J-Pop Artist of the Week – Artists that have gone solo (Nov 11th – Nov. 17th)

This week features not one, but five artists! All of whom are part of a band, duo, or group and also choose to persue solo projects outside of them. Please make sure to give each one a chance! Even if you don’t like the sound of their original group, you may find you enjoy their solo works.


Kaname Kawabata
Originally from: CHEMISTRY
Genres: R&B, Pop


Kaname Kawabata is an R&B singer-songwriter and a member of the duo CHEMISTRY. He and Douchin Yoshikuni beat out 19,000 applicants ASAYAN Chou Danshi Vocalist Audition, which was held from October 1999 to January 2001. The finalists of the audition were paired in random combinations and Kaname/Douchin’s single sold all 35,000 copies, landing them at #9 on the Oricon charts. They were announced as the winners and made their official debut as CHEMISTRY  with the single “PIECES OF A DREAM”. The single sold over 1 million copies and was one of the highest selling singles of that year.

In April of 2012, the duo announced that they would be going on hiatus to focus on solo activities. Kaname made his solo debut later that year on October 3rd with the single “TOKYO GIRL”. His now ex-wife, model Takahashi Miki, appeared in the music video for TOKYO GIRL.

Music

Let’s Say I Do (Music Video)

Breakthrough (Music Video)

Recent Releases

[Single] Half Moon (feat. Suzuki Masayuki)
Release Date: June 18th, 2014
Editions: CD-Only, CD+DVD

Watch Half Moon’s music video here.

Upcoming Releases

[Cover Album] On The Way Home
Release Date: December 10th, 2014
Editions: CD+DVD (Type A), CD+DVD (Type B), CD-Only

<Tracklist>

CD
1. Yasashii De Afureru You ni (feat. Little Glee Monster) (Original: JUJU)
2. ORION (Original: Mika Nakashima)
3. Flavor of Life (Original: Utada Hikaru)
4. Mikazuki (Original: Ayaka)
5. Yasashii KISU wo Shite (Original: DREAMS COME TRUE)
6. DEAR…again (Original: Hirose Koumi)
7. Refrain ga Sakenderu (Original: Matsutoya Yumi)
8. Katachi Aru Mono (Original: Shibasaki Kou)
9. I’m Proud (Original: Tomomi Kahala)
10. HOME (Original: Angela Aki)
11. Kiyoshi Kono Yoru (Silent Night)

DVD

1. ON THE WAY HOME (Photo Shoot&Interview)
2. Kaname Kawabata Live 2014 Document Movie

Websites and Social Media

Official Website
Official Blog
Official Facebook
Official Twitter


KEITA
Originally from: w-inds.
Genres: R&B, Pop, Dance

KEITA (whose real name is Keita Tachibana) is a pop singer and the lead vocalist of the trio w-inds. KEITA got his big break when he won the ASAYAN Idol Contest, beating some 80,000 other contestants. He joined with two dancers from Sapporo, Ogata Ryuichi and Chiba Ryohei to form w-inds. The group debuted in 2001 with the single “Forever Memories”.

In 2006, KEITA decided to pursue a solo project and released the single “Michishirube” in mid-October of that year. It was used as the ending theme to the anime Katekyo Hitman REBORN!. He released his debut album later that year in November, and he was invited to the popular show Music Station to perform.

Music

Recent Releases

[Album] Side by Side
Release Date: June 5th, 2013
Editions: CD-Only, CD+DVD

Album PV “Magic (feat. AKLO)”:

<Tracklist>

1. Turn it up
2. Slide ‘n Step
3. Shame on me
4. MAGIC (feat. AKLO)
5. Nice and Slow
6. Hey Love
7. Thinking of You
8. Get U Back (feat. AISHA)
9. broken-hearted passenger
10. Side by Side
11. Beautiful Lie
12. One more Time
13. Slide ‘n Step -Extended Mix- (feat. SKY-HI from AAA)

Websites and Social Media

Official Website
Official Youtube Channel
Official Twitter
Official Facebook


Douchin Yoshikuni
Originally from: CHEMISTRY
Genres: R&B, Pop

Douchin Yoshikuni is a pop-R&B singer and a member of the duo CHEMISTRY. He and Kaname Kawabata beat out 19,000 applicants ASAYAN Chou Danshi Vocalist Audition, which was held from October 1999 to January 2001. The finalists of the audition were paired in random combinations and Kaname/Douchin’s single sold all 35,000 copies, landing them at #9 on the Oricon charts. They were announced as the winners and made their official debut as CHEMISTRY with the single “PIECES OF A DREAM”. The single sold over 1 million copies and was one o the highest selling singles of that year.

In April of 2012, the duo announced that they would be going on hiatus to focus on solo activities. Douchin made his solo debut on November 14th, 2012 with the single “Shout/Hummingbird”

Music

Shout (Music Video)

Recent Releases

[Digital Single] Fly away
Release Date: August 27th, 2014

Websites and Social Media

Official Website
Official Twitter
Official Facebook


illion
Originally From: Radwimps
Genres: Rock, Alternative

Noda Yojiro is the vocalist and guitarist for the rock band RADWIMPS. RADWIMPS debuted independently as a band in 2003, and made their major debut under Toshiba EMI in 2005. The band achieved great commercial success in 2006 with their album Radwimps 4: Okazu no Gohan, and are best known for their later singles “Order Made” (2008) and “Dada” (2011), both of which hit number one on Oricon’s single charts.

Noda Yojiro debuted as a soloist in March of 2013 under the name illion. When asked about his solo debut, he commented that he felt that a solo project was the best way to perform music globally, which is something he wanted to do. RADWIMPS as a band had no such desire.

Music & Recent Releases

[Debut Album] UBU
Release Date: March 6th, 2013
Editions: CD-Only, Released in several countries

Purchase UBU: US, ES

Websites and Social Media

Official Website
Official Warner Profile
Official Twitter
Official Facebook
Official Youtube Channel


MIHIRO
Originally From: Full of Harmony (F.O.H.)
Genres: Pop, Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul

MIHIRO is an R&B singer-songwriter, music producer, and the lead vocalist for the vocal trio Full of Harmony. He made his debut with the three member R&B group Full of Harmony in 1997.

In the wake of the group’s 10th anniversary, MIHIRO decided he wanted to pursue a solo project. US producer Teddy Riley worked with him on his debut solo album. MIHIRO has been highly praised by heavy-hitters in the R&B music scene and his musical influences include Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.

Music

Upcoming Releases

[Collaboration Album] Featuring Best “+a”
Release Date: November 26th, 2014
Editions: CD+DVD, CD-Only

<Tracklist>

1. +a (feat. EXILE SHOKICHI)
2. You’re da ONE (feat May J.)
3. better days feat MIHIRO (K.J.)
4. WINTER GIFT with MIHIRO (Tiara)
5. Kimi ga Ireba (feat. Ms. OOJA)
6. OOH GIRL (feat. BLACKSTREET)
7. GO!! feat. CHOZEN LEE from FIRE BALL (Reggae Mix by Fire Basement)
8. Tumbler feat. KLOOZ, MIHIRO (SKY-HI)
9. Yuiitsumuni (MIHIRO + AFRA)
10.The One feat. AK-69 & MIHIRO (NATO
11. If I… (Remix) feat. AKIRA and MIHIRO (E”qual)
12. Take me Higher!! feat JESSE
13. One Mic, One Life feat. Mummy-D, ZEEBRA
14. Chikai feat. MIHIRO (PUSHIM)

Websites and Social Media

Official Avex Website
Official Amuse Profile
Official Twitter
Official Blog
Official Facebook


Honorable Mention
EXILE SHOKICHI/EXILE ATSUSHI/EXILE TAKAHIRO

All three of these EXILE vocalists have their own solo projects, but as LDH has been featured heavily on OH’s Artist Of The Week in the past, they will not be featured here in detail. I will leave the links to their individual websites below if you would like to do your own personal research.

ATSUSHI’s Official Facebook
SHOKICHI’s Official Website
TAKAHIRO’s Avex Profile

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