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May'n

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May'n
May'n in 2014.jpg
May'n in 2014
Native name
メイン
Born
Mei Nakabayashi

(1989-10-21) October 21, 1989 (age 29)
OccupationSinger
Years active2005–present
AgentHoripro
Height164 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Musical career
Genres
InstrumentsVocals
Labels
Websitemayn.jp

Mei Nakabayashi (中林 芽依, Nakabayashi Mei, born October 21, 1989), better known by her stage name May'n (メイン, Mein), is a Japanese singer from Nagoya who is affiliated with the Horipro talent agency. Aspiring to become a musician since childhood, she began her music activities in 2003 upon passing an audition held by Horipro. She made her major debut in 2005 under the Universal Music label with the release of her first single "Crazy Crazy Crazy". She would release two more singles under Universal Music, before transferring to Victor Entertainment in 2008. That same year, she had her break as the singing voice of the character Sheryl Nome in the anime series Macross Frontier.

May'n's musical style varies in genre, ranging from pop and rock, to dance music and R&B. Her music has been featured in anime series such as Macross Frontier, Aria the Scarlet Ammo, Accel World, Aquarion Logos, and Restaurant to Another World. She has also performed at several music events in Japan, Asia, Europe, and North America. In 2013, she represented Japan at the ABU TV Song Festival in Vietnam.

Early life and childhood[edit]

Nakabayashi was born in Nagoya on October 21, 1989.[1] She had become interested in music at an early age, and had been singing at least since she was three years old.[2][3] She had also had an interest in anime series such as Sailor Moon since her childhood, particularly after an occurrence where she heard the series' theme "Moonlight Densetsu" at a karaoke bar.[3] In 2003, at the age of 13, she participated in the 28th "HoriPro – Talent Scout Caravan – Love Music – Audition" (ホリプロ・タレントスカウトキャラバン・ラブミュージック・オーディション., Horipuro・Tarento Sukauto Kyaraban・Rabu Myūjikku・Ōdishon) and out of the 34,911 hopefuls, became one of the four who survived the final eliminations.[1][4]

Career[edit]

Nakabayashi debuted under the Universal Music Japan label with the release of her first single "Crazy Crazy Crazy" on April 27, 2005;[5] the single was later re-released on June 1 of that year with an additional track.[6] This was followed by the release of the digital single "Happy" in December of that year.[7] Her second single, "Sympathy", was released on August 3, 2005.[8] She then released her third single "Fallin' in or Not" on September 27, 2006,[9] the title track of which was used as the ending theme for the anime series Love Get Chu.[2]

May'n performing at Anime Festival Asia 2008, in Singapore, November 2008

Nakabayashi transferred to Victor Entertainment in 2008 and began using the stage name May'n.[10] That same year, she gained popularity after being cast as the singing voice of the character Sheryl Nome in the anime television series Macross Frontier.[2] She later released two singles for the series, "Diamond Crevasse / Iteza Gogo Kuji Don't be late" (ダイアモンド クレバス/射手座☆午後九時Don’t be late) and "Lion", with each placing in the Top 3 on the Oricon Weekly Chart in their debut week.[11][12] She was invited to perform "Iteza Gogo Kuji Don't be late" and "Northern Cross" at Animelo Summer Live 2008.[13] She then gave her first live performance outside Japan in Singapore at Anime Festival Asia in November of that year.[14][15] She has since become a regular guest at this event as well,[16] also appearing at its iterations in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.[4][17][18]

In January 2009, May'n released the mini-album May'n Street, which reached number 2 on the Oricon Weekly Chart in its first week.[19] She then released the single "Kimi Shinitamō Koto Nakare" (キミシニタモウコトナカレ, Thou Shalt Not Die) on May 6, 2009; the title track is used as the opening theme to the anime series Shangri-La.[20] Her first full album Styles was released in November 2009; the album reached number 7 on the Oricon Weekly charts.[21] In January 2010, she performed her first solo Nippon Budokan concert, which sold out in only one day.[22] In March of the same year, she held her first tour of Asia, with concerts in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.[23] This was followed in July by a 17-city summer tour of Japan.[24] She released her second album Cosmic Cuune in November 2010 as her character Sheryl Nome.[25] In late 2010, she was chosen to record the theme song for the film Incite Mill -7 Day Death Game-.[26] In February 2011, she released her 3D live documentary movie May'n The Movie: Phonic Nation,[27] and later that month released her third album If you..., which made number 7 on the Oricon Weekly Chart.[28] In March of that year, she held her second solo Budokan concert.[29] She then made an appearance at Japan Expo in Paris.[30] She also sang the song "Mr. Super Future Star", which was used as the theme song for the Capcom game E.X. Troopers.[31]

In 2011 and 2012, May'n collaborated with music artist Daisuke Asakura for the singles "Scarlet Ballet", which was used as the opening theme to the anime series Aria the Scarlet Ammo, and "Chase the world", which was used as the opening theme to the anime series Accel World.[32] She released her fourth album Heat on March 21, 2012.[33] She represented Japan in October 2013 at the ABU TV Song Festival 2013 in Hanoi, Vietnam with her single "Vivid".[34] She was scheduled to make an appearance at Animax Carnival Philippines in December 2013, but the event was cancelled as a result of the effects of Typhoon Haiyan.[35]

In 2014, May'n released her fifth album New World.[36] She then returned to the United States with a solo concert in San Francisco and a performance at Union Square for J-Pop Summit Festival 2014.[37]

May'n performed "Yamaidare darlin'", which was used as the first opening theme to the 2015 anime television series Aquarion Logos,[38] and later performed the songs "Yoake no Logos", which was used as the second opening theme to Aquarion Logos, and the series' second ending theme "Hontō no Koe wo Anata ni Azuketakute", which was performed with Haruka Chisuga.[39] She released her fifth album Powers of Voice on September 7, 2015.[40] She would also make an appearance at Animax Carnival Malaysia in March of that year.[41] In 2016, she performed the song "Belief", which was used as the opening theme to the anime television series Taboo Tattoo.[42] She performed the song "Hikari Aru Basho e", which is used as the ending theme to the 2016 anime television series Izetta: The Last Witch.[43] She also appeared at Animax Carnival Philippines in October of that year.[35]

In 2017, May'n collaborated with idol unit Wake Up, Girls! in performing the song "One in a Billion", which was used as the opening theme to the anime television series Restaurant to Another World.[44] She made an appearance at Illinois' Anime Central event in May,[45] and she also appeared at Anime Festival Asia Indonesia in August as a replacement for singer Ami Wajima, who had cancelled her appearance for health reasons.[46] She released her sixth album Peace of Smile on October 30, 2017.[47] She returned to Singapore in March 2018 for the anime event Anime Garden,[48] and she appeared at the Anisong World Matsuri event in Los Angeles in July of that year.[49] In September 2018, May'n and Megumi Nakajima, who played the role of Ranka Lee in Macross Frontier, released the single "Good job!"; it was their first Macross-related single in seven years.[50]

Musical style and influences[edit]

May'n's musical style varies in genre, ranging from pop and rock, to dance music and R&B,[1] and she cites artists such as Britney Spears, Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Namie Amuro as her musical influences.[51][3] She also cites her relationship with composer Yoko Kanno as a major factor in her career.[3][52]

In interviews with Anime News Network, May'n discussed her performance style and her experiences working with composers such as Kanno and Daisuke Asakura. She stated that her initial preferred genres were R&B and dance music, but collaborating with Kanno made her realize that her voice fit rock songs more. Whenever she performs theme songs for anime, she would try to "feel each character's heart."[3] Since she had been cast as the singing voice of the character Sheryl Nome, she had a desire to "become" the character, although Kanno would give her advice that she should stop acting too much like Sheryl and instead be herself. As for her involvement with Asakura, she stated that she admired Asakura's work and that collaborating with him allowed her to explore new music styles that she had not attempted before.[53] May'n also explained the reason for her stage name. She stated that she began using the name "May'n" when she started performing songs for anime series, and that the name was a play on the English word "main", as she wanted her songs to be seen as "main themes" to her audiences, and for her fans to consider her their "main singer".[53]

May'n discussed the production of her song "You", used as the opening theme to the anime series The Ancient Magus' Bride, in a February 2018 interview with DaVinci News. She said that the song was meant to represent the relationship between the series' characters Chise and Elias, and in particular Elias' representation as a dark and sad character. She notes that, as the single was released during her 10th anniversary, she wanted to challenge herself to "get better" in singing, and to improve her weaknesses.[54]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Released as Year Title Oricon chart position Ref.
Daily/weekly peak Weeks Sales
May'n 2009 Styles 3/7 10 36,611 [21]
Sheryl Nome
starring May'n
2010 Cosmic Cuune 5/6 10 49,663 [25]
May'n 2011 If You... 7/7 8 28,493 [28]
May'n 2012 Heat 5/9 9 19,525 [33]
May'n 2014 New World 6/9 6 15,334 [55]
May'n 2017 Peace of Smile ?/13 4 ? [47]

EPs[edit]

Released as Year Title Oricon charting position Ref.
Peak Weeks Sales
May'n 2009 May'n Street (メイン☆ストリート, Mein Sutorīto) 2/2 9 37,503 [19]
Sheryl Nome
starring May'n
Universal Bunny (ユニバーサル・バニー, Yunibāsaru Banī) 2/3 16 101,599 [56]

Singles[edit]

Released as Year Title Oricon chart position Album Theme song featured in Ref.
Daily/weekly peak Weeks Sales
May Nakabayashi 2005 "Crazy Crazy Crazy" [5]
"Sympathy" [8]
2006 "Fallin' in or Not" feat. SEAMO 159 1 544 Love Get Chu: Miracle Voice Actress Hakusho [9]
Sheryl Nome
starring May'n
2008 "Diamond Crevasse / Iteza☆Gogo Kuji Don't be late" (ダイアモンド クレバス / 射手座☆午後九時Don't be late, Daiamondo Kurebasu/Iteza Gogo Kuji Donto Bī Reito) 2/2 27 108,504 Macross Frontier [11]
"Lion" (ライオン, Raion) 2/3 19 123,900 May'n Street [12]
May'n 2009 "Kimi Shinitamō Koto Nakare" (キミシニタモウコトナカレ, Thou Shalt Not Die) 5/10 14 20,671 Styles Shangri-La [20]
Sheryl Nome
starring May'n
"Pink Monsoon" 2/5 9 38,703 Universal Bunny Macross Frontier: Itsuwari no Utahime [57]
May'n 2010 "Ready Go!" 11/21 8 13,292 If You... Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi [58]
"Shinjitemiru" (シンジテミル, See the Truth) 12/14 4 8,513 Injitemiru 7-nichikan no Death Game [59]
2011 "Scarlet Ballet" 9/11 10 24,435 Heat Aria the Scarlet Ammo [60]
"Brain Diver" 16/18 6 8,320 Phi Brain: Puzzle of God [61]
May'n 2012 "Chase the world" 5/7 13 33,556 Accel World [62]
May'n 2013 "Run Real Run" w/ "アウトサイダー" (Outsider) 10/20 3 4,825 Real Onigokko The Origin / Onimusha Soul [63]
"Vivid" w/ "ワイルドローズ" (Wild Rose) 15/19 5 7,876 Blood Lad/Ikenie no Dilemma [64]
May'n 2014 "Kyo ni Koiro" (今日に恋色, Today in Color of Love) Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha [65]
"Re:REMEMBER" w/ "誰がために" M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane [66]
May'n 2017 "Itoshisa to Setsunasa to Kokorozuyosa to"
  • Release Date: May 31, 2017
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers [67]
May'n 2018 "You"
  • Release Date: February 7, 2018
The Ancient Magus' Bride [68][69]

Digital singles[edit]

Year Title Theme song featured in
2005 "Happy"
  • Released: December 11, 2005[7]
2007 "Ame ni Saku Hana" (雨に咲く花, Blooming Flowers in the Rain)
  • Released: January 31, 2007[70]
2009 "My Teens, My Tears"
  • Released: October 21, 2009[71]
2009 "Grand Piano"
  • Released: November 25, 2009[72]
2010 "Ai wa Furu Hoshi no Gotoku" (愛は降る星のごとく, Love Is Like Falling Stars)
  • Released: May 12, 2010[73]
Saikyou Bushouden: Sangoku Engi
2012 "Aozora" (アオゾラ, Blue sky)
  • Released: October 11, 2012[74]
Btooom!
2012 "Mr. Super Future Star"
  • Released: November 22, 2012[31]
E.X. Troopers

DVDs and Blu-ray disks[edit]

A TV group (front) and the queue (back) waiting for May'n Special Concert 2013 "MIC-A-MANIA" in Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, March 2013
Title Date Type Label/distributor Catalog no. Note
May'n Act March 25, 2009 DVD concert Victor Entertainment VTBL-3 May'n's concert at Akasaka Blitz on January 19, 2009, is recorded here.[75]
May'n Special Concert BD Big Waaaaave!! in Nippon Budokan May 26, 2010 Blu-ray concert Victor Entertainment VTXL-1 May'n's concert at Nippon Budokan on January 24, 2010, is recorded here.[76]
May’n Special Concert DVD Big Waaaaave!! in Nippon Budokan May 26, 2010 DVD concert Victor Entertainment VTBL-9 Same as above but on DVD[77]
May'n Special Concert BD Rhythm Tank!! at Nippon Budokan November 2, 2011 Blu-ray concert Victor Entertainment VTXL-7 May'n's concert at Nippon Budokan on March 6, 2011, is recorded here.[78]
May’n Special Concert DVD Rhythm Tank!! at Nippon Budokan November 2, 2011 DVD concert Victor Entertainment VTBL-17 Same as above but on DVD[79]

Collaborations[edit]

Title Date Type Label/distributor Catalog no. Note
Macross F (Frontier) O.S.T.1 "Nyan Fro" June 4, 2008 CD album Victor Entertainment VTCL-60060 May'n is credited as "Sheryl Nome starring May'n".[80]
Macross F (Frontier) O.S.T.2 "Nyan Tra" October 8, 2008 CD album Victor Entertainment VTCL-60061 May'n is credited as "Sheryl Nome starring May'n".[81]
Macross F (Frontier) Vocal Collection "Nyan Tama" December 3, 2008 CD album (2 disks) Victor Entertainment VTCL-60100 May'n is credited as "Sheryl Nome starring May'n".
Macross F (Frontier) Galaxy Tour Final in Budokan October 30, 2009 DVD concert Bandai BCBM-0011 [82]
Macross F (Frontier) Galaxy Tour Final in Budokan November 27, 2009 Blu-ray concert Bandai BCXE-0216 Same as above but on Blu-ray[82]
Macross F (Frontier) Concept Album "Cosmic Cuune" November 24, 2010 CD album Victor Entertainment VTCL-60230 May'n is credited as "Sheryl Nome starring May'n".[83]
Yoko Kanno Produce Macross F Super Dimensional Super Live Cosmic Nyan Blu-ray November 23, 2011 Blu-ray concert [84]
Yoko Kanno Produce Macross F Super Dimensional Super Live Cosmic Nyan DVD November 23, 2011 DVD concert [84]
Kamen Rider Fourze ED Theme "Giant Step" January 25, 2012 CD single Avex Trax AVCA-49427 May'n is credited as "Astronauts" along Yoshiharu Shiina.[85]


References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Perfume
with "Spring of Life"
Japan in the ABU TV Song Festival
2013
with "Vivid"
Succeeded by
[to be determined]