Singer/Songwriter LiSA is the focus of this week’s J-Pop Sunday. I’ll be honest; I had originally planned to fill this edition with nothing but photos of her, each coupled with the caption “Gosh she’s pretty…” However, I didn’t believe that my editor – who is also very pretty – would approve [Editor’s note: Flattery will get you nowhere, Kaito!], thus at the last minute I had to start again and make sure that I write something that mentions her music.
Act Name: LiSA
Real Name: Risa Oribe (織部里沙)
Years Active: 2010 – Present
Genre: Pop Rock
Notable Tracks: Oath Sign (2011), Rock-Mode (2012), Jet Rocket (2012), Crossing Field (2012)
So, the music, we need to focus on the music, not mindless, uninteresting comments about how pretty she is, or how cool she is. A live performance of “Rock-Mode” from the 2012 album “Lover ‘S’ Mile” should be a nice way to kick things off.
LiSA’s solo debut is an interesting tale: It can be traced back to the 2010 anime series “Angel Beats”. In the series a fictional band called “Girls Dead Monster” exists and LiSA provided the voice for one of the vocalists in the fictional band, Yui – Although only when singing. As the series grew more popular CDs featuring the fictional band and LiSA’s character were released, one of which – an album called “Keep The Beats!” – even reached number 6 in Japan’s Oricon chart! With this success, LiSA took her opportunity at a solo career and in April 2011 LiSA released a mini-album: “Letters to U”.
The songs featured on “Letters to U” were composed by a mixture of major artists, independent composers and LiSA herself while LiSA wrote the lyrics for each song. “Letters to U” reached number 14 in the charts. The success of “Letters to U” lead to LiSA’s first solo single “Oath Sign” and her first international performance – at the Anime Festival Asia in Singapore – later that year. “Oath Sign” reached number 5 in the charts and was used as the opening these song to the 2011 anime series “Fate/Zero”.
LiSA released her first full album “Lover ‘S’ Mile” in February 2012, which peaked at number 7. “Lover ‘S’ Mile” contained 13 tracks – including “Oath Sign”, “Rock-Mode” and my personal favourite “Jet Rocket” – with most of the tracks on the album written by LiSA herself. In August LiSA released a second single “Crossing Field” which peaked at number 5, went gold and was used as the opening to yet another anime series “Sword Art Online”. (She just can’t escape the world of anime, can she?)
This month saw the release of LiSA’s third single. “Best Day, Best Way” which has yet again peaked at number 5. (I’m not making these numbers up, honest!) But it does seem as though she’s finally moving away from having to associate with popular anime franchises in order to sell her music. Personally, I’m predicting big things for LiSA. Why? Just a hunch to be honest. However, she has already struck a chord with certain portions of the market (even if it is just those who love to shop in Akihabara) and she has started to extend her audience towards a more mainstream market. And to be honest, I don’t see any reason for the mainstream market to not love her.
We’ll finish this week’s J-Pop Sunday with my favourite song from LiSA: “Jet Rocket”. It’s uplifting, catchy and you’ll want to sing along.
And LiSA, if by some miracle you’re reading this, all I’m saying is that I’m single and I make a fantastic bacon sandwich. So…Yeah…Just putting that out there.
Until next time!