Groove to the Beat: a Beginner’s Guide to City Pop Music

15 August 2023. Article by Henry Turner. Estimated time to broaden your horizons: 8 minutes.

Discover the Origins of City Pop Music and Its Influence Today

🎶 Ready to groove to the beat? City pop music is the genre you need to hear. This Japanese music genre was born in the late 1970s and became popular in the 1980s. City pop merged pop music, funk, and soul music with elements of Japanese traditional music. It was a way for Japanese artists to embrace the Western music influence while also incorporating their culture. City pop is known for its upbeat rhythms and catchy melodies.


The genre path to becoming a worldwide phenomenon was long and winding. City Pop saw its peak and popularity decrease at the end of the 80s with the arrival of alternative music movements. Despite this, it always remained in the background and was rediscovered years later, reaching a younger audience who knew it through anime openings and commercials. Today, it has gained a special place in the music scene and its influence can be noticed in artists like Tame Impala and Thundercat.


If you’re ready for good vibes and dancing, give city pop a listen and enjoy some tunes that are perfect for anything from a party to a day around town.


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Exploring the Essential Artists and Albums of City Pop Music

If you are looking to delve deeper into the world and history of city pop, it is essential to start by checking out the artists who pioneered this genre. Among the essential artists include some of the most popular Japanese singers and songwriters of the era, such as Mariya Takeuchi, Tatsuro Yamashita, and Junko Ohashi.


Their albums are considered classic among the genre and have been reissued or released on digital platforms in recent years. Albums like “Variety” by Mariya Takeuchi and “For You” by Tatsuro Yamashita are indispensable and belong on any city pop playlist. But it wouldn’t be fair to reduce the genre just to those three names, as it includes a range of other incredible performers such as Anri, Miki Matsubara, or Taeko Ohnuki.


City pop not only offers incredible musicianship, but it also enables you to comprehend the rich cultural diversity of Japan. The songs’ lyrics are not just entertainment but are also reflective of the times in which they were made, and the common themes and motifs that they touch upon connect us to the country’s past struggles and cultural moments.

Discover the Unique Characteristics of City Pop Music That Sets It Apart

🎶 Get ready to be transported into a world of smooth sounds and funky rhythms. City pop music is unlike any other genre out there. It is a fusion of different styles, such as pop, funk, and soul, but with a distinct Japanese twist. The catchy rhythms and upbeat melodies will make you want to dance and keep you coming back for more.


One of the unique characteristics of city pop is the way it blends together different styles to create something new. This genre takes inspiration from various musical genres from around the world and creates something that is unique and distinguishable. It is this mix of sounds and influences that gives city pop its distinct flavor and sets it apart from other genres.


If you want to experience something new and refreshing in music, give city pop a listen. You won’t be disappointed.


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Understanding the Relationship between City Pop and Other Genres

🎶 City pop is a distinct genre that has its roots in jazz, funk, and soul music. It emerged in Japan in the late 1970s and gained popularity in the 1980s. It is different from other genres because of its fusion of various musical styles, Japanese culture, and Western influences. You can hear the influence of jazz in the smooth saxophone solos and the funk in the basslines, and this creates a sound that is unique and recognizable.


The relationship between city pop and other genres is a complex one. You can hear elements of city pop in other styles of music, such as vaporwave and lo-fi hip-hop. These genres sample city pop songs and use them as the basis for their own music. It is common to hear a city pop sample in the background of a vaporwave track. This shows how city pop has had an impact on other genres and has helped to shape the music of today.


If you want to learn more about the relationship between city pop and other genres, there are many resources available online. You can explore this fascinating genre and discover how it has influenced music for generations to come.

Advanced City Pop Listening: Taking It to the Next Level

🎧 Ready to take your city pop listening to the next level? For advanced users, there are a few tips and tricks to enhance your experience, including incorporating crypto and blockchain technologies into your listening routine.


One way to do this is to use a blockchain-based music service like Audius to discover new city pop artists and tracks. By leveraging decentralized storage and distribution, the platform ensures that artists have more control over their music and can receive fairer compensation for their work. Additionally, using crypto to support your favorite artists by buying their music or merchandise on blockchain-powered marketplaces can help them earn more and continue to produce great music.


Another way to integrate crypto into your city pop listening experience is by purchasing limited edition vinyl records or CDs with rare tracks using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. This can be a great way to show your support for the genre while also exploring the many unique sounds and records produced by city pop artists over the years.


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Get Inspired by Iconic City Pop Artists and Albums

For those who want to dive deeper into city pop, there are plenty of iconic artists and albums to explore. One standout artist is Taeko Ohnuki, whose album “Sunshower” is widely considered a masterpiece of the genre. The album’s dreamy, ethereal soundscapes and sophisticated arrangements have influenced countless artists over the years.


Another essential artist to check out is Tatsuro Yamashita, whose album “Ride on Time” is considered a classic of the genre. Yamashita has a gift for crafting unforgettable melodies and harmonies that stick with you long after the music has stopped. His music is an essential part of any city pop playlist.


Finally, if you’re looking for a comprehensive introduction to the genre, check out the recent compilation “Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1976-1986.” This album features tracks from a range of city pop and related genres and provides a great overview of the various sounds and styles that make up the genre.

Henry Turner is a poet from New Orleans, LA. His work explores themes of music, art, and the soul of the city.