This J-pop princess celebrated her 5th anniversary in 2013 with a now best-seller compilation album that sold over 800,000 physical copies in Japan. Popular for not only her voice, but her style and relatable lyrics as well, she has cemented her spot as the next prominent diva from Japan.
A rising force in the Jpop-rock world, LiSA has sang numerous theme songs for hit anime, such as, “Angel Beats!,” “Fate/Zero,” “Sword Art Online I & II,” “The Irregular at Magic High School,” etc. She sold out the Nippon Budokan three times, and also has performed overseas in Singapore, Taipei, LA, etc.
TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA
This unique nine-piece ska band regularly performs internationally, including gigs at major festivals such as; Glastonbury, Mexico's Vive Latino, Bonnaroo and Coachella. The band will celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2014 with a North and Central America tour and their first show in Indonesia.
Charan Po Rantan
Sisters Momo (vo) and Koharu (accordion) started as street performers in 2009 and made their major debut in 2014. They continue to gain acclaim for their eccentric performances, colorful costumes and “alternative gypsy chanson” music, including gigs in SXSW 2013, Canada, the UK and Taiwan.
As a J-pop rock icon, this half-British is also popular for her model-like looks and unique sense of style, landing her numerous endorsements and music video awards. She established her own record label, ELA, in 2013 and celebrates her 10th anniversary in 2014 with a two-day concert at the Yokohama Arena.
This band sounds part metal, punk and EDM, while infusing elements of role-playing games, not only in their songs and lyrics, but also their videos and live performances. Working together with illustrators, photographers and other young and up-coming creators, they’ve created an unique, new “Japanese alternative” genre.
As half of the famous R&B duo, CHEMISTRY, he made his solo debut in 2012, releasing his first album in Japan and Thailand, followed by performances in Bangkok and Jakarta. He is also active in acting and narrating, guest starring in an Indonesian karate film and a hit Japanese musical in 2014.
Unison Square Garden
This three-piece pop-rock band features bright vocals contrasted with an edgy band ensemble, brought to life by catchy tunes and their unparalleled stage energy. Also famous for singing the theme songs for hit anime “Tiger & Bunny,” the band continues to thrill rock and anime fans alike with their music.
This contemporary rock band consists of four young men who boast jaw-dropping musicality and energetic live performances. They've played in the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam, and their songs have been featured in the “NARUTO” anime series. They released their 6th album in 2014.
Said to be Asia’s new icon for nu-metal, this five-piece band creates English-lyric music that transcends genres and borders. In addition to completing two world tours, the band regularly features at major international events such as Download Festival, Hellfest, Soundwave Festival, Vans Warped Tour, etc.
Since their famous Tamio Okuda-produced 1996 debut single, "Ajia no Junshin," this pop duo released a string of smash hits and had a cartoon produced in their name that was aired worldwide. The band is still one of Japan’s most iconic duos, regularly rocking at festivals and overseas events.
This all-girl pop-rock duo debuted as a three-piece in 2005 with a cute but pure rock sound and made their stateside debut with gigs at SXSW 2010. With the departure of their drummer in 2011, the duo successfully experiment with ways to recreate their band sound, and collaborate with fellow rock acts.
Base Ball Bear
This pop-rock quartet has nothing to do with baseball or bears, but specializes in catchy rock tunes with melancholic, thoughtful lyrics, and has created new territories by collaborating with idols and hip-hop stars. The band are also known for the theme songs for the anime and movie version of “Library Wars.”
DJ Misoshiru & MC Gohan
With the motto, “Delicious food is humankind’s greatest miracle!” this self-produced rapper and foodie made her major debut in 2013. She writes songs, mixes tracks, and creates her own artwork and music videos about food and cooking, creating an one-of-a-kind collaboration between food and music.
Open Reel Ensemble / Braun Tube Jazz Band
Formed by performance media-artist, Ei Wada, Open Reel uses reel decks and computers as instruments, while his solo project, The Braun Tube Jazz Band, involves striking Braun tubes. Well-regarded overseas, ORE perform at European festivals and at Issey Miyake’s fashion shows.
This four-piece all girls band is known for their fantastical, alternative rock sounds. Their debut single in 2011 was picked up as a high-profile TV commercial song, catapulting them into instant fame and popularity. In 2013, all four members graduated from university, and in 2014, they released their second mini-album, “‘Z’OOM.”
UNICORN / Tamio Okuda
Unicorn debuted in 1987 and is one of Japan’s most iconic rock bands, fronted by the equally popular Tamio Okuda. After a nearly 19-year long hiatus, the band reformed in January 2009, with their songs often chosen for tie-ups, including the opening theme song for the anime “Space Brothers.”
Takeshi Hosomi / the HIATUS
As ex-ELLEGARDEN’s frontman, English-speaking Hosomi formed the HIATUS in 2009 and continue to redefine genres with his experimental take on rock music. Most recently, Hosomi and the HIATUS toured over 40 locations around Japan and capped it off with a solo concert in Taipei in September 2014.
An authentic action actress, she has a 2nd degree black belt and has won numerous action and acting awards in Japan and overseas festivals. She gained mass popularity with a 2014 Saison Card commercial, where she smashed a deck of roof tiles with her head, showcasing her strong abilities hidden underneath her soft, feminine exterior.
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