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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Azizi A very uncomfortable question- perform other trads (290* d) RE: A very uncomfortable question- perform other trads 09 Jul 11

Enka music is usually associated with Japanese music from the 1940s.

Here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia page about Enka music:

Enka (ݸ?) is a popular Japanese music genre considered to resemble traditional Japanese music stylistically. Modern enka, however, is a relatively recent musical form which arose in the context of such postwar expressions of modern Japanese nonmaterial nationalism as nihonjinron, while adopting a more traditional musical style in its vocalism than rykka music, popular during the prewar years.[1]

Modern enka, as developed in the postwar era, is a form of sentimental ballad music"


Here are selected comments from an interview about the African American (with Japanese ancestry) Enka singer Jero:

"I like Jero. The record company at first wanted him to bring back Enka. Many people thought of him as a gimmick. But he's made a name for himself and he's got talent. He's kind of got a New Age Enka thing going on. I wish him luck.

Also, not to beat a dead horse, but Crystal Kay, Thelma Aoyama(?) and such are singing mainstream pop & RNB. Since Enka is very traditional and stylized Jero has been the first to succeed there. I'm pretty sure Crystal would have a hard time pulling it off.
-sumoni; 2011


Note: Information about Crystal [Crystal Kay] and Thelma Aoyama is found below.


"I love Jero very much and what he represents - if you work hard enough, you will succeed wherever you are and whoever you are. Jero is 1/4 Japanese and has been exposed to the Japanese language from a very young age because his grandmother and his mother spoke in Japanese at home. He was a gifted child and therefore has exceptional language abilities."
-jafaru; 2010


"Enka is basically overtly emotional in its vocalization style.  Its also very story oriented with very picturesque lyrics, culturally specific, and full of pathos. In order to "get" enka, one has to have a very high command of the Japanese language with all its subtle nuances. Its a level that many Japanese frankly don't think foriegners can reach. Jero has broken that barrier and proven that yes, a gaijin (foriegner) can grasp core Japanese feelings."
-lessdone; 2010


"Hi. I am a Japanese fan who likes Jero. My 2-year-old daughter LOVES Jero!

Jero, in my opinion, opened up the door to new style Enka to younger generation. However, Jero's songs are not designed as Hip-Hop/R&B like because the composer of Umiyuki did not want him to fade out after this one song. This might be why he is so focused to sing traditional Enka."
-JannatSiddique; 2010


"Jero incorporated the Hip-hop in his style because that's who he is and how he dresses. It was a risk, but his style appealed to the younger generation and helped broaden the Enka fanbase. Alot of younger people in Japan are listening to Enka now because of Jero. I mean, we know what the haters would say if he came out in a Kimono. "sellout". So I'm glad he kept it real with his style."
-xBlasian86x; 2009


"Kystal Kay sang R&B, a form of music that didn't originate in Japan. Not suprising to see a brotha or sista singing R&B. (Note: I'm black/japanese). But Jero sings a form of music that is Japan's own which is a genre that hasn't been adopted by any other culture like say "rock". It's mainly only listened to by Japanese. So I wouldn't say Krystal Kay opened the door for Jero. I'd say they came in two different entrances. Both great artists.
-xBlasian86x; 2009


"Very interesting conversations. What made you think you wanted to talk about him? Too bad you can't pronounce "Umiyuki" right! Almost! I believe Jero is the biggest black singer in Japan. Crystal Kay is famous, but she didn't surrprise people when she dubuted. Jero completely did blow us out! If you see him, you expect him to sing hip hop or R&B, but nobody expected him to start singing enka. I was totally shocked! And he's good."
-samjones1976; 2009


Crystal Kay is an African American/Korean who sings in Japanese.
According to her Wikipedia page, the genres that Cyrstal Kay writes and sings are Pop, R&B, rock, urban, dance.

Here's an excerpt from that Wikipedia page:

"Crystal Kay Williams (born February 26, 1986), known by her stage name Crystal Kay, is a singer and songwriter from Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. She debuted aged 13 and is considered an original pioneer for interracial artists in Japan...

Kay is currently signed to Epic Records, a sub-label of Sony Music Japan.[5]

As of July 2009, Kay has released ten albums. Her seventh studio album, All Yours (2007) became Kay's first number-one release in her career when it debuted on top of the Oricon chart in June 2007.[6] Kay has sold over two million records in Japan as of 2009."


Thelma Aoyama (ɽ ƥ Aoyama Teruma?), born October 27, 1987, is a Japanese pop and R&B singer. She is part Afro-Trinidadian and Japanese."

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