Popular Japanese Musicians and Bands that sing a song in English

Some music bands singers sing a song in English, too.
Some of them sing a song in perfect English.

I summarized popular Japanese bands and singers that sing a song in English, too.

Some of them might not be very popular or famous but I included them as I like their music very much.

I chose 10 singers and bands under my own judgment.

I highly recommend all the singers and bands if you want to know about Japanese music in English.
I attached YouTube video for each bands and singers so check it out!!




Hiakaru Utada

She first appeared on Japanese music field in 1998.
She was born under Japanese parents but grew up in the US.

I still remember her first single “Automatic” as it became very popular.
In those days R&B was not popular in Japan and I think she was the very first one who made it famous in Japan.
Her unique and new music style was completely different from other bands or singers in those days that she attracted a lot of attention.

She became very famous overnight.

But it was not just because of her unique music and style but because of her overwhelming talent for music.
Elderly famous musician also recognizes her talent.

But she stopped her activity as a musician all of a sudden in 2010.
She noticed that she was blessed with everything but she didn’t know how ordinary people live and think in their daily lives.
Manager, parents, agency, etc did all the things for her that she didn’t know other things.
She made up her mind to live her life and do all the things by herself.

After 6 years of her absence on music field she finally came back in 2016 and release new single “Hanataba wo Kimi Ni” and people welcomed her coming back heartily.

I could feel her appreciation for things and people from this Hanataba wo Kimi Ni.
I felt like it was different from her music before but matured and affectionate music.

I upload her song “Hikari” here.
It became a theme song of video game “Kingdom Hearts”.

I also like “First Love” and I think it is also famous for some people in overseas.

Youmou to Ohana

Youmou to Ohana is a band that doesn’t exist now.

The place I first listened to her music was at a music store.
I was listening to a sample music of the band and I didn’t notice at all that this was by Japanese band at that time.
Her English was those of native English-speakers that I didn’t realize at all.

The band’s lyrics is also deep and I often sympathized with it.

Youmou to Ohana is made by vocal Hana Chiba and guitar Kazunori Ichikawa.
Ohana-san was once worked at a cram school as a teacher after her graduation from university.
But she couldn’t give up her hope to be a singer that she quit her job and challenged once again in Tokyo.
And met with guitar Kazunori Ichikawa.
He was once playing electrical guitar in a band but changed it into an acoustic guitar.
His guitar and lyrics he made is very good.

They were actually not that famous in Japan but it must have become famous band if the band had still existed as their music was came to use on TV and Dorama.

It is really sad thing I can’t listen to her real voice anymore but the music of Youmou to Ohana lives forever as Ohana san once wished in her time.
I still remember her great attitude and smile as I myself met her once.
Youmou to Ohana is my favorite band.

What I upload here is Kyra’s Forest as it is one of my favorite songs in English.
I also recommend you “Tadaima Okaeri”.
It is all Japanese but very warm and good song.

KOKIA

I was amazed at her talent for music!

Her delicate but powerful voice is overwhelming even among professional musicians.

I understood the reason after checking her career.
She has been familiar with music whole her life.
Started violin at 3, majors in harmonics in a high school and a university.
Her life has been all music since she was little and learned the harmonics for 7 years totally in school.

She is not famous in Japan but the talent is really great.
I wondered why such a talented person does not become popular.
She is rather famous in Europe such as France than in Japan.

I understand some people say their lives changed by her music.
Her singing voice is not only great but stirs the souls of people.

I have some of her albums and my favorite songs are “Arigatou” and “Oto ~with reflection~”
I upload “Oto ~with reflection~” here as it is great song although it is sung in Japanese

Her music is used in a anime theme song such as “Gundam Age”, “Tales of Innocence”, “Origin: Spirits of the Past”, etc.
Her cover song of “Desperado” by Eagles is really great and worth listening.

Predawn

The fist time I saw her was Slow Live which is held every year in front of Ikegami Hongan temple.
I didn’t know her until then.
But the technique of the guitar and the voice was very good.
And her music is like taking us into the world of picture book.

She first play the piano at around 4 but changes it into the guitar in junior high using her brother’s guitar.
It is said that around that time between in junior high school and high school what she listened to was Radiohead.
Looks like music of Radiohead affected on her music a lot.
Yes, I myself like Radiohead and used to listen to when I was high school student.

Her songs are all English and the reason is that what she comes up with naturally is English when she making music.
Using English also helps her to see the music objectively instead of using familiar Japanese.

I like her video clip as it is a kind of story of picture book.
“Suddenly” is also recommended song!

MAN WITH A MISSION

They appeared suddenly with masks of wolves!

There was no one who perform one’s music in mask until then.
It looks like a kind of joke but their music was really cool.
The great gap attracted young people.

I watched their live performance only once in a festival and it was certainly cool music.
And I also understood how popular they are from the crowds of fans around me.

Their music is used as a theme song in anime “Seven Deadly Sins”, “Gundam Orphans” and other TV drama, movies, etc.

I also have album of them and I like “Don’t lose yourself”.
“Emotions” is also great song.
Still nobody knows their faces or ages.
Recommended cool rock band in Japan!

ONE OK ROCK

ONE OK ROCK is also very popular rock band among young people.
Their music is very cool like MAN WITH A MISSION.
The music is aggressive and I can feel the passion for music.

They started tour in Asia, Europe and US in 2013 and 2014 that they are becoming popular in overseas, too.

Interesting story is that the band’s name “One OK Rock” is made by the time they went into a music studio, that is, one o’clock.
It is the cheapest time to use the music studio.

ONE OK ROCK also means one good music.

I like “The Beginning” and it became a theme song of anime “Samurai X” or “Rurouni Kenshin”.
This “Liar” is also cool recommended song.
Their rock music cheers you up.

ELLEGARDEN

Cool!!

This one word expresses the band perfectly!!
Looks like they disguise themselves as girls in the old days in the video clip.

There are many fans of ELLEGARDEN in overseas, too and some people say they didn’t know this band is Japanese band.
It was a big surprise that there was such a cool band here in Japan.

Sadly they stop their music in 2008.
It has been more than 10 years since they stopped the music and many fans long for their getting back together.

Guitar vocal Takshi Hosomi starts solo career as “the HIATUS” after ELLEGARDEN.
The taste is a bit different from that of ELLEGARDEN.
And he also starts new band “MONOEYES”.

I like “Mr.Feather” of ELLEGARDEN very much.
Its lyrics is really good.
“Salamander” is also famous and great.

Like MAN WITH A MISSION and ONE OK ROCK this is highly recommended band.

Survive Said The Prophet

If you have seen the manga Banana Fish, which was animated in 2018, you may have heard of it.
Survive Said The Prophet sings the ending song RED of Banana Fish.

I was fascinated by their voice and music the moment I listened to the song.

I thought they were a foreign band at first, but it turned out to be a Japanese band.

The vocalist is Yosh.

I wondered if he was born in an English-speaking country and one of his parents was Japanese.
But it turned out that both of his parents were Japanese and he was born in Japan and grew up in Tokyo.

The only difference was that he had attended an international school.

After graduating from the school, they went on to Full Sail University in the United States.

He says that he can convey his feelings better in English than in Japanese.
However, he also speaks good Japanese, and his pronunciation is also that of a normal Japanese.

Recently, he has been attracting attention for his song “Hollow,” the ending theme song of Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

If you are interested in the interview and song, here is FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Theme Song Behind The Scenes.

SpecialThanks

Here is SpecialThanks, popularly known as Spesan.

SpecialThanks was formed by Misaki, the vocalist, as a three-piece girls’ band when she was in junior high school.

When the band was first formed, they were singing Green Day and Hi-Standard.

As for the English, I don’t know why but it’s just cool!

Perhaps Misaki’s unique voice and pronunciation have an influence.
There were some comments from people from overseas that said her singing voice was like that of Avril Lavigne, and she certainly does.

Actually, I sometimes can’t understand the English she sings very well!
It’s difficult but it’s Broken English is cool!

In the early days, the songs were almost exclusively in English and the tunes were in a punk-melo-core style, but now the tunes are much more relaxed and many of the songs are in Japanese.

Both music atmospheres are good in their own way!

I really thought this band has the potential to sell big if only they had a chance.
There are many great songs such as “Never Give Up” and “Getting on.

Hi-Standard

First meeting with Hi-Standard is when I was a high school student.
I still remember the emotion when I first listened to their music.

What a cool band!!

The speedy sound and the rhythm were really cool.
I didn’t understand the lyrics in those days but after I l came to be able to read English I found the lyrics also had a meaning.
It was not only sound but the lyrics was also very good.

“Stay Gold” was a song of a guy who once tried to live in a fantasy but lives a normal life now.
The guy remember his friend once said to him “Stay Gold” in his early day.
“Dear my friends” is also the song for dear friend.
The lyrics strikes right at the heart of us.

I also copied their music at the time although I couldn’t keep up with the pace at all, haha.
Hi-Standard stops their music in 2000 but they get back together in 2011.

It is a memorable band that reminds school days to me.
If you like Green Day, I think you also like Hi-Standard.




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