The Rise of J-pop (Japanese Pop culture) has paved the way for many aspiring young artists in Japan. Normally, these groups are comprised of well-trained performers who are not only talented singers but graceful dancers as well. There are groups of male and females alike and there are even mixed gender groups. These J-pop performers immediately swept Japanese fans on their feet but also awed fans in different parts of Asia and the world. It is actually surprising that Non-Japanese fans can sing along without fail like they speak the language fluently. It doesn’t matter if Japanese is not their native language, the catchy and upbeat songs of these J-pop groups are already enough to entice fans to learn Japanese!
There are a lot of J-pop groups that have debuted since 2000 and one of the most famous is the girl group oC-ute. Yes, the oC (Celsius symbol) was intentional to give the name a more attractive and original effect. This girl group made their major debut in 2007, immediately attracting thousands of fans as their first single was released. In the same year that they debuted, they already won the Japan Record Award for Best New Artist, showing that this girl band is really ahead of the game. In the next year, 2008, they were nominated for the Main Japan Record Award known as the Grand Prix. Though they lost the award, it really shows that oC-ute has unbelievable talent. Since then, all their major label singles have debuted in Oricon’s Top 10 weekly singles chart.
All original members of the group were part of the Hello! Project Kids, which is a talent search where fifteen talented girls were selected in hopes of producing a new generation of artists. They all started training since 2002 and became members of different groups. Eventually, the 15 girls from Hello! Project Kids were separated into two – Berryz Kobo of 8 members and Cute with 7 members. Cute was officially formed in 2005. However, over the years some of their members left the group eventually leading to a 5 member girl group consisting of current members: Maimi Yajima, Saki Nakajima, Airi Suzuki, Chisato Okai and Mai Hagariwa. They immediately caught the fans’ attention because of their bright, youthful image that creates happy vibes to their listeners. They are currently on their 24th single (released in January 2014) and their 7th album (released in 2012). Even though their latest album was released in 2012, they have been staying active and have travelled to different parts of Asia and Europe for tours and concerts.
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