From long-sequestered J-pop acts making their Spotify debuts to neglected artists getting the reissue treatment, the past few years have seen ample opportunities for musicians looking to make a mark outside Japan.

Speaking after returning from his first solo tour of the U.S., Shintaro Sakamoto is happy to admit that he's feeling the benefits, too.

"I think the fact that a lot of people are listening to my music overseas, in countries I've never been to, is thanks to things like Spotify and YouTube," the 52-year-old says.