Two artists that have recently garnered buzz due to their new albums are cero and Nariaki Obukuro. The Japan Times recently interviewed both acts.
cero will release their new album “POLY LIFE MULTI SOUL” on May 16. This is the band’s first album since 2015’s “Obscure Ride.” cero garnered some mainstream attention with that album, reaching new heights for an indie band when they performed with SMAP on their show “SMAP x SMAP”. cero has decided not to cash in on the laid back sound of their previous album, and instead have advanced into a new music territory featuring genre clashes, elaborate arrangements, intricate harmonies, and polyrhythms. This new sound is in part influenced by music from various parts of the world, which led cero to also discuss the concept of cultural appropriation.
Nariaki Obukuro has been making a name for himself for years with his production company Tokyo Recordings. He reached a new level of attention when he collaborated with Utada Hikaru on her 2016 song “Tomodachi.” Returning the favor, Utada co-produced his debut album, “Bunriha no Natsu”, which was released on April 25. It’s a personal record, something that Nariaki believes separates it from typical JPop.
Check out both interviews below!