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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jero: The Blackiest Enka Singer

In Japan, there's something called Enka which is basically a type of lounge singing. It flourished in the 1940s & even over here in Malaysia, we heard a lot of it in the form of Mandarin versions from Taiwan in the 70s.

I remember hearing a lot of it on Chinese radio when I was a kid & I thought they sucked. All the songs had the same starting & ending tunes. The singing style was also the same. It didn't matter who sang it, they would always go low, then as they went high, it'd sound almost like yodelling. It was almost formulaic.

But grandmas loved it. In Japan, Enka is still popular amongst the older generation. And as I grow older & falling into that mould, I am slowly begining to appreciate it as well. It sounds scary, I know, but I am not rushing out to buy an Enka album anytime soon.

Over time, Enka slowly reinvented itself. Singers came out with new hair colours.

And the costumes even went overboard, Cher style.

By then, there was a whole new younger generation of singers with flashy costumes like Hikawa Kiyoshi, who's also known as the Prince of Enka.

Although they do bring up the coolness of Enka by a notch (due to their flashy costumes), but it also raises the gay alarm.

Then, came the ultimate reinvention.

He's black & he's known as Jero.

He's hip hop.

But he sings Enka.

How wierd is that?

And this thing can only happen in a land called Japan.

But dude, I don't think the hip hop moves fit in. Just lose it okay.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Short Post: Been Busy

Sorry people. I've been busy.
I know. Not posting anything for so many days now really feels like a crime. You can't imagine the guilt that's writhing inside of me. It's eating me up slowly & darkness will soon befall upon me.

Waisay. No need for such drama lah. Will be back soon k.