Bento Box Magazine from Canada article on BABYMETAL, "Black sheep of the kawaii J-pop family"

BABYMETAL was featured on Bento Box Magazine April 2015 issue. They wrote an interesting article to introduce BABYMETAL's concept on Canadian audience before their show at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto on May 12. Read the full article transcripted and content below. 


Bento Box Magazine from Canada, "BABYMETAL: Dangeriously cute"

Fans of Japanese pop music are probably familiar with the kawail (or "cute") J-pop phenomenon that has essentially taken over half the planet—charming girl bands like AKB48 have been making waves across the globe with their sweet, attractive young female singers. But even if you've heard of big names like AKB48, you may not yet have heard about BABYMETAL, the genre-bending black sheep of the kawaii J-pop family. If not, then welcome to the darker side.


Dreamed up by producer Kobametal in 2010, BABYMETAL is comprised of three teen performers: 17-year-old lead singer Suzuka Nakamoto, and 15-year-old backup singers Moa Kikuchi and Yui Mizuno. They were originally members of the all-girl band Sakura Gakuin, until they "graduated," or aged out of the group and moved on to other projects. In creating BABYMETAL, the band's producer aimed to surprise audiences with an unusual combination, something along the lines of the Japanese-inspired flare of Quentin Tarantino's revenge thriller, Kill Bill. Like the film, BABYMETAL brings audiences a startling new vision of music by pairing the unexpected. The band's songs combine classic hard-metal riffs with sweet-voiced pop vocals, and the girls dress in a Gothic Lolita style, wildly swinging their ponytails and thrusting their arms in one moment, and taking cutesy, crooning poses in the next moment. 


If BABYMETAL's numbers are any indication, this odd musical combination has hit a chord with audiences the world over. The band's first major single, an anti-bullying anthem called "Ijime, Dame, Zettai," sold 19,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number six on the Japanese Orion weekly singles chart. Their eponymous debut album edged into the top 10 in six other countries, and jumped as high as number three on the American iTunes rock chart. Babymetal's official YouTube page has also been getting some serious hits: the live music vid-eo for their single "Gimme Chocolate" has over 24 million views. Newcomers to the BABYMETAL tribe should check out the video "YouTubers Re-act to BABYMETAL," which features spellbound viewers watching the band for the first time. 


BABYMETAL also plays on some traditional Japanese motifs, such as the kitsune gesture, or the sign of the fox. The girls accidentally made this hand signal during a promotional shoot, mistaking the heavy metal "devil horns" gesture for the kitsune. Now the sly fox is a signature part of the band's presence in videos and merchandise. But the band's success extends well beyond merch, music charts and the digital sphere. BABYMETAL has twice performed live at the Summer Sonic Festivals in Tokyo and Osaka, and they are the youngest band to play Tokyo's hallowed Budokan arena. The trio is currently heading to a venue near you on the "Road of Resistance," the band's first world tour. The show is sure to be an unforgettable experience. 




Article by: Bento Box Magazine.

Transcription: Maik Gianino.


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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Aira (Friday, 20 January 2023 04:03)

    A very insightful article to highlight a much valid point, however I would have appreciated if some recommendations for the solution were also presented here.
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