In 1969, pop artist Andy Warhol founded Interview magazine. The New York-based publication was initially distributed among the city's "in crowd," later finding a wider audience in those seeking more than the usual mainstream fare.

Interview has been called the "crystal ball of pop" and has profiled movers and shakers in the worlds of culture and entertainment, and in June 2005 it traveled to Japan. The issue was dubbed "Interview Goes To Tokyo" and the front and back covers featured two cultural forces of the time: pop star Hikaru Utada and fashion designer Nigo of A Bathing Ape. The music portion highlighted electronic producer Cornelius, singer-songwriter Chara, R&B vocalist Toshinobu Kubota and party rappers Rip Slyme among others, but its centerpiece was the Utada interview. She was promoting her album "Exodus," which had been released the previous fall.

Coming across this issue of Interview recently, I think it did a great job of showcasing acts who represented different elements of Japan's music scene. A number of genres were represented, and in a way that presented them as viable contemporaries to their Western counterparts, as opposed to the "weird Japan" oddities that signal clickbait gold for overseas media nowadays.