Happy new year! Japan have already rang in the new decade and with it, a menagerie of new music.
Rock and alternative style idols are no stranger to unexpected collaborations, from BiS and Hijokaidan to You’ll Melt More and… also Hijokaidan. But in this subculture, mainstream breakthroughs are the real sucker punch to longtime fans of girls dancing to alt rock with a crowd of about 30 people.
So, fresh off their major label debut, GANG PARADE have dropped an announcement that their second digital single will be a joint composition between Scrambles’ very own Matsukuma Kenta with a very special guest…
Mastermind behind Momoiro Clover Z: Hyadain!
Namida no Stage / FiX YOUR TEETH will be dropping on the 29th of January, and while we here at the Pulitzer Prize-winning Homicidols usually wait until there’s more than just a “secure your wigs sis” from official channels, this is an extremely special collaboration.
Hyadain’s career is as un idol-like as you can get — instead of starting out in showbiz he was just an internet dwelling goblin with a dream. That dream? Calling the characters from Mega Man gay with his aria of lyrical flamboyance.
This tongue in cheek and very-clearly-not-projecting style clashed with retro video games gained him infamy in Japan on video sharing site Nico Nico, and like with every popular thing from Japan there’s a cave of dedicated English speaking fans too. More than that, he had popular songs drawing on older Final Fantasy and Street Fighter games. Clocking in hundreds of thousands of views on both sites through his own channel and reuploads, Hyadain was an early internet darling among otaku and nerd alike.
In 2010 there was a turning point for everyone’s favourite online meme maker: He revealed his true identity. Japanese netizens tend to be more into anonymity than their Western counterparts, so this was more than just a big deal given his popularity.
As it turns out, Hyadain’s real life counterpart was Maeyamada Kenichi, a 30-year-old professional composer from Osaka. Handsome fella, ain’t he?
In the tell-all blog post, he revealed that he already had an extensive career, with songs for anime such as One Piece and Lucky Star. While relatively out of the public eye, Mr. Maeyamada was already a name with his claws ingrained into the industry.
Of course this might seem like an incredibly risky move. You have a whole career, why would you reveal that you lead a double life? On the flipside, you have a whole internet following, why would you expose them to your real self? The answer to the questions, as with every question in life, is the one thing that keeps the world turning: Money.
The year after the reveal, Hyadain ended up producing, writing and singing the theme for Nichijou. That’s him on both male and female vocals.
Released under Hyadain and not Maeyamada’s real name, combining the spheres of anime and video game otaku following both of his personas shot him into the spotlight. After scoring an extremely popular anime opening, the opportunities just kept knocking. Anime tie-up songs and a cult following meant he was catching more important showbiz people’s eyes. Gambling with his identity more than paid off.
Already with a few Momoiro Clover Z songs under his belt, the group started working with him more and more. Then groups like Dempagumi Inc. Then stars like Nakagawa Shoko and Sheena Ringo. Then even Johnny’s and SMAP. The collaborations are genuinely too numerous to list here, but Hyadain became an unstoppable celebrity force of nature who everybody was dying to work with. In Johnny’s case maybe a little too literally.
From jokey video game music to anisongs to major tie-ups to countrywide superstars to himself being named one of GQ’s men of the year, and now, to our little corner of music. Hyadain really can do it all.
You’d expect a WACK group to collaborate with somebody out of left-field, but as they seep more and more into Japan’s mainstream, maybe rock idol wota should start brushing up on their mainstream pop culture, eh?
GANG PARADE’s concept is “everybody’s parade”, and going from hentai visual novel soundtrack to working with the idol world’s golden boy cements that there really is room for everyone and everything here.