Mon, Mar 31, 2014 - Page 12 News List

Crazy go nuts

Scarier than Lady Gaga, sartorially freakier than Katy Perry, Japan’s gonzo pop star pushes fantasy to its grotesque limits

By Everett True  /  The Guardian

Her name came about while she was still in a high school because, “I often hung out wearing a blonde wig so my friends teased me and called me ‘Kyary’ like a foreigner. When I started my blog I thought my name should be something that sticks in people’s heads so I add ‘Pamyu’ because I just liked the sound of it.”

Kyary came to prominence as a fashion blogger while she was still in high school. She was scouted as a street fashion model, later writing a blog documenting her everyday looks and exploits for the Japanese Web site Ameba. This, in turn, led to guest spots as a DJ which eventually resulted in a chance meeting with producer Yasutaka Nakata, the man behind her debut album 2011’s Moshi Moshi Harajuku, and Pon Pon Pon, an immediate hit both in Japan and abroad. “One day [Yasutaka] was like ‘Do you want to sing?’ Then time passed and when I realized I am singing and dancing like I do now.”

There are indications of a Western pop influence upon Kyary’s videos — notably Lady Gaga (witness the mask and throne used in Tsukematsukeru) and Katy Perry, something which the singer is happy to acknowledge. “I always look up to artists who blend their music with fashion, and I want to be one,” she says. “I am not just trying to imitate what they are doing. I want to express my own version of music and fashion with a happy spirit.”

So how does Kyary view the attention she is receiving from Western audiences? (The Pon Pon Pon video alone has received 62 million views on YouTube.) She expresses surprise, but is “very glad there are people waiting for me far, far away over the ocean. When I was touring abroad I met fans crying in happiness to see me. I was genuinely moved. I see a lot of cosplay when I am touring overseas. They have a little bit of my influence, but each of them definitely has their own style so that is one other thing I am looking forward to.”

This story has been viewed 2276 times.
TOP top