Shiina Ringo (椎名 裕美子) is a hugely respected singer-songwriter in Japan and a leader of a rock band Tokyo Jihen. Her music is an eclectic mix, full of effortless flair and lyrical insight. She dabbled in anything from punk rock, alternative to hip hop, jazz and Japanese enka, all to a great critical acclaim. She is one of the most successful and respected Japanese female artists up to date.
For her best-of-collaboration album Ukina / 浮き名 (release – November 13), Shiina paired up with the most influential Japanese producer of electronic music – Yasutaka Nakata, known from the music of Capsule, Perfume, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu or MEG. The child of their work is J’ai trouvé l’amour (lit. I found love) / 熱愛発覚中 (romanized ‘Netsuai Hakkakuchu’). It’s a demure and hypnotising piece of electropop. Mysterious, ominous verse and a sweet but mature chorus are intercepted by Nakata‘s distorted synths. The chemistry of Nakata‘s instrumental and Shiina‘s style and vocals is like apple and cinnamon – absolutely spot on. The effect is of avant-garde quality. Check it out below:
The video is up to par with the music. Elegant and stylish Shiina kicks ass, literally. In a Kill Bill kind of way. This video should be a lesson to many Western female singers on ‘How to be sexy without showing too much / looking like a whore’. In fact, it’s so well directed that I wish it was an actual movie. This, gentlemen, is how you make a music video.
What’s left is to hope that such synergetic collaboration between Shiina and Nakata will spark even more future works together. Stay tuned and if enjoy the works of Shiina, be sure to check out the new album Ukina.