The Mix
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The Mix
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Caris
cariscruz4 months ago

The Mix

Life imitates art. And pop culture.
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Brit and Japanese Pop Collide in Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s ‘Crazy Crazy’

When costume-wearing electropop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (pronounced as Carrie Pon Pon, sans Japanese phonetics) announced a collaboration with Brit pop sensation Charli XCX, fans have anticipated a fusion of music and cultures. Sure enough, their song delivered — “Crazy Crazy” is a bouncy, sugary electropop laced with twinkling beats courtesy of Japanese DJ Yasutaka Nakata. There are no Japanese lyrics this time; the song is completely in English, with both girls singing, in a cheerleader-like manner:

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“Up down and running round / I’m going crazy with you

Feet lifting off the ground / I’m going crazy with you”

Their music video, set in an attic, stars a twin-tailed blonde Japanese schoolgirl dancing to the beat of a pianist, and oddly, a two-piece-wearing electro-drummer. And if that’s not weird enough, wait until you see their face-swapping spree, as well as the colorful texts and warped digital conundrums coming out of their faces. That’s what a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu track is all about: playful, eccentric, and unexpectedly crazy.

Brit and Japanese Pop Collide in Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s ‘Crazy Crazy’

Perhaps it is safe to say that this is Kyary’s first foray into pure English songs. The singer, who debuted as a fashion blogger and kawaii model, was discovered in 2009 by the same guy who produced Japan's favorite electropop group, Perfume: Yasutaka Nakata. He debuts Kyary as a singer as well as a quirky fashion icon, producing saccharine, psychedelic music paired with over-the-top outfits. In her live performances, Kyary would be wearing colorful wigs, gigantic ribbons, googly eyes, fluffy gowns and glittery shoes evident of her strong Harajuku roots.

It was her creative image that the music world took interest in. To date, Kyary is one of the most internationally visible Japanese acts, thanks to her weird costumes and adorably cute persona. It is ironic that she loves grotesque things; pairing her pastel-colored clothing with big eyeballs, brains and monsters to which she says she does to "balance out the cuteness." Most often, she is alluded to as the Japanese version of Lady Gaga (who, by the way, is one of her favorite artists, along with similarly fashionable music icons Gwen Stefani and Katy Perry).

Brit and Japanese Pop Collide in Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s ‘Crazy Crazy’

Despite being a niche act, Kyary has developed a fanbase out of Japanese pop lovers and eccentric fashion worshippers. This gave her an opportunity to tour around the world including America, breaking language barriers and style choices with her quirky, eccentric style and lyrics. Her bubblegum dance music may be overtaken by her imaginative aesthetics, but one cannot take away the complexity of making her EDM tracks as lively and as colorful as her brand.

Kyary’s newest collaboration with Charli XCX removed her Wonderland-inspired costumey side and gave a chance for the song to shine on this own. Who knows? Maybe this is her first step in creating a solid image for her music other than her fashion choices.

7 Reasons to Worship the Japanese Trio Perfume

7 Reasons to Worship the Japanese Trio Perfume
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Ayaka Nishiwaki, Yuka Kashino and Ayano Ōmoto perform together as Perfume, Japan's high-fashion girl group that debuted in 2002. The trio, known for their distinct sense of style and captivating edgy technopop beats, have conquered Japan over the past 15 years and are now slowly inching towards global recognition. Currently, Perfume is signed to Universal Music Group and has been touring around the world for three years.

Fashion magazines like Vogue and Nylon consider them eye and ear candy, thanks to their unique fashion choices and charming electropop beats. If you can’t break the language barrier (their songs are mostly in Japanese), they may still lure you in with their amazing style. See below.

#1: Their hairstyles. If you’re wondering how to identify each singer, just look at their hairdos. Yuka Kashino has long, perfectly straight hair; Ayano Ōmoto sticks to a short, glamorous bob and Ayaka Nishiwaki keeps her hair shoulder-length and sometimes puts it up in a cute ponytail.

7 Reasons to Worship the Japanese Trio Perfume

#2: They dance on their heels. Literally. And we’re not talking about high-energy, hip-hop moves. Perfume’s choreography is all about synchronicity, fluidity and grace, like clockwork. The three dance in harmony, thanks to choreographer Mikiko Mizuno, who mixes elements of fun and elegance with exaggerated hand gestures, a bit of ballet and unexpected jumps — while wearing pumps.

#3: They wear lights. They’re not about cute, princess-y dresses like the ones you’ll see in Harajuku. Perfume is all about the edgy and uncommon. And that includes wearing stylish costumes with LED lights that dances when they do. How cool is that?

7 Reasons to Worship the Japanese Trio Perfume

#4: They’re unafraid to showcase their individual tastes. Girl groups often go out in uniforms, but with Perfume, their stylists help them display their personal preferences. Long-haired Yuka Kashino often chooses modish clothes. Ayaka Nishiwaki is more girly, and short-haired Ayano Ōmoto loves boyish apparel.

#5: They have gorgeous, laser-lit sets. Perhaps the backbone of Perfume’s stages is Rhizomatics, a creative team that includes lighting engineers, musicians, artists and sound engineers who put together a dazzling and usually futuristic-inspired sets to wow the audience. Watching a Perfume concert is like immersing yourself in an audio-visual wonderland that changes with each song.

7 Reasons to Worship the Japanese Trio Perfume

#6: Their music is for people who like stylish sound. Perfume puts the style in bubblegum electropop. For starters, listen to the party dance song “Hurly Burly,” the 80s-inspired “Fushizen na Girl,” their first international track “Spring of Life,” their full English song, “Spending All My Time,” and the sweet “Chocolate Disco.” For the rest, listen to their Spotify tracks

#7: They just launched their own Perfume. What would a group named Perfume be without their own perfume? As an anniversary celebration to their indie debut single “OMAJINAI☆Perori,” fans can now smell like Perfume in a limited-edition gift, which is only available with their exclusive carrier, Asmart.

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cariscruz
Caris is a writer, illustrator and photographer. Follow on Twitter and on Instagram (@hellocaris) or visit her blog, hellocaris.com
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written by
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cariscruz
Caris is a writer, illustrator and photographer. Follow on Twitter and on Instagram (@hellocaris) or visit her blog, hellocaris.com