It’s J-Pop Sunday once again! This week, things get silly and colourful as it’s the turn of first lady of Harajuku herself, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu! (きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ)
Act Name: Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (きゃろらいんちゃろんぷろっぷきゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ)
Real Name: Kiriko Takemura (竹村 桐子)
Years Active: 2011 – Present
Genre: Pop/Electronic Pop
Notable Singles: “PONPONPON” (2011)
Official Title: “Kawaii Harajuku Ambassador” (Bestowed upon by the Mayor of Shibuya himself)
Right, where do we start with Miss Pamyu Pamyu? The beginning I suppose: She started life as an amateur fashion blogger while in high school. Her blogging focused mainly on the trends of the Harajuku district in Shibuya, Tokyo; an area famous for “Gothic Lolita” and “Kawaii” (cute) fashion styles. Her blog gained a large following which eventually lead to business and marketing opportunities with the fashion industry, which in turn spread her name to the point where the opportunity for a pop career was presented to her by renowned producer/composer Yasutaka Nakata (中田 ヤスタカ).
Now, the thing about Kyary is – that even by Japanese and fashionista standards – she’s a bit…off. As evidence to support my accusation take a look at the video for her breakout single from July 2011, “PONPONPON”:
Still with me? Told you she was weird. She also likes making weird faces, but more on that later. PONPONPON’s combination of a catchy tune and bizarre video meant that the song managed to reach #9 in the Japan Hot 100 chart and also top the iTunes Electronic Songs Chart in Belgium and Finland. PONPONPON was included in Kyary’s debut mini album “Moshi-Moshi Harajuku” (もしもし原宿 Or “Hello Harajuku” in English). Moshi-Moshi Harajuku also included Kyary’s second single “Jelly” along with 4 other tracks that are equally as catchy as PONPONPON.
The tail end of 2011 saw Kyary get her sights on the world at large: Performing at a fashion show in California, followed in 2012 by one-off performances in Shanghai and Hong Kong, followed by a nationwide Japanese tour. Also in 2012 she released three more singles: “Tsukematsukeru” (つけまつける which translates literally to “Putting On My False Eyelashes”), “Candy Candy” and “Fashion Monster”.
Things get spooky in the video for Fashion Monster.
We’re only two months into 2013 yet Kyary has been a busy girl. A double A-side single was released this January – and her first official world tour kicked off in Europe this month. Having already visited Belgium, France and the UK Kyary’s “100%KPP WORLD TOUR 2013” also has dates planned in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the US between now and mid-April.
So what’ve he accomplished here today? Well to summarise we’ve met Kyary Pamyu Pamyu; a slightly oddball Japanese girl who loves fashion and makes weird pop videos. Now here are a couple more of her songs and after that, as promised, there are some pictures of her making silly faces. They’ll brighten your day.
“Furisodeshon” (ふりそでーしょん) – from the recent double A-Side – is an odd parody/celebration of Kyrary turning 20 and therefore “Coming of Age” in Japan.
I’ve no idea what “Candy Candy” is about, but it’s silly and that onion amuses me.