International Music Profile: Japanese Music


(Staff Photo)

Janey Pham, Staff Writer

Music has many meanings. It’s rather an opinion of what music is rather than a fact. Many FCHS students express their passion for music through vocals, instruments, and even composition. But where does it all start? Many of us don’t realize how lucky we are to have such expressive artists to share stories that may even have to do with us. That’s just another way for the audience, like ourselves, to be able to connect and fully understand what the message behind everything really is.  Many of us focus on the mainstream music that comes out nowadays to the point we’re so used to it. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not a good thing either. It isolates us from other artists which eventually puts them on the spot of being a less popular genre to others.

One of the less well-known genres here at FCHS was recommended by my interviewee, Vy Phan (10). Vy is an AP art student here at FCHS and was glad enough to do an interview to express her excitement about Japanese music. I began by asking her which artist she would recommend to those who are new to this genre. Her response was, “I would recommend Yuuto, ROOT 5, and Sukima Switch.”

“If you had to introduce three songs from each of these artists to someone who was completely new to this genre, what would you recommend?” I asked.  She then took the time to think as she answered slowly, “From Yuuto, since he just had his debut with his first album Utopia, I would personally choose all of the songs that were included in there, but since I have to choose three, I would pick ‘12 no Tsuki,’ ‘Kokoro Kizu,’ and ‘Sore ga anata no Shiawase Toshitemo.’ As for ROOT 5, they’re a male band who has been around for a while. Most of their songs are usually J-pop (Japanese pop) and when you listen to their songs, you can tell their songs have a lot of enthusiasm to them. The songs I highly recommend are ‘Merry Go Round,’ ‘Junai Delusion,’ and ‘Mikazuki Hime.’ Out of all of these three artists, my favorite is Sukima Switch. They too are a band and also have the best albums (also called The Best). They usually sing a variety of genres like pop and ballad. I love the songs Order Made, Shizuku, and Mahou Kagami.”

Besides the artists themselves, I wanted to know more about her experiences she had listening to Japanese music. I asked her, “How long have you been listening to Japanese music?” Vy answered, “I’m not sure, two, three years I don’t really remember when it all started, but I do remember that my friend showed me one song and after that I got addicted.

I wondered just what it was about the music that she found so enjoyable, so I asked, “What do you like about their music?” She told me, “Their music is really soothing and cheerful at the same time and because my favorite genre is mostly ballad and pop, their music tends to become a lot catchier for me.”

Since the majority of people here at FCHS mostly listen to American music, I became curious as to what the difference is between Japanese music and American music (besides their language). She tried to explain to me as she said, “I honestly don’t know how to explain it but you can notice it immediately when you listen to it. It’s kind of upbeat I guess.”

The interview slowly came to an end with my final question: “Would you recommend others to listen to this genre of music?” Vy answered as her final words were, “Yes, though Japanese music is not really famous here in the U.S, you’ll definitely like it once you give it a try, and if you don’t understand what they’re saying be sure to check out their lyrics as you will not be disappointed.”