From Boy to Man: Daichi Miura

7.3.12 ShaSha LaPerf 13 Comments

It's been a while since I've talked about music, so I decided to make this blog post about Daichi Miura. I considered adding him to my blog post about J-R&B artists that have been in the music big for more than ten years since technically he's been around since 1997. However, it wasn't until 2004 that he had an official solo debut.

Image from Tokyo Hive

Daichi is a really interesting performer to me. For one...he's not cute. There I said it. Seriously he's got to compete with all the pretty coming from those Johnny Entertainment Groups and the Hallyu wave that's hit Japan and he's yet to make one of those "hot guys of the moment" lists that Oricon chucks out every few months. In fact, his PR teams seems to b quite aware of this seeing as the majority of his album and single covers has his him in some shadows or turned off to the side. Case in point:

From HMV
 However he makes up for it with his dancing skills, stage presence, and vocal talent.

So here's the standard Wiki bio. Like I said, Daichi Miura first debuted in as a member of the J-pop group Folder. The group consisted of male and female performers. Daichi was only 11 at the time. Although Daichi was surrounded by his band members, he still managed to stand out. His voice probably had a bit to due with it as he was often given the lead in many of Folder's songs. A clear example is this cover of "I Want You Back," by the Jackson 5. Daichi is front and center, doing his best MJ impersonation in Japanese:


On a random note, Shen and I gave side-eye to the afros, but thought this video was damn cute.

However puberty fell upon Daichi and the other male member. You can here a more mature voice in this song, "Everlasting Love":


In case you're wondering why is says, "featuring Daichi Miura," it's probably because the voice change and growth lead to the decision of having both male members leave the group, and turning Folder into an all female group--Folder 5.

It was years before anyone heard from Daichi. That was until 2004, the 18-year-old re-emerged as a solo artist with this R&B/pop single, "Keep It Goin On".


Wow it's been years since I've watched this vid and didn't realize that he had such a diverse group of dancers. I think all of his dancers are Japanese now though. But I digress.

As a solo artist, Daichi has released three albums, his latest being D.M., which was released last year. One of my fave songs on the album is this one, titled "The Answer":



Daichi has also done a lot of collaboration work with such artists as rapper Kreva, J-pop/K-pop star BoA, pop singer Sowelu, and J-reggae singer Lecca. One of his more notable appearances would be as a member of Sugar Shack, which includes other J-R&B male artists like Full of Harmony, LEO, and LL Brothers:



Daichi has had very few appearances on Japanese TV, and he's never been a huge seller on the Oricon charts. However he does have a pretty decent fan base as his albums have all made it into the Top 20. Last month, he released a DVD titled Synesthesia from his tour around Japan last year. Currently there is no news from a new single from Daichi, but he's busy touring right now. I suspect we'll hear something new from here in the late spring or early summer.


So there are a few more things that I find pretty cool about Daichi. Where as Korea has a lot of solo male artists that do the dance and kinda-sorta R&B sound, it's not so easy to find this type of star in mainstream J-music. The majority of dancing is happening in boyband groups like EXILE or Johnny's; it's not coming from say Hirai Ken or even young new R&B star Shota Shimizu. Daichi's debut was around the same time both SE7EN and Rain were working on their Japanese debut, which lead to many comparisons between the three artists. SE7EN and Rain both fizzled in Japan, which left the door open for Daichi. Daichi's closest competition currently is 21-year-old Yuya Matsushita:



But I have to give Daichi more of an edge. Yuya is the cuter one, but his voice isn't as distinctive and his music has more of a pop style than Daichi.

Finally, it still amazes me that Daichi is only 24! To put things in perspective, as an artist, he's been around longer than m-flo, EXILE, Crystal Kay, DOUBLE, and Full of Harmony. Despite the gap in active years, Daichi has been pretty steady with his solo releases, and I see him sticking around for a few more years.

So that's Daichi Miura. I'm leaving this post with one more fave song of mine. It's an album release (from Who's The Man which was released in 2009) so it doesn't have a video. However, here's the live version from his tour. The song is titled "Stay With Me."


13 comments:

  1. I love Daichi!! I thought I was alone in my love!! I still play atleast one song of his every day.. Usually the Answer or Lullaby!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for this post! I'm learning a lot <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. What Daichi may not have with looks, he makes up with his great talent.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Daichi Miura, this person is so talented! I will definitely give his music some play. Thank you for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The afro thing..hmm, would have had a wtf moment if I didnt remember my home stay lil' brother in japan who saw a black girl on tv(african) and said ''mite mite! karen!'' As if every black person equals me.

    Ahh but I'm really feeling daichi. Aslong as I have been listening to japanese music and havent heard of him. Going to fill my phone up with some daichi to balance out the arashi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't as bothered as the afros as I could've been, but I think it's because it felt like it was a direct homage to the Jackson 5 as opposed to just Japanese people wearing afros. LOL Japan does seem to LOVE afros--there's a whole movie about a Japanese guy with an afro (http://youtu.be/MxsMIsKgSSE). But Folder have afros seems much less random than a movie/anime/manga character have one for no reason outside of making him quirky. Thankfully they didn't paint those kids faces black though, that would have made me have a sad.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this post! I don't know a lot about j pop / r&b, but I'm glad that I came across this post. I will definitely be supporting his music! -Ciara :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay Daichi fans! I really recommend you all check out his albums. Personally I think his second one "Who's The Man" is his best work, but his other two albums have some gems on them as well.

    Also forgot to mention this in my blog post, but Daichi took "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2 and turned it into an R&B song. It was featured on an album of other R&B versions of Disney songs: http://youtu.be/PmxyAfa2l_U

    His singing with an accent, but I still love his rendition. It's still hard for me to believe this was originally a song from Toy Story!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey there!

    Longtime lurker, first-time poster, lol. I'm so thrilled you did an entry on Daichi! Love him to bits. It's because of him and Crystal Kay, I've been in love with J-R&B since 2005.

    There's one thing I will agree with..."Who's The Man" is his best work by far...and yes, "Stay with me" is my jam. There are some other good ones like "Gotta Make You Mine" and "Love is like a bass line". Of course his rendition of MJ's "Human Nature".

    Surprisingly, he will be 25 this August and will be performing at Bokudan this year! I'm so proud of him.

    ReplyDelete
  9. He covered MJ's Human Nature? I'd love to hear it, and see if I like his version more than Crystal kay's, or Pushim's :p Youtube is my friend so I'll look for it!

    Quote:
    "So there are a few more things that I find pretty cool about Daichi. Where as Korea has a lot of solo male artists that do the dance and kinda-sorta R&B sound, it's not so easy to find this type of star in mainstream J-music."
    My thoughts exactly. Around 2010, I was thinking this, how it was refreshing to have Miura in Japan. His music didn't do much for me but I really like his voice. I'll listen to his albums then!

    As for his face, he's not cute, that's true, but I don't care :) He wouldn't be able to make it (that far) in Korea if he was Korean...probably. Japan is more open I think.

    Cute new lay-out for your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Its been officially announced that his new Single "Two Hearts" will be released in May and the song has been appointed as the theme music for upcoming Japanese TV drama "Answer" starting in April. I am a huuuuge fan of Daichi and went to his live show in last Nov in Yokohama. I am Japanese currently resides in NYC. GO DAICHI!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Daichi to me is actually really cute :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. My only regret is it took me too long to discover him as I was still stuck on pretty kpop boys! First song of his I heard was Two Hearts and its still my all time fav. '4am' & 'Stay with me' are also pretty awesome and although I do like dancey songs like 'Drama' & 'right now' I like him best when he slows it down and goes all Usher on us! I even made a mini post about him on my blog-which has nothing to do with music mind you;)

    ReplyDelete