Just let Johnny's Jr. be Johnny's Jr.

| Mar 22, 2018

Just let Johnny's Jr. be Johnny's Jr.

by Patrick ST. Michel

Around 60 people gathered at YouTube Space Tokyo on Tuesday to welcome Johnny & Associates to the 21st century. It was a day before the launch of the talent agency's first official YouTube channel, devoted to its Johnny's Jr. acts. It's a huge development ...

Pyeongchang's pop takes home gold

| Feb 15, 2018

Pyeongchang's pop takes home gold

by Patrick ST. Michel

Politics hovered over the opening ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The pageantry came against a backdrop of geopolitical intrigue, featuring the presence of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Yo Jong, who was on hand to watch a unified Korean ...

Namie Amuro saves 'Kohaku' ... for now

| Dec 28, 2017

Namie Amuro saves 'Kohaku' ... for now

by Patrick ST. Michel

The weekly Shukan Bunshun released a survey in early November highlighting the acts its readers wanted to see perform on NHK's yearend "Kohaku Uta Gassen" music program. They chose Namie Amuro as the artist they wanted to see the most, likely because she announced ...

Former SMAP stars find freedom online

| Nov 9, 2017

Former SMAP stars find freedom online

by Patrick ST. Michel

When a wrecking ball fell on and destroyed a car, I was hooked on a 72-hour live stream starring three former members of pop group SMAP. Airing last weekend on the online streaming site AbemaTV, this program found Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Shingo Katori ...

AmPm's Spotify strategy bears fruit

| Oct 5, 2017

AmPm's Spotify strategy bears fruit

by Patrick ST. Michel

Japan's biggest breakout musical act of 2017 wear polar bear masks. The duo AmPm debuted this past spring, cloaked in fuzzy headgear and withholding all biographical information. In just over six months, the pair have had their easy-breezy electronic music released via Dutch label ...