J-pop in general is Japanese Pop Music, but is also a defined musical genre that is a part of the musical mainstream of Japan staring in the 1990s. It refers to popular Japanese musicians, and was used by the Japanese media to distinguish Japanese musicians from other foreign musicians.
In fact, the Japanese music industry is the second largest following right after the United States.
J-pop is a genre inspired by the American band The Beatles.
In the 1960s the rock & roll theme started to become popular in japan, thanks to Elvis Presley's song "Heartbreak Hotel". Which inspired many bands to form and create music with the same sounds.
Visual Kei is a sub-gender of Jrock (Japanese Rock), in wich the style and the look of a band is as important as the music. The music is usually dark, a combination between punk, metal, glam rock, indie, goth, cyberpunk, electronica (depending on the band). The look of the band is usually dark, the band members wearing lots of accessories, and having a manga like hair.
Magazines published regularly in Japan with Visual Kei coverage are Arena 37°C, Fool's Mate, Cure, Shoxx and many other.
Visual kei Subgernes: Angura kei, Ero guro, Nagoya kei, Oshare kei, Kote kei, Koteosa kei. The most popular sub-genders are Angura Kei(a more punk like style) and Oshare kei(with a sound closer to pop, happier lyrics, and colorful clothes)
Popular Visual Kei Bands/Artists: Dir en grey, The Gazette(Gazetto), An Cafe(Antic Cafe), Merry, Mucc, Dio-distraught Overlord, ScReW, Miyavi, Alice Nine, 12012, D'espairs Ray, Moi dix Mois, X-Japan, Vidoll, Nightmare.
One of the biggest music company that deals with Jrock, especially Visual Kei, is PSC (peace and smile company). Artists like The Gazette, Alice Nine, Kagrra, Miyavi are signed under PSC.
Many Visual Kei bands have concerts in Europe and America at least once every year. The bands that visited Europe many times are Dio-distraught Overlord, The Gazette, An Cafe, Dir en grey, Miyavi, and others.
History of Visual Kei
Visual kei refers to a movement among Japanese musicians, that is characterized by the use of eccentric looks. This usually involves striking make-up, unusual hair styles(mostly like manga characters) and elaborate costumes. Many refer to Visual Kei as a music genre, or as a sub-genre of J-rock (a term referring to Japanese rock in general, with its own particular sound, related to glam-rock, punk and metal).However other refer to Visual Kei's unique clothing and make-up, fashions.
Visual Kei emerged in the late 1980s, pioneered by bands such as X Japan, D'erlanger, Buck-Tick, and Color.
In the the 1990s, Visual Kei received an increase in popularity throughout Japan, when album sales from Visual Kei bands started to reach record numbers. The most notable bands to achieve success are X Japan, Glay, and Luna Sea, however a drastic change in their appearance accompanied their success.
Even if in 1992, X Japan had an attempt to enter the European and American markets, it would take another 8 years until popularity and awareness of Visual Kei bands would extend worldwide.
By 1999, mainstream popularity in Visual Kei was declining, X Japan had disbanded, and the death of lead guitarist Hideto Matsumoto in 1998 had denied fans a possible reunion.
Now Visual Kei is a really popular gender of music known worldwide.
Listen or not?
Would you listen to music such as Visual Kei?
I would like to try it
Total Votes: 5
If you ever listend to Visual Kei, what is your favourite band?
My favourite Visual Kei band is Dio-distraught overlord. They aren't very new, but they aren't so popular. I like them because They didn't changes their music and style so much, as other Visual Kei bands do lately.
Apr. 30, 2009