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how can i become a j-pop singer? 2006/3/23 17:06
I live in Australia and I love j-pop music. I want to be an j-pop singer when I leave school and I don't know what to do. I need help from you.

What should I do?

Is there anything that I can do?

Which recording companies would you recommend me?

Do I have to study to be a j-pop singer?

Should I be prepared to become a j-pop singer?

This is what I need when I finish school.

by an lah  

The answer is... 2006/3/25 14:16
Practice a lot...cut demos...comtact recording studios and management groups and clubs in Japan. Do as many club performances as you can...meet other musicians...develope an individual style which is unique and different!

If you have talent it is a good start but remember it can take a while to get discovered even if you are something very special! It is possible to make it but there are so many people with this same dream so it is not a guarantee. Be prepared to starve a while and work very hard! It helps to have a back up band also. Good Luck...if you ever cut a demo let me know...
by Umi rate this post as useful

hmm 2006/3/25 16:48
i dont want to destroy ur dreams but isnt j-pop only for japanese and would they acept some one from some other country?
i dont know lol just asking
by Luan rate this post as useful

I disagree... 2006/3/26 00:50
Actually, Luan, there are a few J-pop singers that are from America or other countries and are very well-known. I can't remember their names, actually, but I have heard of them. Anyway, my advice would be to keep going, do anything you can to have your talent recognized, and don't be discouraged if you can't find anything. I'm not sure where to find any audition sort of things, but keep asking around and I'm sure someone will have heard of one!
It will be hard working with all that foreign stuff, mind you.
Just be aware that becoming a singer can be a pretty far-off thing no matter where you are, so you have to stay on top, you know? You have to really want it. At least, I think... *is definately not a singer* You have to try hard to make it, and good luck!
by Lucky Muppet rate this post as useful

Rosanna 2006/3/26 01:03
...was among the first purely Western J-pop singers. She had just come from Italy when she started her duo career with Hide, but after much struggling, became a reknowned J-pop duo.

There are also quite a few foreign J-pop musicians from Asian countries.

Keep practicing and study the industry.
by Uco rate this post as useful

sorry... 2006/3/26 01:25
geez sorry i didnt know that there were western people as j popers :P
dont know if that sounded right
by Luan rate this post as useful

as a matter of fact... 2006/3/26 02:46
I think Utada Hikaru (a popular Japanese singer, if you've never heard of) was from... uh... somewhere that wasn't Japan. That's what I heard from someone, though, I'm really not sure. So, really, you can be successful no matter where you're from.
by Lucky Muppet rate this post as useful

A lot of work 2006/3/26 04:10
If you want to be a J-Pop singer, you have a lot of work to do. I'm a music major who specializes in voice, so I can tell you with 100% honesty that you won't be accepted as a J-Pop singer if you don't speak the language. No matter what language you sing in, you have to be able to give a realistic impression of the text for the audience. If you are singing in Japanese, but don't have a clue what you are actually saying, then you aren't going to be able to touch people's hearts. Music is an emotional connection, and if you can't bring out that connection then there is no point in even pursuing a career in music.

Tips I can give you are: take voice lessons because learning how to sing properly will help you no matter what genre you sing; learn Japanese (speaking, reading, and writing) because all of your lyrics will be written in Japanese kanji, hiragana, and katakana; learn how to read music because you will have to do a lot of sight-reading and sight-singing as a musician; after you get the last steps down, get a manager because in the entertainment business it is easier to get jobs with a manager (your manager will help you with gigs, record labels, production, etc.); and last, but not least, be prepared for a very difficult life-style.

Musicians don't become millionaires like most people seem to think. Musicians, like actors, barely make enough money to live off of. The average is, for every 10 auditions you do, you might get 1 or 2 gigs. You will probably need a part-time job or full-time job just to make your living expenses. If you become a J-Pop star, then your financial problems will deminish greatly, but remember that you don't make nearly as much off of being a musician as you think. Even pop stars are poor. Most of the money they flaunt isn't even their own. The contract they sign gives them a lot of things like a nice house, car, etc., but if they break their contract then all of that is taken away in an instant. I'm speaking of the way pop star contracts work in the U.S., so it may be different in Japan, but I doubt it. The music business is almost identical, no matter where in the world you go because they exist for one reason, to make money.
by Maikeru rate this post as useful

the music industry... 2006/3/26 06:27
...in Japan is a bit different than in US. In US there are many types of contracts and there is little honor. The money is the big thing! In Japan the musicians do not get as much financial reward but in my experience it seems there is much more heart in the music!
As for needing to know the language well to convey feeling, not necessary! Do you know the US singer Josh Groban? He sings in many different languages without being a fluent linguist! And he can make people from the countries whose languages he sing in weep from the emotion in his voice! It is possible to convey feeling by voice even when you don't speak the language. As for music contracts, they vary. And most record companies don't loan cars and houses, etc...They usually stipulate percentage of earnings and sometimes front money for cutting records...Sometimes they don't include front money and only pay a percentage of earnings from recording sales and tour income. Of course one mustdo so much before reaching the stage where you must worry about contracts. Until then, practice, perform and send demos to anyone who will listen (management, record execs...potential fans...)
Good Luck!
by Umi rate this post as useful

... 2006/3/27 10:50
I don't think there's anything wrong with an American singing J-pop. I happen to be an azn-American pursuing acting in Japan. I used to have a band in the U.S. myself. There's an American, Kay, [african-american] who sings J-pop in Japan!
You should go for it. Though it would be a lot easier to become and actor first then a singer. Because your name would have been known. Helps if you're good-looking too.
by Kiro rate this post as useful

Josh Groban 2006/3/30 05:43
Umi, I looked up Josh Groban and from what I saw, he sings in english, spanish, has one french song, and italian. I did find an article that said Josh doesn't know spanish, french, or italian. I was also able to find out that Josh Groban has taken voice lessons for a long time. That being the case, he doesn't need to speak the languages fluently. He most likely knows how to pronounce the languages from his voice training, which if you had a good voice teacher you are able to do. Being able to get emotion out of the songs is either due to a translator telling him what he is singing or using the instrumental music to determine what kind of emotion he needs to show.

There is also a difference between what he is doing and being a J-Pop singer. He has no intension of going to Spain, Mexico, Italy, or France and singing as a star in that country. He just likes to sing in different languages. If you want to sing in multiple languages you don't need to be fluent in the language as long as you have a general idea of what you are trying to say and can sing the language correctly. Being a J-Pop star is different. You need to be fluent in the language for more than one reason. Of course singing in only Japanese means that you will need to know what you are singing (it's different than singing in multiple languages). Also, if you plan to be a J-Pop star you will need to be fluent in the language so that you can speak to your fans at interviews, conventions, etc. All of the J-Pop stars I know of who aren't from Japan have some level of fluency in Japanese, even if it's only at an upper elementary school level, because they need it to speak to their fans.

An example that comes to mind is the group Rockapella. They aren't J-Pop stars, they are an American a cappella music group who got their start in Japan. Because they started out with their fan-base being Japanese, they all learned the language and are fluent in it. They even started writing a few Japanese songs so that they can sing some "J-Pop a cappella" when they tour Japan.
by Maikeru rate this post as useful

yes, that was my point... 2006/3/30 07:03
About JG...he doesn't speak the other languages...but he can sing in them. As for Rockapella, I also know them and of their history and influence on Japanese music culture. I know that some groups like Gospellers got their inspiration from them. Yes, JG is not J-Rock and neither is Rockapella but one's heritage or language ability is not something which can make or break a career in any musical genre. One band...all female and mostly western, write and sing in J-Rock style. Only one member can speak Japanese and the others can all sing in it. The others are learning the language which I recommend for anyone wishing to work and live in Japan.It is in practicing the phonetic patterns that teach the proper pronounciation of the words in songs. It is quite possible for a westerner to become a J-pop or J-Rock singer, it is only one's talent for singing and marketability of style and vocal quality that is important.As for Josh again...he HAS performed in Europe. He just doesn't intend on moving there. He has performed to audiences who speak the languages he sings in. No one ever suggested he should stick to english...
btw...as you are still a student you have much to learn of the music business but I wish you much luck as well as the OP who I hope can realize the dream...
A last note...Boa (who is a very popular J-Pop singer) is Korean...not Japanese.A foreigner can be a success in Japan.
by Umi rate this post as useful

Rewording 2006/3/30 11:43
I think I need to reword what I said because I never said that a foreigner couldn't be a J-Pop artist. The point I was making was that learning the language will make the whole process easier. Singing in a language and not understanding what you are singing isn't a bad thing. As a music major getting my Bachelor's in Music Education I have sung in English, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Latin, Spanish, Greek, African tribal languages (can't remember which ones), Hebrew, Korean, Russian, and a couple of other languages whose names I can't remember. The point is that I don't speak any of those languages (except English and I'm currently learning Japanese) and I can still bring emotion into the pieces because I can listen to the accompaniment and read translations to get a general understanding of what I'm singing. All singers with experience and proper vocal training bring emotion into pieces they don't understand.

The point I was making was that doing the above is fine, but if you plan on living in a country, especially if you want to sing in that countries native language, it is best to learn the language. Since I plan on moving to Japan and teaching music there, I am currently learning the language, history, culture, and traditional music of Japan so that I have a firm footing when I get to Japan to begin my career.

Learning the language isn't necessary, but it gives you a huge leg up, especially in music. It is impressive to hear a foreigner sing in your language, but it is even more impressive if that performer can also communicate with you in your native tongue when off the stage.

If I planned on going to France to sing french opera for the rest of my life I would make sure that I was fluent in French. It would be the same no matter which country I decided to live in. I believe that a foreigner who wants to become an immigrant needs to know the language. It makes every aspect of daily life easier, no matter what profession you go into.

As for what you said about it is only one's talent for singing and marketability of style and vocal quality that is important. It doesn't seem to me that the pop music business doesn't follow that philosophy at all. That only proves how pathetic the music business has become. The "marketability" issue is what makes it pathetic. 50 or 60 years ago what was important was your voice and nothing else. Now it really doesn't matter what your voice sounds like as long as you are attractive and don't mind flaunting your body. I'm not sure if that's how it is in Japan because I have heard some pretty horrible "J-Pop" singers, but I've also heard far more really good pop singers in Japan than anywhere else. It seems that in the Canada, North America, Central America, South America, and Europe, what I said is true because I hear a lot of pop singers with horrible voices, but attractive bodies.
by Maikeru rate this post as useful

Type-o correction 2006/3/30 11:48
When I said, "It doesn't seem to me that the pop music business doesn't follow that philosophy at all.", what I meant was "It seems to me that the pop music business doesn't follow that philosophy at all."
by Maikeru rate this post as useful

Hi! 2006/6/24 23:58
Actually Utada Hiraku was born/lived in New York but had japanese family. To me coming from a place other than japan would be hard. Do u kno the language perfectly? Also if u do make it i'm sure u will face criticism so you gotta be tough. But don't give up on ur dream. Like someone else said make demo's, send them to japanese producers see if they like it. It'z a very hard path to go down, and you will need money to back it up b/c money doesn't grow on trees. And no matter how talented you are demo's cost money, promotion cost money, music video's cost momney, agentcies cost money. so just be prepared.
by Alex rate this post as useful

. 2006/7/21 15:00
I can't imagine how someone could become a J-pop singer without speaking fluent Japanese- the first thing to do if you haven't already is spend 3-5 years studying Japanese full time- preferably in Japan for most of that time.

Yes, foreigners can succeed in the industry, but I can only think of ones who speak fluent Japanese, like BoA (Korean) and Crystal Kay (Korean American but grew up in Japan). Utada Hikaru grew up in the US but has Japanese parents and basically is considered Japanese here.

When you finish school you should come to Japan on a Working Holiday Visa, see what it's like here, (you may actually not like living in Japan, many don't!) and research the industry.
by karan rate this post as useful

I'm going to B a japanese pop singer! 2006/8/26 09:14
I am American and I'm already under a contract of J-pop singing. I will soon be singin with j-pop singers like Ayumi hamasaki, Koda Kumi, Namie Amuro, etc lots more!
by Devina rate this post as useful

Woa! 2006/8/26 21:34
Wow, Devina, how u did it?? Its my dream since long time too =)
I want to be a Jpop singer when I go to live to Japan =) Im from Italy.
by Yuu rate this post as useful

... 2006/8/26 21:39
Will be looking for billboards in Shibuya with your name on them, Devina!
by Sira rate this post as useful

Sony... 2006/8/27 02:34
...is holding international auditions again. They did this last year as well. However, this time around, there doesn`t seem to be a deadline.

by Banna rate this post as useful

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