the music in the anime and decided to do some research on it to find out who made it. When I found the producer’s name I found out she had made 2 different bands FictionJunction and Kalafina, I started listening to their songs and after that I couldn’t stop listening to J-Pop and started to find more J-Pop artists.
You studied at the BRIT School. What lessons in particular did you learn from your time there?
When I was at the BRIT School I studied musical theatre. It’s because of that course that I became more open to listening to music from other countries.
You took part in the Nodojiman THE WORLD contest, what was that experience like?
It was amazing it was my first time going to Japan, so for me it was such a big deal. I kept on thinking to my self “It is my first time going to Japan and I am going to be on a music TV show I can’t believe this happening”. I look back at my trophy sitting in my room on the show and I still can’t believe it happened. Such a great experience.
There was a bit of a Nodojiman family reunion at Hyper Japan as you met up with fellow contestants Diana Garnet and Scarlett Young. What was that like?
Truly amazing. It’s great when you get to meet other contestants on the show. After watching the show before I flew out to Japan I had watched every episode and seeing them both on it really inspired me. It’s because of them I know it is possible to be to make your dreams true. And they have helped keep the show going which is a blessing to people like me.
SEKAI NO OWARI seem to be a favourite of yours, particularly their song ‘RPG’. What is it that you like about this band?
The reason why I like ‘RPG’ so much is because it’s the song I sang in Nodojiman THE WORLD. The song is about going on an adventure and going to Japan for me was my own adventure so it was perfect. SEKAI NO OWARI songs are quite different to other J-Pop bands the sound is what makes them stand out from the rest.
Are there any other artists or performers at Hyper Japan that have caught your eye?
I thought Andy Lee was an all around amazing artist the same goes for Kelsey Ellison and Sabrina Schultes. And then you had MK and MOE, these guys were all amazing. There where some other performers I enjoyed, I can’t remember their names though. It really is great to meet other artists who enjoy the Japanese culture.
Do you think events like Hyper Japan are important for developing singers and performers?
I do believe that yes. Main reason why is when you get to meet other performers there is so much you can learn from one another. And it makes you wanna do your best as well.
Are you surprised by the popularity of J-Pop in the west in recent years?
Yes and no, they used to be so many animes aired on TV back in the day, so in a way you could tell that it would become popular but just not on this level. I do believe that how TV was back in the day eventually will we start to see a lot more animes again. And hopefully we will get to see more J-Pop artists performing in the UK.
Where would you like to see your musical career 5 years from now?
In 5 years time I see my self living in Japan, signed to a Japanese label and already working on my 5th Japanese album.
J-Pop Go would like to extend its warmest thanks to Jonathan Britton and also to the HYPER JAPAN team.