YOASOBI have shared an exclusive playlist of J-pop recommendations to accompany the launch of NME’s The Cover.
The Japanese duo of Ikura and Ayase are on this week’s (September 4) edition of The Cover, a renewal of NME’s commitment to supporting emerging talent across the globe on a weekly basis. Every week, a rising artist will feature on The Cover – you can read YOASOBI’s profile here, written by JX Soo and featuring photography by John Choi.
Accompanying the story is an exclusive playlist curated by YOASOBI: “J-pop You Should Listen To”. These 14 songs, spanning beloved artists like Hikaru Utada, Gen Hoshino and EXILE as well as newer names like Aimer and LANA, come recommended from the trailblazing duo behind the hits ‘Idol’ (the opening theme song of anime series Oshi No Ko) and ‘Into the Night’. Listen to the full playlist on Spotify below and on Apple Music.
Given their place on J-pop’s vanguard, it’s no wonder that YOASOBI are deeply invested in the future of J-pop, its relationship to anime and the presentation of Japanese music on a global stage. “Eventually, we hope that even without being related to anime, J-pop can become independently known – and become a music culture that’s properly compatible with the world,” producer Ayase told NME.
YOASOBI is “the ultimate J-pop unit”, Ayase added, because of how they embody the versatile, joyously genre-agnostic spirit that courses through the genre. “Anything that is already popular in Japan is J-pop – and there’s no genre there,” he argued. “As YOASOBI, we are a unit that expresses that spirit – in that sense, aren’t we the J-pop band?”