I am a Japanese guy who live in the U.S for overseas assignment total 5 years and has been crazy about BABYMETAL since I found them on YouTube by chance when I could not move at all and stayed home just after acute appendix surgery in early 2014.
I truly believe BABYMETAL will become world wide phenomenon as this article title says.
They may be the only music artist in Japan possible to make that happen. I would like to explain its reason as follows.
*these are based on my personal observations and opinions.
1. “Idol” : Completely Different from Western Female Artist
I have at least never seen female artist such can be called “Idol” in the U.S.
There are “Disney Kids Talents” like artist? such as Hilary Duff or Miley Cyrus (at least they used to be), however, their main target is for teens or under, not for adults. They also do not wear “tutu”or fluffy skirt as outfit.
Somehow, those kids talents change their style from “energetic girls” to “independent & sexy lady” at some point and start wearing really exposed outfits, all of them. I always do not get it, is it because of religious reason or cultural background? anyway, there are pretty much those two type you may be able to sort out female artists in the U.S.
BABYMETAL does not fall into either of them, I think that “unseen strangeness” may attract or make some people curious at first.
As far as I understand, K-POP is usually follow the U.S mainstream music style, they do not go like BABYMETAL. K-POP is much bigger than J-POP in outside of Japan, however, as long as it follows the U.S mainstream music, it may be difficult to go beyond those U.S artists. BABYMETAL has extreme overwhelming originality, I think that is one of the reason that they can be big in overseas.
2. Real Music, Real Singer
It’s been while western mainstream musics are usually either R&B or Hip Hop based, unlike that, BABYMETAL music foundation is metal which some people have even never listened or think it is ancient fossil.
However, once you listen BABYMETAL’s musics, you will find that there are love and respect to metal music all over by their producer “KOBAMETAL” . I think that changes some people’s mind who did not feel comfortable when they hear Japanese teen girls singing on metal music.
Actually I was one of that guy, when I first knew them I thought “what is wrong with this!! how dare Japanese idol sing on metal music!! please do not enter our sanctuary!!”,
…….but in 3 hours, there was me downloading their album on iTunes, because I found full of love and respect to metal music in their music.
I am not sure SU, YUI, MOA notice or not, I can see people behind their music are people dedicated their life for metal music even they have never become popular in music industry, but now they can do anything they want as long as there are catchy teen girls in front of the group. every time I found that type of their “experiment” in BABYMETAL music it make me smile. if you are metal head and love BABYMETAL I think you know what I am talking about.
In addition to that, SU-METAL. she is AMAZING!! her pure voice somehow perfectly fits metal music, there are almost no vibrato, her voice is just purely straight but emotional, I think that is one of the factor BABYMETAL music is well received in all over the world beyond language difference.
People who loved and experienced 80’s or 90’s band music era may have been boring and disappointing with recent music industry, there have been full of boring music all over the radio or in the whole town, everywhere. BABYMETAL is somehow feel nostalgic but new and strange, it will really charm some people like me.
Above all, their live performance which even make me feel worry because it is so hard and has full of energy, they are like real heroins from Manga. it even made me wonder and reflect meaning of whole my life.
3. Not too Serious, Still fun
Their music is just well balanced, if there is only SU-METAL, it could be too serious.(I will still love it though)
YUI and MOA make BABYMETAL as “Metal Dance Group”, that eases some serious metal thing and BABYMETAL become one and only.
YUI and MOA’s dance is really great with SU-METAL’s singing. instead of not singing all the time, their dance is really sharp and precise. I guess they seem younger than their age in overseas, girls like them dancing like that with full of sweat and smiles with such heavy music makes viewer surprise. I have nothing but respect to their professionalism.
BABYMETAL has songs which contain some reggae or hip-hop thing which you have never seen with metal band who grew with only listened metal music, but it works with BABYMETAL. I think because of SU, YUI and MOA, it works, BABYMETAL sounds and looks like full of joke at first, but once joke become really well organized, it becomes an art.
Above are the reasons I think BABYMETAL will become worldwide phenomenon.
I do not think that to become successful in world wide, it does not mean anything to be “relatively good as far as considering Japanese doing ***”, because there are tons of people who do much better at that “***” in the world. Generally speaking, I even think everybody does not have that much interest in others or other countries.
I feel sad when I see Japanese becomes not as influential as it used to be, I see a lots of Chinese,Korean and Indian business expanding here in the U.S, but I have not seen that happen with Japanese lately.
But Japanese sometime achieve something really beyond everybody’s imagination, I believe BABYMETAL is the one of them in recent years.
Steve Jobs said “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”, I 100% agree with it. BABYMETAL is the innovation in recent music industry.
BABYMETAL makes Idol fans interested in listen to Metal, also makes Metal head interested in Idol and makes people who did not have interest in Japan think ” what the hell of Japan?”.
When I walk on street in the U.S with BABYMETAL T-shirt on, sometime people asking me shake hand with big smile by saying “iine—–, I love BABYMETAL!!” , I never had such experience, BABYMETAL is influencing the world gradually but surely.
BABYMETAL is melting any wall between cultures, languages and countries, they are trying to make the world become “the one” with their music. Let’s support and witness their “Metal Resistance” by all of us.
I have no clear idea of definition of “world domination”, but I think there will be the era comes that everybody in the world just naturally aware there is BABYMETAL and their music in part of their life.