Yeah, I collaborated a great picture here, although I feel like Ayumi ruined it slightly. I haven’t posted a J-Pop post in a while so I felt like posting this.
You’re also probably thinking, Why has NyNy called them United 4? Well, in my opinion, I seem them as the 21st century queens of J-Pop, most no, all are going above 10 years in their careers and are doing well, (Koda Kumi’s 10th anniversary next year, YES!).
Top left: Namie Amuro
Middle Bottom: Koda Kumi
Top Right: Ayumi Hamasaki
Bottom Right: Utada Hikaru
For anyone who is not familar with them, they are (in my opinion), the four most popular female J-Pop singer-songwriters. In my opinion, they circulate different genres of J-Pop and if people ever thought of making the four do a song together, I would love to see it. Something like, “FUSION”. ¬_¬ Or something like that.
Namie Amuro: October 25, 1995
Ayumi Hamasaki: April 8, 1998
Utada Hikaru: December 9, 1998
Koda Kumi: December 6th, 2000
So, for anyone who doesn’t know, let me tell you a little about the four and hopefully you will like their style and start listening to their music.
Name: Ayumi Hamasaki
Style of J-Pop♫: Pop, Dance, Rock
My Rank: 4 – In her early 30′s, Ayumi has sold over 50 million records in Japan, ranking her among the best-selling singers in the country. From her debut in 1999 to 2009, She has had at least one single each year top the charts. Ayumi’s style is still unusual and I’m not comfortable with it yet after 3 years of listening to J-Pop. Her songs nowadays are usually either a ballad or a cool rock song. I always prefer the rock songs, don’t know why but it suits her. But still, Ayumi has the face of an adorable child yet, her voice is totally different in her songs.
Recommendation Video: Mirrorcle World – This PV was filmed in Paris, France and I loved every bit of it. Starts off slow into another cool rock song! What more can you ask for?
Name: Namie Amuro
Style of J-Pop♫: Pop, Dance, Urban R&B
My Rank: 3 – At at the height of Namie’s popularity, was referred to as the “Teen Queen [of Japan]” and is referred to as the “Queen of Japanese pop music”. Namie has remained one of the longest surviving popular female acts in Japan. Another artist in her early 30′s with a son (Utada and Koda are in their late 20′s now). I loved the first song that I had ever heard from her, Hello, it’s the first one I heard but I’ve always seen Namie Amuro to be a woman with a baby face.
Recommendation Video: Do Me More – It’s like a deeper, unusual version of Alice in Wonderland yet, a really good song though.
Name: Koda Kumi
Style of J-Pop♫: R&B, Hip-hop, Urban, Pop, Dance
My Rank: 1 – Having debuted in 2000 with the single “Take Back”, Koda gained fame for her seventh single, “Real Emotion / 1000 no Kotoba”, Koda Kumi’s anniversary will be next year December 6, cannot wait! Of course Koda Kumi gets number 1, she is the first Japanese artist that I heard back in 2004/2005 when I waited for FFX-2 to come out and I heard her song. Didn’t know back then that I was singing in Japanese. I think her style is getting less erotic, (JUICY, Shake It, TABOO etc) – I recommend these songs too). But I have to say, those songs are the best to listen to especially Physical Thing and Ecstasy.
Recommendation Video: Ecstasy – Really shows that Koda Kumi works better with “sexy” then “cute” in her videos.
Name: Utada Hikaru
Style of J-Pop: Pop, Experimental, R&B
My Rank: 2 – A Japanese-American singer-songwriter born in New York, After her album, First Love’s release, which went on to become the best-selling album in Oricon’s recent history. I don’t know why but there is something about Utada’s style that I like even if she is just second place. She switches from Experimental to Pop/R&B maybe that’s why I like her. Her recent English album was a surprise, yet relief and very good hype for myself.
Recommendation Video: Addicted to You – I love this song, it’s a R&B classic! Not much to say but it’s quite catchy!
So, who’s your favourite upon the four?