Syd Hartha sings disco-infused cover of The Cardigans’ ‘Carnival’ by Tokimeki Records

A city pop-inspired take on The Cardigans’ 1995 single

Japanese music project Tokimeki Records have released a cover of The Cardigans’ ‘Carnival’, featuring Filipino singer-songwriter Syd Hartha on vocals.

Tokimeki Records producer Yutaka Takanami – also known as Namy – mostly retains the breezy magic of the original. However, he replaces the original’s twee guitars with an inspired disco arrangement, complete with synthesised strings and an infectious four-on-the-floor beat.

Listen to ‘Carnival’ below.

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Tokimeki Records is a project that produces covers of Japanese city pop classics from the ’80s, though this time Tokimeki has looked to a more recent era. “One of the most influential western pop songs of the 1990s for me was ‘Carnival’,” Namy shared in a press statement.

“It was also played on TV at the time, but it was also played and covered in the Japanese club scene. I’ve been wanting to get an Asian singer to sing this song, and I was hoping that Syd would sing it for me. It was a dream came true.”

Namy linked up with Syd Hartha through her label Sony Music. “It’s fulfilling to try new things, and succeed in going out of your comfort zone as a musician,” the 20-year-old said. “I’m really happy that I was able to put my own take on a beloved ‘90s tune and work with a globally renowned producer like Namy for this track.”

‘Carnival’ is also the first single released under Namy&, the new label established by the producer. According to the press release, the label continues Tokimeki Records’ mission to “express the old, nostalgic atmosphere and worldview in the modern age”.

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Tokimeki Records debuted in 2019 with a cover of Mariya Takeuchi’s enduring hit ‘Plastic Love’, featuring Japanese singer HIKARI.

Since then, Tokimeki Records have released multiple covers with several singers, including Malaysian R&B singer Froya. Earlier this year, the project released their first EP, ‘Tokimeki Yellow’.

Hartha, on the other hand, is expected to release her debut album next year on Sony Music Philippines.

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