20 Japanese Electro-pop Groups and Artists
Today I’d like to introduce you to 20 new and old Japanese electro-pop groups and artists. Some of these are very well-known, while hopefully at least a few others are new to you. So let’s dive right into it!
I don’t think it’s very surprising to see Perfume on the top of this list. They’re are by far the most well-known and most appreciated group in the genre. Like many other popular electro-pop acts, they’re produced by Nakata Yasutaka, a pure electronic genius.
MEG is a singer, fashion designer and model who debuted in 2001. Earlier this year she announced that she’d go on an hiatus music-wise in order to do fashion related work in Paris. But MEG’s got a rather long discography so there’s plenty to listen to until she makes her comeback, if she ever does. Since 2006, MEG’s music has almost exclusively been produced by Nakata Yasutaka.
immi started her career off as a J-pop singer and pianist and was for two years signed to Universal Music Japan and released a number of singles and one album under her real name, Nakazawa Mayu. In 2007 she released her first single “COSMIC PINK” under the name “immi” which managed to sell 50,000 copies. In 2009 she was signed by DefSTAR Records (Sony Music Japan). Oh and btw, immi looks really great in blonde hair!
capsule is an electronic duo consisting of Nakata Yasutaka and singer Koshijima Toshiko. They had their major debut in 2001 with their single “Sakura” and has since then experimented with many different styles, but more recently known for their electro-pop. They are very well-known and I recommend checking all their music out, but especially their releases since 2007.
marino first debuted in 2006, with her mini-album lollipop that was later in 2009 re-released as lollipop+. She’s produced by Nakata Yasutaka and Hayashibe Tomonori and she loves super cute girly stuff. Oh and the cat you see everywhere is actually her own and his name is MIKO-MONTA. Her song “flavor” is one of my favorite songs from this whole genre. Follow her on Twitter here.
Perhaps more electro-rock than electro-pop, either way, NIRGILIS is a band signed under DefSTAR Records and I’ve been listening to them since 2007 when they released their single “Update”.
COLTEMONIKHA is an electro-pop duo consisting of fashion designer Sakai Kate and producer Nakata Yasutaka. The name originates from Sakai Kate’s fashion brand “Made in COLKINIKHA” and together they’ve released two mini-albums, although nothing since 2007.
COPTER4016882 is a three person group, and although not being very active, they formed already in 1999 and has released four albums since. Their music definitely has a more indie feel to it, but that’s probably because they’re more Shibuya-kei than just electro-pop.
Marina Inoue is a J-pop artist and seiyuu (voice actress). Her single “Beautiful Story” which is one of few that can be put in this category was released in 2007. The rest of her discography mostly consists of character singles. Give her a search on YouTube, you’ll be surprised of how different she sounds in Houseki and energy.
Aira is well-known among those who frequently listen to this type of music, but she’s nowhere near the fame of Perfume. That being said, I personally think she’s got many really good songs and I think it’s a good thing that her music isn’t too mainstream-ish. And she didn’t get the title “Technopop Icon Aira Mitsuki” for nothing.
The new (auto-tuned) girl in town. Mizca was previously known as MASAMi, a member of J-pop group Sister Q that disbanded in 2006. In 2007 she released a solo debut single under her real name Mitsuoka Masami and late last year she decided to debut as an electro-pop artist under the name Mizca. Compared to many other electro-pop girls, Mizca goes for a more sexy style than the usual cute, and I have to say that it fits her well.
An electro-pop duo formed in late 2007, they’re now signed by Victor Entertainment. The singer, May, is actually from Thailand and is currently studying at Waseda University. Besides that, she’s also got near perfect English, scoring 637 out of 677 in The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Ikio Ayaka is a Japanese electro pop singer, tarento and exclusive fashion model for S Cawaii! magazine. She’s more commonly known just as “Ayaka” from her work as a fashion model.
One of the bigger names in the genre nowadays with 5 mini-albums since 2006 and her first full album, “Welcome to Sa-World”, that was released earlier this year.
Originating from the streets of Akihabara, you can’t get much purer electro-pop! Signed by Victor Entertainment and is just like Aira Mitsuki produced by Terukado.
A young electro-pop trio that disbanded earlier this year. They sound like an offspring of an Hello! Project unit or AKB48.
mini is a 25 year old fashion model from Tokyo who signed with avex and debuted earlier this year. She has only released 2 singles and been part of a collaboration CD so far, but we’ll probably see more of her soon enough.
GIRL NEXT DOOR
A very popular electro-pop trio formed in March 2008 and signed by avex. Much more mainstream than most of the other groups on this list.
I didn’t know about MOTOCOMPO until I decided to make this list actually. So I’m a bit surprised to see that the band was formed already in 1996. I’m gonna have to dig deeper, but for now, enjoy their song Higher I Fly^^
Genki Rockets is an electronic project which is made up by a virtual idol called Lumi, a first baby born in outer space who has never been to the earth. There’s not much information to be found about Genki Rockets, but apparently there are four people behind the project, two producers (Tamai Kenji and Mizuguchi Tetsuya) and two vocalists (Rachel Rhodes and Miyahara Nami, both singing as Lumi).
Feel free to recommend other electro-pop groups and artists in the comments section below. I’m in love with the genre so I always want to find more!