One of my favorite Jpop groups is a pop rock/hip-hop vocal group called GReeeeN. I first heard of them from the Jdrama “Rookies” where they sang the soundtrack entitled Kiseki (translates to Miracle in English). If you look up the English translation of the lyrics, you will find that the song is perfect for a wedding vow. I love this song so much!
GreeeeN – Kiseki
Two things you’ll immediately notice are:
- Their music video (always) has a story. In fact, it feels like a short film that fits within a song.
- You won’t see the group in any of their music videos.
A fun and interesting fact is that the group has never ever shown their face in public since their debut. They are only known by their “stage names” – Hide, Navi, Kuni (written as “92”), and Soh. At first, this was to protect their personal lives while they were still studying dentistry at a university. However, even after graduating, they have kept their identities secret because they are practicing dentists. Talk about pursuing your passion together with your profession!
I like all of their songs, but here are the ones on top of my list:
GReeeeN – Itoshi kimi e
GReeeeN – Ai uta
GReeeeN – Haruka
GReeeeN – Hana uta
GReeeeN – Rookies (this doesn’t have a music video – but I really love this song!)
You can see that their logo is an image of a sparkling white teeth, true to their being dentists! The four Es represent each of the group members. You can check out more of their songs here. They have also released a compilation of all their singles – perfect for a road trip!
Back in high school (e.g., almost 20 years ago), it was very difficult to get access to Japanese music in the Philippines. I learned how to download music through mIRC and waited an entire night to download just 1 to 2 songs. But I was patient. In a year, I got to know JPOP artists I admire and listen to until today. Some of my favorite artists from then are Chemistry, Mr. Children, Utada Hikaru (of course), Southern All Stars, Dragon Ash, L’arc~en~Ciel, and others.
As time went by, content was more easily accessible through the internet – there was P2P sharing like Limewire, and then Torrents. To be honest, these aren’t what you would consider legal means of getting music, but you didn’t really have much of a choice if you lived outside of Japan. I even used to scour anime conventions for used JPOP CDs. Things are different now with online music stores like iTunes and Google Music, and the game-changing music software called Spotify! I can now legally stream Japanese music on my phone and take it with me anywhere.
Spotify playlist – click on the photo to open!
Right now, there isn’t really that many JPOP playlists on Spotify yet, so I decided to create one. It’s got over 5,000 songs in it, from artists old and new. Unfortunately, not all of the artists I like are available, but I am still praying that eventually they’ll also make their music available for international fans through this medium.
If you are a fan of JPOP, or if you want to try listening to Japanese music – please try listening to my playlist – JPOPが好き (I like JPOP)! Put it on shuffle so that there’s a surprise factor in terms of which artist, what genre will play next. I will keep adding songs to this playlist as they come. If you have any artists I didn’t get to include, let me know as well! Happy listening!