The Japanese Popstars

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The Japanese Popstars
OriginDerry and Dungannon
Northern Ireland
GenresElectro house
Years active2006–present
LabelsGung-Ho! Recordings
MembersGary Curran
Gareth Donoghue
Past membersDeclan McLaughlin
WebsiteThe Japanese Popstars

The Japanese Popstars are an Irish electronic group from Northern Ireland consisting of Gary Curran and Gareth Donoghue (with former founding member and keyboardist Declan McLaughlin). Each member has his own alias. The act was nominated for "Best House DJs" at the 2006 World Urban Music Awards, "Best Live Performance" at the 2007 Northern Ireland Music Awards and won "Best Live Act" at the 2008 Irish Music Awards and then every year since (four years in a row). They were also voted "Best Breakthrough Producers" at the DJ Mag Best of British Awards 2008[citation needed], awarded "No.1 Dance Album" by Hotpress magazine, and won " Best Live Act" and "Best Album" at the 2009 Irish Music Awards.


Originally a trio with former member Declan McLaughlin (who now fronts Sirkus Sirkuz), they signed to indie label, in 2007 to Gung-Ho Recordings (Gus Gus, Zoo Brazil) in the UK, and Beatink in Japan (home of Underworld, Aphex Twin, and Cinematic Orchestra) but in 2010 then moved to Virgin Records. They have been referred to by people (particularly in Derry) as The Jappy Pops, Jap Pops, Popstars, the popstars or The Japstars.

In 2011 they released their second studio album 'Controlling Your Allegiance' which featured guest vocals from Robert Smith (The Cure), James Vincent McMorrow, Green Velvet, Lisa Hannigan, Tom Smith (Editors), Dot JR, Morgan Kibby (M83) and Jon Spencer (Blues Explosion).

They have also remixed the likes of Beyoncé, Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, The Ting Tings, Editors and many more, as well as playing the European MTV Music Awards Preparty live with Kasabian in 2011.

The band have a reputation for being a great live act and have played many festivals around the world including Fuji Rock, Japan, Oxegen, Ireland, Sea Sessions, Ireland, Glastonbury Festival, UK, Electric Picnic, Ireland, Rockness, Scotland, Trans Musicales, France, Benicassim, Spain, Dour Festival, Belgium, Dance.Here.Now, New York, Camp Bisco, NY, Bestival, UK, Les Transardentes, Belgium, Sea of Love, Germany, Scopitone, France and many more.

Decky Hedrock has since split from the group to form Sirkus Sirkuz and a monthly radio show on RTÉ 2FM.



  • "Rodney Trotter" on Dozer Records
  • "Dirty Popstars on Your Radio" on Dozer Records
  • "EP1" which includes "Delboy's Revenge" & "Sample Whore" on Gung-Ho! Recordings
  • Groove Armada Vs The Japanese Popstars "Get Down" on Strictly Rhythm
  • "Rise of Ulysses" on Gung-Ho! Recordings
  • "Face Melter" on Gung-Ho! Recordings
  • "We Just Are (Finalizer)" on Gung-Ho! Recordings
  • "B.C.T.T." on Gung-Ho! Recordings
  • "Destroy" feat. Jon Spencer on Virgin Recordings
  • "Let Go" feat. Green Velvet on Virgin Recordings
  • "Song For Lisa" feat. Lisa Hannigan on Virgin Recordings
  • "Joshua" feat. Tom Smith on Virgin Recordings
  • "Take Forever" feat. Robert Smith on Virgin Recordings
  • "Shells of Silver" feat. James Vincent McMorrow on Virgin Recordings

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2008 We Just Are
  • Released: 7 August 2008
  • Label: Gung Ho!
  • Formats: CD, Download
2011 Controlling Your Allegiance
  • Released: 9 March 2011
  • Label: Beat Ink, Japan
  • Formats: CD, Download
2013 Disconnect / Reconnect
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Live albums[edit]

Year Album details Chart peaks
2009 We Just Are: Live
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Gung Ho!
  • Format: DVD
"—" denotes a release that did not chart

Extended plays[edit]

Year Album details
2011 Controlling Your Allegiance
  • Released: June 2011
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • Format: CD



Controlling Your Allegiance was nominated for the Choice Music Prize in January 2012.[2]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2012 Controlling Your Allegiance Irish Album of the Year 2011 Nominated


  1. ^ a b " - Discography The Japanese Popstars". Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Choice Prize Shortlist Announced". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 11 January 2012. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2012.

External links[edit]