There are many music genres in Japan. Some of you may be familiar with City Pop, or Japanese pop music from the 70’s and 80’s, which has become popular outside of Japan in recent years. Tatsuro Yamashita, Mariya Takeuchi, Toshiki Kadomastu, and Anri are all examples of artists from this genre, whose songs have become popular among young people in Europe, America and Asia thanks to the internet. I grew up listening to City Pop, and it is personally one of my favorite genres. Listening to the soothing and catchy sounds of City Pop brings back memories of my youth every time!
The Queen of City Pop is none other than Maria Takeuchi, with her mega-hit “Plastic Love”. It’s no exaggeration to say that this song is representative of the City Pop genre. As a City Pop fan, however, one may be surprised to learn that this song is actually not included among her top hits in Japan! In Japan, her top hits include songs such as “Fushigina Peach Pie” and “September”, which are interestingly not very well-known outside of Japan. The same artists may be popular, but seemingly, it is not always the same songs that become a hit. For this reason, I may play one set of songs for a US audience and another for a Japanese audience when I DJ. Having said that, all of her songs are great!!
DJ ramenbeats started his career in the early 1980’s selecting music and writing scripts for a radio station in Tokyo Japan. This led him to start DJing in Yokohama and Tokyo, where he became known for his great mixing skills of R&B and Pops of the 80’s and 90’s. At one point, DJ ramenbeats owned 6 Technics turntables and 8 mixers, and well over 4,500 vinyl records. He also managed his own disco club and DJ bar in Japan.
DJ ramenbeats relocated to the United States in 2017 and resumed DJing helping to widen recognition of the Japanese City-Pop / Kayokyoku culture to an American audience.