Top Japanese artist Kenshi Yonezu has revealed his new music video “Kanden”, alongside another accomplishment to his ever-growing list of accolades: hitting 5.07 million subscribers on YouTube, have “Shunrai” as his 13th music video to gain 100 million views, as well as “Kanden” hitting 1 million views in just 1h50min after release and 10 million in 4 days and 7 min. Due to heavy access, the online counter stopped temporarily but the staff tweeted the news as it had been officially counted on the YouTube analytics.
At 5:00pm JPT, July 10th, Friday, all video thumbnails on Kenshi Yonezu’s official YouTube channel switched to a message ‘404 NOT FOUND’ and a mysterious video (playing 4 minutes 04 seconds long). On the video was the message, ‘404 NOT FOUND’plus a pictograph using 2 types of sheep. Seeing this surprise, mystery solving immediately began on socials. Soon, some users encoded the message as ‘meh (Japanese onomatopoeia for sheep’s ‘bah’)-rse code’ as “K-A-N-D-E-N-M-V-2-3-0-0-K-O-U-K-A-I-D-E-S-U”, which meant “Kanden MV release at 11:00pm JPT”. This led for ’Morse code’ and ‘Kanden MV’ to be in the trend list, and with the excitement was the broadcast of the drama “MIU404” and as announced by the meh-rse code, the music video was released that night at 11:00pm JPT.
“Kanden” music video is built from what was seen from the driver’s seat; the driver seems a little confused from what he sees outside, and along with the good rhythm of the music, the director Yoshiyuki Okuyama’s (Film Director / Photographer) humorous ideas and beautiful images create a very exciting work. Yoshiyuki says “I don’t know when I was this excited last. It was a dream-like night; like drawing a picture together on a white canvas. More than anything, I was extremely happy to meet the same-aged artist, Kenshi Yonezu at this timing. It was the last year in our 20s… we put our spirits in this shot! “I just want to live like lightning What do you want to do? I don’t need your reply. This music video is my answer to Yonezu-san.” The video was filmed at the Shibaura Police Station (where MIU404 takes place) and Toshima-en amusement park, which will close its doors on August 31st, after more than a century of history.
“Kanden” is a track from the album, “STRAY SHEEP” planned for release on August 5th. To lead the album, the song was distributed from July 6th, exclusively in Japan on Monday, and it reached #1 in almost all of the download DSPs. For the release day, he literally dominated the charts: securing #1 on 30 real time daily rankings and reaching 56,000 downloads (biggest number for a daily download in 2020). As his 4th single to exceed 150K downloads, “Kanden” has hit #1 for all genre Japanese national Oricon weekly chart with 153K downloads for Kenshi Yonezu. Which also made the record for TOP4 out of 5 of the Oricon weekly chart of history to be dominated by Kenshi Yonezu’s songs (Feb.26,2018 & Jan.14, 2019 “Lemon”, Aug.26,2019 “Uma to Shika”, July.20, 2020 “Kanden”).
Also “PLACEBO + Yojiro Noda”, a collaboration between Kenshi Yonezu and Yojiro Noda from RADWIMPS has been confirmed to be included on Yonezu’s new album “STRAY SHEEP”. The two first met on November 15th, 2015, the first night of RADWIMPS’ 10th ANNIVERSARY LIVE TOUR, RADWIMPS’ TAIBAN. Yonezu, who spoke to the crowd during his live set about how he was “greatly influenced by the RADWIMPS” and that “they were my heroes when I was a shitty high schooler”, played on the same stage as the band he had the greatest respect for and from there, a friendship gradually developed. 4 and a half years later, a miraculous collaboration between 2 generations was born. Yonezu and Noda have both provided commentary on their recording experience together.
Yonezu says “It seems like only yesterday when I discovered RADWIMPS back in high school, when the impact of their music hit me like a tidal wave and how I was instantly captivated by them. And since that first night of their tour back in 2015 which I was invited to play at, our relationship has developed into one where Yojiro and I now go out for drinks and talk about inconsequential things like it’s the most normal thing in the world, something I still marvel over to this day. Just as I can vividly remember that first impact his music had on me, the memory of the exhilaration I felt the moment his voice came over our music will continue to remain a vivid memory forever in a place deep within me. Thank you so much Yojiro. Let’s go out again.”
Yojiro says “I was given the opportunity to collaborate on PLACEBO this time. It felt so good to be recording with Yonezu. I was somewhat caught off guard when I first listened to the music after he asked me to record with him. I guess I must have had a fixed if vague image of what a song should be like if the two of us were going to work on one together. But once we started the recording process, I found the lightness and perilousness embodied by the song to be quite comforting. More than anything, I was excited by how his voice and mine merged and resonated together, far surpassing any outcome I’d imagined. Yonezu, thank you for asking me to be a part of this song.”
Meanwhile, Kenshi Yonezu has hit 5 million subscribers on YouTube. No other Japanese artist has as many subscribers on their official channel. His music videos have been viewed over 2.8 billion times in all, with “Lemon” leading the pack with 580 million views, another record for a Japanese artist. Including “Lemon,” the hitmaker currently has 13 videos surpassing 100 million views: his collaborative single with DAOKO “Uchiage Hanabi,” follows with 360 million views; his 2014 single “Eine Kleine” is in third place with 250 million views.
Kenshi Yonezu is a J-pop singer-songwriter and music producer who made Billboard chart history by becoming the first-ever act to score song of the year with the same song, “Lemon,” for two years running. The 28-year-old has evolved into one of Japan’s leading artists in recent years — he even illustrates his own music videos and album covers — and his ever-growing list of accolades continues to accumulate in 2020.
After taking the Vocaloid Scene by storm under the alias Hachi, Yonezu began his career under his real name Kenshi Yonezu in 2012. He became the talk of the town on the undeniable strength of his songs with their authentic lyrics and unique sound creations, etching out a spot for himself by delivering a refreshing quality previously lacking in the present Japanese music scene. He achieved a triple win in 2015 with his 3rd album Bremen by topping the weekly charts on Oricon, iTunes and Billboard Japan and took home the Excellent Album Award at the 2015 Japan Record Awards.
Yonezu displayed his impressive array of talents in 2016 by joining the Universal Studios Japan 15th Anniversary Collaboration Project entitled “Yarisugi”, creating the official theme song to the “Louvre Museum Exhibition: Louvre No. 9 – Manga, the 9th Art”, releasing the theme song to the film Nanimono starring Takeru Satoh and Kasumi Arimura as Nakata Yasutaka x Kenshi Yonezu, his first collaborative effort. In September of the same year, his single “Loser / Number Nine” ranked #2 on the Oricon Weekly Singles Charts, surpassing his previous record.
In February of 2017, Yonezu provided the ending theme to the anime adaptation series March Comes In Like A Lion, based on Chika Umino’s manga series. His first anime tie-up resulted in the single “Orion” which topped the charts on iTunes as well as other popular streaming/download sites, an incredible 11 #1s in total. ”Peace Sign”, a song he wrote for the opening theme to the television animation Boku No Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) was released in June and climbed up the charts to #2 on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart. The track reached #1 on the iTunes Singles and Bundles Charts. In August he released “Suna no Wakusei”, the theme song to Miku Hatsune’s 10th anniversary Magical Mirai 2017 under Hachi, setting a new record on Nico Nico Douga as the fastest Vocaloid track to hit the million mark. Additionally, he produced the theme song “Uchiage Hanabi” to the film Uchiage Hanabi, Shita Kara Miruka? Yoko Kara Miruka? (Fireworks) which was released as a DAOKO x Kenshi Yonezu track. In November he released his 4th album BOOTLEG and achieved an impressive 23 #1s on the weekly charts including Billboard Japan’s Weekly Singles Chart.
In January of 2018 he wrote “Lemon” as the theme song to TBS’s Friday Night Drama series Unnatural which became a smash hit. The song later won the Best Theme Song Award at the 96th Television Drama Academy Awards in Japan. The song was also certified by the Japan Record Academy as the fastest song to reach 3 million downloads, achieving a new spot in the Japanese music history by breaking another record. “Paprika”, a song he wrote for Foorin, a musical group consisting of grade school children was released in August as part of a project dedicated to support all people doing their best in 2020 and onwards. On October 31, the double A-side single “Flamingo / TEENAGE RIOT” was released. The music video to one of the title tracks, “Flamingo” garnered over 1 million views in the 3 hours since its premiere on YouTube, a new record for Yonezu. Once again, his single claimed the #1 spot on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart.
Once “Lemon” was released, the song went from strength to strength, gaining more support as the year went on. The single made a clean sweep by topping all main annual charts of 2018 and he performed at the prestigious Red And White Song Battle for the first time at the end of 2019. His first TV performance created a huge stir, resulting in his music video gaining over 400 million views, cumulative sales of the digital/physical sales boasted 3 million and the song became a smash hit that defined the year. The song went on to dominate the charts in the first half of 2019.
In May of 2019, Yonezu produced the song “Machigai Sagashi” by Masaki Suda. “Umi no Yurei” (“Spirits of the Sea”) was released in June as the theme song to the animation film Kaiju No Kodomo (Children of the Sea). The song coveted an impressive 18 #1s and was the biggest hit of 2019.
In August he recorded and released his own song “Paprika”, originally written for and sung by Foorin, which had since become one of the most popular children’s songs of the times. The music video to Kenshi Yonezu’s “Paprika” gained more than 10 million views in just 4 days and 9 hours since its premiere, breaking his own record of 4 days and 12 hours for the same number of views with the music video to “Umi no Yurei” (“Spirits of the Sea”) released in the same year.
”Uma to Shika” was released in September. He celebrated his 10th #1 on Billboard JAPAN’s November 4th download song chart, Download Songs, and the CD and digital downloads to the song topped 1.2 million in cumulative sales. Views for the music video has surpassed the 90 million mark and is still growing, making the song one of the leading tracks of 2019, loved by all generations.
In December he wrote “Kite”as the NHK 2020 Song, which was then first performed by Arashi at the Red And White Song Battle.
As for his music videos, “Lemon” has garnered over 580 million views to date. Not only has he continued to break records as a Japanese artist, he holds the incredible record of garnering more than 100 million views each for 13 of his songs (“Lemon”, “Eine Kleine”, “LOSER”, “Peace Sign”, “Haiiro to Ao +Masaki Suda”, “orion”, “Flamingo”, “Uchiage Hanabi”, “Shunrai”, Foorin “Paprika”, “Uma To Shika”, and Masaki Suda “Machigai Sagashi”) has over 5.07 million subscribers 2.8 billion total streams on his official YouTube channel.