Japanese Entertainment: 3 Underrated Female Japanese Singers

Although Johnny’s is the main type of music that I like here in Japan, over the past few years of living here I have discovered a handful of female singers that have caught my attention. Some of these singers aren’t extremely popular as compared to big artists like Namie Amuro and Koda Kumi or idol groups like AKB48, but people will definitely know their name if you mention them. That is why I describe them as “Underrated” Female singers. In this post, I will introduce three Female singers that I feel are underrated and are also a good bridge into Female singers in Japan.

1: Becky

Most people will know her as a “Talento”, or a TV personality in Japan, but surprisingly she also has a singing career under the name ベッキー♪♯. As most people are, I was first introduced to her through the variety show ItteQ and some dramas where she made an appearance. She is half Japanese, half English and began her singing debut in 2009 with her single “Kokoro Komete” 「心こめて」. She is the oldest out of the artists in this post at 30 years old, but her personality is so vibrant that she still seems in her 20’s!

For her music, she has a very distinct pronunciation when she sings by emphasizing her vowels and I was very attracted to that when I first heard her debut single. She has a very “pure” sounding voice to me and her more upbeat songs are very fun and vibrant, really showcasing her personality that I see on Television. The songs I would recommend from her are her debut single 「心こめて」(Kokomo Komete) as well 「ヤルキスイッチ」(Yaruki Switch) and 「風のしらべ」(Kaze no Shirabe). She has a YouTube channel with her music videos on it, so head there from the music video for  「心こめて」(Kokoro Komete) linked below!

2: Ayaka

Ayaka is a Japanese singer from Osaka and made her debut in 2006 with “I Believe” for a Japanese drama. Her debut year was a huge success and her first album “First Message” topped the Oricon charts and became the highest selling debut album for a female singer in 7 years. She is married to famous actor Mizushima Hiro since 2009 and also in 2009 she announced a hiatus due to a diagnosis of Graves Disease. She was on hiatus until 2012 and made a comeback with her album “The beginning”.

I was introduced to Ayaka through a Johnny’s friend who invited me to her concert in 2013. I had heard some of her songs before, but I didn’t realize that it was Ayaka that had sung them. This year, I had the opportunity to see her live again, this time for an acoustic live. This time I really felt the power of her voice and her vocal range is amazing! She can be powerful, as well as soft in the same song and her voice is so clear. Ayaka mostly sings ballads from what i’ve heard from her. Some of my favorites songs from her are new single「にじいろ」(Nijiiro), as well as “Beautiful”, which was the theme song for the drama 「シェアハウスの恋人」(Share House no Koibito), and 「はじまりのとき」(Hajimari no Toki). She also has a YouTube channel with some of her music videos on there, so please check out “Nijiiro” below!

3: Nishino Kana.

Nishino Kana debuted in 2008 with “I”. She was originally signed to SME records in 2006 when she won a contest called the “Miss Phoenix Auditions”. One of her biggest hits was “Best Friend” in 2010, as well as well as 「会いたくて」 (Aitakute). She has been nominated and won many MTV Music Video awards and Japan Record awards. She also appears in many fashion magazines for her specific style, which is not quite “Gyaru” , but a popular type of style with college age girls and women in their early 20’s.

Compared to the other two artists, she has a bit more of a “Pop” like sound to her music, making it more mainstream than the other two artists. Though she has more of a pop sound, she still writes a lot of her music. Out of all of these artists today, Nishino Kana is probably my favorite, as I like the majority of the music that she releases. I also find her lyrics very relatable to the average person, especially women in their late teens and 20’s. My favorite songs by her are are “ SAKURA, I love you?” “We Don’t Stop”, and “Be Strong”, as well as “Best Friend”. She also has a YouTube channel, so please check out “We Don’t Stop” below!

Had you heard of these artists before? If so, who do you like? If you didn’t know them before, are there any of them that you became interested in? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below!

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4 thoughts on “Japanese Entertainment: 3 Underrated Female Japanese Singers

  1. jeffersonmunroe says:

    I’m glad you made a post about something like this! It’s nice to see some recommendations for some lesser known artists. I know you’ve been telling people how great Becky is for years. 😀
    Very informative! ^_^ Keep up the good work, amigo!

    Liked by 1 person

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