Suga Shikao and Yui

Suga Shikao

Suga Shikao (スガシカオ) is a Tokyo based singer/songwriter and radio host whose Funk and Soul infused brand of Jpop has been topping the Japanese charts since 1997. I first got to know this great musician when I went about looking for the artist who sang the song for the opening sequence of xxxHolic, 19才. One thing lead to another and he is right now one of my favourite Japanese musician. He is also, in my humble opinion, the coolest man in Japan. Not that I’m gay for him or anything like that, I simply love his music and aspire to write songs like him.

Yui

YUI is currently one of the rising stars of the Japanese music industry whose humble beginnings started at the age 16 when she would play her guitar and sang at the entrance of Fukuoka’s Tenjin train station. Her musical style is quite varied for a Japanese musician and can range from upbeat folk to all-out rock. Fell in love with her song, Rolling Star when it featured on one the anime Bleach’s opening sequence and have never looked back. I have great respect for her as a musician because she has relied totally on her music to bring herself to where she is now and never walked down the path of kawaii-pop or sex appeal as is typically the case for most Japanese female stars. In fact, she is very shy, refusing to even smile for most of her photo-shoots because she was afraid it would make her look wierd or chubby. Also, she’s really into guitars which is always a plus in my book ^_^

So sometime early this year, Suga Shikao had a special live performance and invited Yui to join him on stage to perform one of his most famous work, Yozora no Mukou. This song was actually written for the Japanese super boy-band SMAP but he wrote it so it’s still his song. Their voices actually complement each other very well and this has become one of my favourite live performances by a Japanese artist. Here’s the video and enjoy.

Also here are the songs that got me started on their music. First up is Suga Shikao’s 19才(Jyuu-kyuu sai)(This video is a little wierd and somewhat NSFW)

Next is YUI’s Rolling Star.

GO!GO!7188

GO!GO!7188

Traditional Japanes Enka? J-Rock? Surf Rock? Punk? Ska? All of the above actually. I was pretty surprised when I came to know about this band. They managed to blend all this really distinct styles of music into their own and it sounds fantastic. With Turkey’s speedy punk drums, Yuu’s incredible voice and Akko’s mad bass skillz they have managed to be one the best punk rock group I have ever heard. Anywhere.

Here’s what their official website has to say about them(coz i’m too lazy to type):

GO!GO!7188 formed in 1998 by YUU(singer/guitarist) and AKKO(singer/bassist), high school classmates in Kagoshima prefecture.

In 1999, they head to Tokyo where meet drummer TURKEY and the band makes its major debut from TOSHIBA EMI in 2000.
Ever since they have released 9 full length albums, 12 singles and 3 DVDs.

When they made their debut in the Japanese music scene, they were quoted to be one of the leading girl’s punk band which mixes rock’n roll music with Japanese pop.

They have raised their evalution as one of most important Japanese rock bands,making performances in live houses events to Nippon Budokan hall,with songs which is full of originality and high performance ability.

Now for the videos. First up, my personal favourite, Ukifune

Kinkyori Renai

Nounai Traveller

Kataomoi Fighter

I especially like how the characters in that last video were saying out the lyrics as in a conversation. Hilarious. Also, if while watching that last video you thought that it sounded familiar, like I did, it’s probably because Kataomoi Fighter is also the ED song for Itazura na Kiss. Cheers. ^^