Everyone has a little something in their lives that they hold close to their heart. Your first ever album you’ve bought. A film you love that is utter trash but you love it anyway. Or perhaps a small stuffed bear, bird or platypus that you cherished as a child that you still hold close today? For me, my secret little love is the music of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, one of the quirkiest but arguably most enjoyable artists of the 21st century.
So why does a tiny British redhead enjoy the music of a Japanese singer? Well it boils down to the fact that her music is fun. The joyous upbeat tones and bouncy melodies are ultimately uplifting to anyone who lays ears upon one of her songs. Modern music is essentially: clubbing, babes, sex, love (which ultimately ends up just being sex), and money. There is nothing quirky or interesting about this. Western music is complete garbage. Kyary’s music is about so many random things like Candy, a girl’s untidy bedroom, monsters and so many more almost childish endeavours. “Chewing, Chewing, Chewing, cutie, cutie, Chewing love” is just one example of the lyrical nonsense that she belts out on every track. But it harks back to the folly of my youth and brings out the inner 4 year-old still dormant inside myself. The urge to dance to every one of her tracks whenever I hear one is so sometimes too difficult to control.
I don’t speak Japanese, just to make that clear. This begs the question as to why I like her music even more so, as I don’t speak a word of her language. Even so, her music portrays a sense of silliness that I strive for in almost all aspects of life but can’t seem to find in the mundane modern monster we dwell inside. 3 and a half minutes of personal silliness blaring through my headphones when walking down the street really helps put a smile on my face and kick-start the day. Try it! I’d recommend Yumeno Hajima Ring Ring on a warm summer’s morn and I promise, it’ll bring a smile to your face.
It is difference that defines us. Her music is absurdly different to anything you’ll hear on your radio today. Her difference defines her. Her kawaisa and decora based outfits, her absurdly strange music videos and her smiling face converses modern societies brooding demeanour. She grew up in a strict household with curfews and limited mobile phone time. My childhood was similarly strict, with set bed times till an absurd age, but Kyary rebelled using her fashion to centre the her charge for freedom. This similar upbringing and wanting to be different resonates with me and my younger years. She is someone I extensively empathise with and she really strikes me on a personal level.
An onion with googly eyes, running with toast in her mouth, a wrapping paper tank, a microphone that comes out of her ear, a giant bear that’s on par with Katy Perry’s left shark and so many more odd and obscure things occupy her videos and this is a joy to behold. The purpose of music videos has been somewhat blurred by a lack of artistic vision and frankly poor excuses to sell sex these days. Pamyu’s music videos feature the weirdest stuff and to me it says “what can I possibly stick in a music video?” I hate western music videos. I really don’t care for endless boobs, bums and innuendos. Put it away ladies. The weird and wonderful videos of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu are a breath of enjoyably silly fresh air that need to be witnessed alongside it’s just as absurd song.
For now, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will continue to be a successful J-pop artist with a large cult following around the world. But to me, her music will always have a special place in my heart. For someone who finds it difficult to enjoy life at times, her music is an uplifting episode in the modern upheaval of life that gives me a mini-boost of joy to keep me going in the monotonous we inhabit. Her music is about fun, not money, not sex, not clubbing, but fun. Life should be as fun as her music. That is why I love Kyary Pamyu Pam’s music – because her music is about being creative and not just about the music.
And yes, I do know all the dance moves to PONPONPON…