There was a duo band that caught the eye of viewers of the TV music program “NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen” on New Year’s Eve in Japan.
Who was it? The answer is YOASOBI. Their debut song, “Racing into the Night”（夜に駆ける）has surpassed 300 million streaming playbacks, which was achieved in record time, and won the #1 spot in Billboard Japan’s “Hot 100” of the Year 2020. I had been wondering – who is this mysterious duo band, who has not released a CD, and has not appeared in their music video?
YOASOBI is made up of 2 members – Ayase the composer, and Ikura the vocalist, and formed in 2019. What makes YOASOBI unique is that all of their songs are based on novels. By incorporating a novel into their music, they have created a unique world where listeners feel like they are reading a story. How exactly does a novel get incorporated into their music? Ayase explained in a recent interview:
“The song “Racing into the Night” is based on the novel “Temptation Of Thanatos” by Mayo Hoshino. If it had been another novel, our debut song would have been a completely different song. Together with the production team, we discussed in detail how to incorporate an already completed work of the novel into sounds and lyrics. We created many demos through trial and error. The first step is to read the novel over and over again, then pick up what I imagine for the song.”
YOASOBI’s songs are composed by Ayase using only a MacBook Pro. The demo is recorded with the voice of Vocaloid Hatsune Miku. Based on the demo, Ikura records it, infusing emotions and soul into the song.
YOASOBI is a new and unique kind of duo, and will be interesting to keep an eye on.
YOASOBI – 夜に駆ける（Racing into the Night)
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.