Vaundy and his iconic Mushroom top, is arriving like the flash from Tokyo.
A singer that will be not known to a wider audience and honestly to me also, if it hadn’t had been for a model on instagram, who really has the ability to go global. In the past I’ve spoken on this metaphorical indie scene that began appearing in Japan, coming from The Cabs in 2012, but now I see a transition to some multi-talented artists who really are better than most of what the rest of the world produce. Maybe its the indie style that forces the best from creators or its just natural talent.
Vaundy Engawa caught my eye with his song ‘東京フラッシュ’ (Tokyo Flash), its bouncy beat and poppy vocals really stood out to me from the get go, making me want more from Engawa. ‘pain’ a melodramatic song, really holds an emphasis on Vaundy’s vocal range, truly carrying the piece with some incredible notes. Much like other similar songs you can still feel the genuine pain behind the lyrics. Even reading the lyrics you can see a young artist wanting to take the world but also trying to be realistic, maybe due to the pressures surrounding him. However I find that both Tokyo Flash and pain link, maybe in the fact they are presenting some issue in Vaundy’s life. Even with the release of the songs being spend apart by months, I find that both songs are talking about someone who is dear to the character present, but this character can no longer see them for they was wrong and made numerous mistakes. Pain is the true feeling inside Engawa’s heart, ‘sadness shook hands with us,’ trying to get past the deal that was made, he ends up running across the city(Tokyo) to be with the one he holds dear. As he runs he battles with the things that forced him away, becoming addicted again, ‘your smile and gestures, make me obsessed again.’
In essence Vaundy is telling a story of love, whether it be real or fiction, his visual representation of both songs lends itself to the metaphor of wanting. Pain is a lyric video and Tokyo Flash follows him running through the streets after getting off the phone, maybe after the deal he made of sadness. His face blurred, maybe to hide the emotions to the outside spectators as he runs to his love. It’s the mask that caught my eye, curious to uncover what was under the blurring and to never find out.
Personally I see this rapid success of Vaundy as a good thing for Japanese artists, there are numerous popping up onto small mainstream waves such as, Mega Shinnosuke. Who’s song appear on numerous non-japanese youtube suggested, noticeable in the comments. ‘Ah the glorious algorithm has brought us here again.’ One user writes above numerous other English & Japanese comments.
Maybe the ‘glorious’ algorithm will keep allowing for these artists to get recognition their talent so deserves or maybe we’ll see this as just a splash in the pan. All I can say is that I am looking forward to the new era of global music.