J-Pop Artist of the Week: The Gospellers (April 9th-April 15th)

History

The group was originally formed in 1991 by the members Murakami and Kurosawa in 1991 as a group within their college chorus club “Street Corner Symphony” at the University of Waseda. They recruited three new members (4 members previously left due to their job placement activities) for the recording of their first major label release The Gospellers in 1994, and these members still remain in the group today.

Debut

The Gospellers debuted on August 15th, 1994 with the mini-album Down to Street. Two of the songs were written by current member Murakami and a few of the songs were written by former members. Two of the songs on the mini-album, ‘Gospellers Theme’ and ‘Itoshikute’ are completely a capalla. The members on this album aside from Murakami left after the release and were replaced by the current members.

Gospellers’ Theme
(Lyrics and Composition by: Tetsuya Murakami)

Something in my soul
(Lyrics by: Eriko Kyo / Composed by: Tetsuya Murakami / Programming by: Toru Takeuchi)

City Beat
(Lyrics and Composition by: Hideyuki Uchigasaki / Programming by: Yasushi Kurobane)

Promise
(Lyrics by: Seiko Kondoh / Composition by: Mitsuhiro Suzuki / Programming by: Yasushi Kurobane)

Itoshikute
(Lyrics and Composition by: Hideyuki Uchigasaki)

The made their major debut with the new members on December 21st, 1994 with the single “Promise”, which was on their first mini-album. It also included the b-side song “JUST FEEL IT”.

Style / Reccommended Songs

The Gospellers are noted for their intricate harmonies, as well as the exquisite musicianship of all 5 members.

Sky High
(Lyrics by: Yasuo Yutaka / Composition by: S.Rachmaninov, Hattori Takayuki / Arranged by: Hattori Takayuki)

Music Video

Robinson
(Lyrics and Composition by: Kusano Masamune / Arrangement by: Gospellers, Inoue Ippei)

Music Video

Looking for your love
(Lyrics by: Yasuo Yutaka / Composition by: Kurosawa Kaoru)

Music Video

Platinum Kiss
(Lyrics by: Yasuo Yutaka / Composition by: Kurosawa Kaoru / Sasaki Mari)

Music Video

If you are a fan of this group, please feel free to recommend more songs in the comments below!

You’ll Like This Group If…

You prefer a cappella music with beautiful harmonies as opposed to mainstream groups and with modern pop sounds. If you like girl groups like BRIGHT, you will probably enjoy The Gospellers.

What Are They Doing Now?

After the release of their self-titled album The Gospellers, the group worked towards gaining more recognition, releasing 13 albums and 5 singles, until they gained their first hit in the single “Towa ni”. “Towa ni” remained on the Oricon charts for 44 consecutive weeks in 2000 and 2001.

Towa ni
(Lyrics by: Yasuo Yutaka / Composition by: Senou Takeshi / Arranged by: Bryan-Micheal Cox)

Later on in 2001, their single “Hitori” became the first a capella song to land in the top 3 on the Oricon.

Hitori
(Lyrics and Composition by: Tetsuya Murakami / Arrangement by: Murakami tetsuya, Kitayama Yoichi)

In addition to their work as a group, they have worked as composers, chorus, producers etc for other artists, both as a group and individually.

Websites and Social Media

Official Website


If you have a Japanese artist you’d like featured, leave a suggestion in the comments!

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