fly to high


Kouhaku 2008 Artist Lineup

Kohaku’s artist lineup for this year has been released.

Newcomers on the red team (female) are Aoyama Thelma, Akimoto Junko (enka singer who I think made it big this year with her single “Ai no Mama De”), Ikimonogakari, GIRL NEXT DOOR, Perfume, and Fujioka Fujimaki and Ohashi Nozomi (the two men and the little girl who sang the theme to Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea).

Newcomers to the white team (male) are Kimaguren, Kiyama Yusaku, Jero, Shuchishin with Pabo, Tohoshinki(DBSK), Mr. Children, and Mizutani Yutaka (enka singer who made a comeback).

Overall, expected additions for the year. I’m not familiar with enka singers, but the female singers who made it big this year all made it onto the show (Perfume! Yes!). I’m surprised and pleased that Ikimonogakari are finally on. For the male artists though, I’m surprised it took this long for Mr. Children to make it on.

Full lineup is

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Which J-pop Lady Can Make It In America?

With Hikki working on her second English album, the question really still stands: if one j-pop diva or female group would make it in the English music industry, who would it be? After all, basing on the American charts, popular songs by female artists are rather limited. Pretty much most are R&B/hip hop hits (Rihanna, Beyonce, Fergie, Danity Kane, Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis), a smattering of pop rock (Colbie Caillat, Natasha Bedingfield, Paramore) and occasionally, a big pop song that makes it (Miley Cyrus).

So if all our favorite j-pop girls give it a try, who has the best chances of breaking into the market?

Utada Hikaru

I love Hikki and I love “Exodus,” but let’s face it – “Exodus” was brilliantly experimental and alternative but nowhere near mainstream. If she does her next English album in her Cubic U style or in her Japanese music style, she’d have a chance, but her idea of American mainstream R&B is a little too alternative. Unless she completely changes her image and sound, she won’t make it in the urban music genre she’s aiming for. But she does have beauty, quirkiness, and her language – she just needs to tailor herself to be more mainstream. Chances: 60%.

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