Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 20120707 Japan Expo 01.jpg
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performing at the Japan Expo in Paris, 2012.
Background information
Native name 竹村 桐子
きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ
Birth name Kiriko Takemura
Also known as Kyary
KPP
Kawaii Queen
Born (1993-01-29) January 29, 1993 (age 21)
Nishitōkyō, Tokyo, Japan
Genres J-pop, dance-pop, EDM, glitch, bubblegum pop, electropop
Occupations Singer, model, blogger, businesswoman
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2010–present
Labels Unborde/Warner (Japan, 2011–present)
Sire/Warner Bros. Records (United States, 2013–present)
Associated acts Yasutaka Nakata
Website kyary.asobisystem.com

Kiriko Takemura (竹村 桐子 Takemura Kiriko?, born January 29, 1993), known by her stage name Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ Kyarī Pamyu Pamyu?), is a Japanese model and singer. Her public image is associated with Japan's kawaisa and decora culture centered in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo.[1]

Kyary's first single, "PonPonPon" (2011), made Japan's top ten and became known as her signature song. The singles "Candy Candy" and "Fashion Monster" followed. She has since released two full-length albums, Pamyu Pamyu Revolution (2012) and Nanda Collection in June 2013.

Though most of her success as a recording artist has been in Asia, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has also gained popularity in western countries[2] due in part to internet videos which have gone viral. Media outlets have referred to Kyary as "Harajuku Pop Princess", and she has been photographed for magazines such as Dazed & Confused.[3] In 2013, Kyary signed a distribution deal with Sire Records to release her material in the United States.[4]

Early life[edit]

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, known by her birth name Kiriko Takemura, on January 29, 1993 in Nishitōkyō, Tokyo, Japan, the only child of her family while growing up.[5] Her parents were strict, frequently setting early curfews and limiting her cell phone access.[6] Her mother was also very critical of her fashion sense (as seen in this 2009 video from Takeshita Street), to the point where Takemura would have to leave the house dressed normally, and change into Harajuku-style clothing inside a public location. She would often return home to find that her mother had thrown away majority of her fashion accessories, which led to further quarrels. She writes in her autobiography, Oh! My God!! Harajuku Girl that her father was more supportive of her, although they had their fair share of quarrels as well.[6]

Career[edit]

2009-2010: Career beginnings[edit]

Kyary started as a fashion blogger, and then began her professional career as a model for Harajuku fashion magazines such as Kera! and Zipper.[7] After achieving a measure of fame, Kyary collaborated with the Eyemazing company to produce a line of fake eyelashes called "Harajuku Doll".[8] She also began appearing in local fashion shows.[9]

Kyary explained her stage name in a Japanese MTV interview. Wearing blonde wigs as a fashion affectation in high school, a friend began calling her "Kyari" because she embraced Western culture and seemed "like a foreign girl". The name stuck. Upon starting her blog, she felt the name "Kyari" — a phonetic Japanese spelling of the Western name "Carrie" — was too short, and "missing something". She added "Pamyu Pamyu" because it sounded cute.[10] She states her full stage name as "Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu" (きゃろらいんちゃろんぷろっぷきゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ Kyarorain Charonpuroppu Kyarī Pamyu Pamyu?).[11]

Kyary writes in her autobiography that in her childhood, she took dance lessons. Later, different sources report that, around the age of 12, she appeared in a video series called Imouto club (いもうと倶楽部), and in another titled KASUMI, in which she was filmed posing while wearing a school-issued bathing suit among other things.[12]

2011: Musical beginnings with Moshi Moshi Harajuku[edit]

In April 2011, along with Japanese fashion editor and photographer Yasumasa Yonehara and Japanese (fashion?) brand 6%DokiDoki, Kyari Pamyu Pamyu participated in the charity event "One Snap for Love" to benefit victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[13]

In July 2011, Kyary released her first promo single, "PonPonPon", citing Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry as inspirations at that time.[14] The music video, a psychedelic tribute to kawaisa and Decora culture, was released to YouTube and became a viral hit, leading to it being reported on by MTV and The Huffington Post.[15][16] The single was produced by Yasutaka Nakata and is the first release from Kyary's debut album, Moshi Moshi Harajuku, which was released August 17, 2011.[17] "PonPonPon" was released on July 20, 2011. On July 31, 2011, the song entered Billboard Japan's Hot 100 chart at 72.[18] American rapper G-Eazy sampled the song on his single "Lost in Translation".[19] "PonPonPon" topped the iTunes Electronic Songs Chart in Belgium and Finland.[20]

On August 3, 2011, her second promo single "Jelly" was internationally released via iTunes.[21] A week after the release of Moshi Moshi Harajuku, Kyary released an autobiography about her rise to fame titled, Oh! My God!! Harajuku Girl.[22][23]

2011-2012: Pamyu Pamyu Revolution[edit]

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performing at Japan Expo in 2012

On December 7, 2011, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's first single, "Tsukematsukeru", was digitally released internationally via iTunes. On the 9th, Kyary made her American debut in Culver City, California to perform in a fashion show and play two of her songs, as well as her first time performing "Tsukema Tsukeru".[24] "Tsukema Tsukeru" was released physically on January 11, 2012, which included a special edition photobook. It was eventually certified gold in April 2012.

In February and March 2012, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu represented Japan during Japanese performing arts exhibitions in Shanghai and Hong Kong. She performed on 24 February in Shanghai at the Shanghai Expo Mart.[25][26][27] On 27 March, Kyary performed for 700 fans in Hong Kong at the Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre.[28]

Kyary released her second single, "Candy Candy", as a digital download on March 14, 2012. The single debuted at eighty-nine on the Billboard Japan Hot 100, and later peaked at number two. It was released as a CD single on April 4, 2012, and sold 9,913 copies its first week, debuting at number eight on the Oricon weekly singles chart.[29] Despite it being her first and only single to chart on the Recording Industry Association of Japan charts, "Candy Candy" remains Kyary's lowest selling single to date.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's debut full length album Pamyu Pamyu Revolution was released on May 23, 2012. Along with the announcement of her second single back in February, it was revealed that she was planning to hold her first nationwide tour in June of that year, as well as launching an official fan club.[30] The tour kicked off on June 2 at the Namba Hatch in Osaka. It continued in Hiroshima, Nagoya, Sendai, Sapporo, Fukuoka and finished in Tokyo on June 29. In July 2012, Kyary made her European debut by performing for 13,000 fans at the Japan Expo in Paris.[31]

Kyary was bestowed the title of "Kawaii Harajuku Ambassador" on 30 August 2012 by the Mayor of Shibuya.[32] Following a montage of her successes performed on a large screen, she performed several songs in front of a crowd after accepting the award.[33]

2013: International breakthrough and Nanda Collection[edit]

In early September 2012, Kyary announced that she was collaborating with Japanese budget fashion brand g.u. for her new single "Fashion Monster", which was given a CD release date of 17 October 2012. Kyary was also used as the image character for g.u. after the announcement.[34] Around the same time, Kyary announced her debut world tour titled 100%KPP World Tour, which began in February 2013 and lasted until June. The tour visited the United States, UK, France, Belgium, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kyary's native Japan.[35][36]

During 2012 and 2013, Kyary began receiving more attention in Western media. Sputnikmusic listed Pamyu Pamyu Revolution as number one on their "Best Pop Albums of 2012" list.[37]

Britain's Dazed & Confused magazine became an enthusiastic supporter. Kyary was photographed by Matt Irwin for the magazine's December 2012 issue, styled by Nicola Formichetti.[3]

The magazine also cited her video for "Furisodeshon" in their "Video of the Week" category in January 2013,[38] and named Kyary "The Star of Tomorrow" in August.[39] In January 2013, MTV Iggy called Kyary "the coolest girl on the planet" and The Fader called Kyary "the most exciting person making music".[40][41] Furisodeshon's video was also named by Stereogum as a "Video of the Week" in January. [42]

Elle France promoted Kyary in its February 2013 issue,[43] and Kyary appeared on the French television show Le Petit Journal on February 11.[44] During this period, Kyary also appeared in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet[45] and was interviewed on the British radio station Monocle 24.[46] February also saw the release of Kyary's first concert DVD/Blu-ray, Dokidoki Wakuwaku Pamyu Pamyu Revolution Land, recorded live in November 2012 at the Nippon Budokan.[47]

In summer 2013, Kyary's television series TV JOHN! was broadcast in France on the Nolife channel.[48] In America, Paper featured Kyary in its July issue,[49] and she received her largest U.S. exposure to date in a lengthy profile in The Wall Street Journal the same month.[50]

A month-long exhibition in March 2013 titled "Kyary Pamyu Pamuseum" was held in Tokyo's Roppongi Hills complex, showcasing all costumes from her music videos and live performances.[51][52][53] In April, a deal for American distribution was reached with Sire Records, and "Fashion Monster" was re-released in the United States.[54][55]

Kyary's second studio album, Nanda Collection, was released on June 26, 2013.[56]

Kyary performed her songs "Invader Invader" and "Ninja Re Bang Bang" at the end ceremony for the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards Japan Awards, where she also received the awards for Best Pop Video and Best Karaoke! Song for "Fashion Monster". In late June, it was revealed that Kyary is working on a documentary film that is due out late 2013 entitled Kyary Pamyu Pamyu The Movie. The film featured one-day limited screening and concert footage from her 100%KPP World Tour.[57] Internationally the same year, Kyary was nominated for Best New International Pop Artist by Fuse TV and Best Japan Act at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards.[58][59][60]

2014-present: Pikapika Fantasian[edit]

Kyary at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards Japan red carpet

In September 2013, Kyary announced a second world tour titled Nanda Collection World Tour and a new single[61] "Mottai Night Land" was released in late October and received positive reviews from Western media outlets.[62][63][64] Mottai Night Land was released on November 6.[65] The world tour visited the United States, Canada, Australia, England, France, Germany, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kyary's native Japan, lasting from February until June 2014. With her second world tour, Kyary continued to gain more international attention. Throughout 2014, Kyary was interviewed by or was the focus of articles in internationally-renowned publications such as The Guardian, Time Out London, Sydney Morning Herald, and VICE.[66][67][68][69] in April 2014, Kyary made her Australian television debut on the program Sunrise and was the focus of Australian news programs such as ABC News.[70][71][72] Kyary's breakthrough song "PonPonPon" was featured in the American cartoon The Simpsons episode "Married to the Blob".[73] In May 2014, she appeared in the British fashion magazine i-D.[74]

On February 2014, Kyary announced her single "Yume no Hajima Ring Ring" in which her theme would be "evolution" which provides a theme relating to graduation. The music video was uploaded to YouTube on the 19th. The single was released on the 26th. Around the same time, Kyary announced her upcoming single "Family Party" which was released in April as a single will be featured as an ending theme for the movie Eiga Crayon Shin-chan: Gachinko! Gyakushu no Robo To-chan. Kyary has stated that this is her first original theme song for a film.[75]

On May 9, Kyary announced her first limited-run single "Kira Kira Killer" due for release on June 11. The single was featured in commercials for au’s "Lucky" campaign. Also in May, Dazed & Confused announced that Kyary was working with international musicians SOPHIE and Yelle on new upcoming music.[76] Kyary announced at her ZEPP Tokyo concert that she will be releasing her 3rd full album titled Pikapika Fantasian (ピカピカふぁんたじん Pikapika Fantajin?) on July 9, 2014. Along with the album announcement on May 18, Kyary also announced that she will be holding an arena tour after her hall tour in Japan. Both nationwide tours will be held after the Nanda Collection World Tour. The Hall tour will consist of 17 shows and 13 cities, visiting Saitama, Tokyo, Miyagi, Matsudo, Hokkaido, Tochigi, Niigata, Ishikawa, Yamanashi, Chiba, Hiroshima, Kagawa, and Aichi, and lasting from July 27 until September 22. The Arena tour will consist of 9 shows and 5 cities, which will run from October 18 to November 9, visiting the cities of Makuhari, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Yoyogi.[77][78]

Artistry[edit]

Public image[edit]

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's fashion sense is the subject of much media coverage. Kyary is often called "Japan's Lady Gaga",[79] citing Kyary's similar use of fashion to attract attention.[80] According to a review of her London concert, a press release stated "[Kyary] is not supposed to be musically talented. She is more about image featuring her creative fashion sense as one of the main subjects of her career, not just the music."[81] She has recently cited American singers Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga as her inspirations in both music and fashion.[82]

Her fashion sense has also been criticized. While being interviewed on TV Asahi‘s “Music Station“, Kyary was wearing an oversized ribbon on her head, which blocked Japanese boy band Kanjani8 from being seen on camera, angering fans of Kanjani8 by her outrageous fashion style. She later stated that when she is being interviewed on television, she will restrict what she is wearing.[80] Her fans, however, defended her wearing the outfit.[80] Pamyu cites "Kawaii" (meaning "Cute" or "Cuteness") as her background style.[10]

Her international success has also received much attention. During an interview with Kyary, she was asked if she meant to make music outside of Asia, where she responded; "At first, I didnt think about global markets at all. But even in Japanese, my lyrics don’t make any sense and have a kind of mystery, like on “Pon Pon Pon” and “Tsukema Tsukeru.” I can feel that what I’m doing in Japanese is catchy to global audiences anyway."[82] Keiichi Ishizaka, chairman and chief executive officer of Warner Music Japan Inc, commenting on Kyary's image to The Japan Times, says "[Kyary] is a person who came directly out of Tokyo’s Harajuku culture, and there is a growing international interest in Japan’s ‘kawaii’ culture,”[83] Many critics and publications noted the increase of popularity within the Japanese popular culture outside of Japan, such as its fashion and animation, and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is serving as its global ambassador. Ishizaka believed that with the advent of the Internet, there is no difference in time and distance among countries anymore."[83]

As a musical entertainer, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has been recognized as the "J-Pop Princess" or "Harajuku Pop Princess".[84][85]

Musical style and videos[edit]

Since her debut in 2011, Kyary's music has been exclusively produced by musician Yasutaka Nakata of electronic music duo Capsule, which also produces music for girl group Perfume and once for singers like Meg, Ami Suzuki and SMAP, effectively categorizing her musical style under technopop.[citation needed]

I love grotesque things. My concept is scary things that become traumatic with their cuteness. There are so many 'just cute' things in the world, so I add grotesque, scary and even shocking materials like eyeballs and brains to balance out the cuteness. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu; interview with The Fader [82]

While reviewing her London concert, "[Kyary’s] vocals sound a lot more raw to Perfume’s robotic vocals live and in recorded songs [...] she worked hard to perform with her dancing (she does very complicated but weirdly cute hand gestures while she dances – similar to Perfume) and her facial expressions for every song were just perfect."[81]

In the media[edit]

Internet-wise, Kyary has been well known. Most of her success with her singles and other ventures have been notified via internet. As of September 2013, Kyary has gained just under 1.8 million followers from the social media site Twitter, making her the most followed female celebrity in Japan.[86] Her debut single "PonPonPon" is one of the most viewed music videos in Japan, ranking up over 62 million views as of March 2014 and has been identified as a "viral hit".[15][16][50] The music video, which has been influenced by 60s and 70s fashion along with the main Japanese theme kawaii, has received huge media attention.[87] American recording artist Katy Perry had tweeted about the music, indicating that she is a fan of Kyary.[88]

Many of Kyary's singles, including "Candy Candy", "Invader Invader" and "Fashion Monster" have generated over millions of views on the social streaming site YouTube. Kyary's single "Furisodeshon", however generated minor controversy in her native Japan, where a citizens' group believed the video encouraged alcohol and smoking, in which her label declined.[89]

Personal life[edit]

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is known to speak very little English and has had a translator when she is giving interviews overseas or doing meet and greet sessions during post concerts.[90] As of 2014, she has been studying English and currently has been speaking to the audience in brief bits of English on her U.S. world tours and on the NHK World show, Moshimoshi Nippon.

Kyary is known to be in a relationship with SEKAI NO OWARI lead vocalist Satoshi Fukase since 2013. Many news sources started publishing pictures of her and Fukase together walking and holding hands.[91][92]

Kyary is an anime and manga fan and has mentioned that her favorite anime show and manga is Crayon Shin-Chan. She has also mentioned that she is also a Vocaloid fan.[93]

Discography[edit]

Concert tours[edit]

Domestic
  • 2012: Pamyu Pamyu Revolution Tour
  • 2013: Nanda Collection Tour: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's Universal Theater
  • 2014: Pikapika Fantasian Tour: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu no Kumo no Ue no HEAVEN’S DOOR
  • 2014: Japan Arena Tour (Title TBA)
International

Works[edit]

Television
Year Title Role Network Notes
2011 Kyary Pamyu Pamyu TV John! Herself/ Host Nagoya TV[94] Japanese variety show
2011–2013 SPACE SHOWER Area Herself / VJ SPACE SHOWER TV[95] Program about music
2012–present Catherine the Thirteenth Herself / Host Kansai TV[96] Japanese variety show
2012 Kazoku no Uta Herself Fuji TV[97] Japanese dorama/ 1 episode
2013 Crayon Shin-chan Herself TV asahi[98] Voice
2013–present Nanda Kore TV with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Herself / MC SPACE SHOWER TV[99] Monthly Japanese variety show
2014 Kyary Pamyu Pamyu TV-JOHN! Herself / Host United Television Broadcasting Systems[100] Japanese variety show with subtitles
2014–present Moshi Moshi Nippon Herself / MC NHK World[101] Bimonthly Japanese variety show
Cinema
Year Title Role Network Notes
2013 Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Movie Herself movie[102] Documentary
2014 Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Cinema JOHN! Herself movie[103]
Radio
Year Title Role Network Notes
2012–present Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Way Way Radio! Herself/ Host TBS[104] Part of the radio program "Kakiiin"
Others
Year Title Role Network Notes
2012 - 2013 DAM CHANNEL! Herself/ MC CLUB DAM[105] Karaoke system program
2012–present HARAJUKU KAWAii!! TV Herself HARAJUKU KAWAii!! TV[106][107] YouTube channel/ blog

Bibliography[edit]

  • 2011: OH! MY GOD!! 原宿ガール (Romanized:OH! MY GOD!! Harajuku Girl)
  • 2011: HARAJUKU KAWAii!!!! Girls (Co-writer: Yasumasa Yonehara)
  • 2012: きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ・きゃりーぼーん (Romanized: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Kyary Bōn)
  • 2012: もしもし☆TOKYO きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅの東京Kawaiiガイドツアー (Romanized: Moshi Moshi TOKYO - Kyary Pamyu Pamyu no Tokyo kawaii Guide Tour -)
  • 2012: Harajyuku Jyoshi Hara J Vol. 1
  • 2013: OFFICIAL DOCUMENTARY PHOTO BOOK -100%KPP WORLD TOUR 2013-
  • 2013: Harajyuku Jyoshi Hara J Vol. 2

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2011 BEST STYLING AWARD 2011 Artist Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Won
2012 MUSIC JACKET AWARD 2012 Grand Prix Moshi Moshi Harajuku Won
SPACE SHOWER Music Video Awards 2012 Special Award Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Won
45th Wired Japan Grand Prix Won
54th Japan Record Award Won
VOGUE JAPAN Women of the Year 2012 Stylist Won
MTV Video Music Awards Japan Best New Artist Nominated
Best Dressed Award 2012 International Won
2013 Japanese CD Shop Association Awards The CD Shop Grand Prize Pamyu Pamyu Revolution 2nd Place
Space Shower Music Video Awards Video of the Year Tsukematsukeru Won
Rekochoku Best March Month Music Award Download (Single) Ninjari Bang Bang Won
Ring Song Won
MTV Video Music Awards Japan Best Pop Video Fashion Monster Won
Best Karaoke Song Won
Fuse TV[59][60] Best New International Pop Artist Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Nominated
2013 MTV Europe Music Awards[58] Best Japanese Act Nominated
Mnet Asian Music Awards Asian Artist Won
Japan Record Awards Best Song Ninja Re Bang Bang Won
Best Album Nanda Collection Won
2014 Barbie Award 2014 Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Won
World Music Awards Worlds Best Female Artist Pending
Worlds Best Live Act Pending
Worlds Best Entertainer of the Year Pending
Worlds Best Album Nanda Collection Pending
MTV Video Music Awards Japan Best Pop Video Mottai Night Land Nominated
Best Karaoke Song Won
Best Album of the Year Nanda Collection Won

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External links[edit]