My first exposure to Babymetal was through a video one of my friend sent me over a year ago. He knew I had some interest in metal, and Japanese things in general, so he thought the link would be enjoyable. This video was of a live show to their song “Gimme Chocolate!” that now has over 44 Million views on YouTube.
I’ll be honest…at first I was very confused. My mind could not put together the hyper and upbeat vocals with the intense metal playing in the background. This pop sound plus the heavy guitars was a combination I had never heard before and certainly wasn’t used to. After a few attempts at interpreting the video…I realized this is exactly how I feel when I NEED some damn chocolate too! I started jamming out! I appreciated watching the adorable girls and their choreography rocking out on stage at this incredibly fun-looking concert.
For the next year I put this video and Babymetal aside, moving on with my life and other music escapades. Then a few days ago, I noticed BABYMETAL showing up in my newsfeed with the release of a new video for their single “KARATE.” I didn’t know what to expect when I watched the clip.
It completely blew me away. Everything about this video was perfect. From the costumes, to the choreography, to the powerful vocals, to the girls fighting off the enemies with their Karate skills. It was like the anime I had been watching finally came alive, “Karate” was the theme song to girl power and fighting off the bad-ass enemies.
This video led to some other YouTube exploration into Babymetal’s songs, with “Megitsune” becoming another favorite. The music video is fun, and reminds me of the old Dance Dance Revolution days. In the middle it pauses with a heavy guitar break that makes my metal heart happy. Su-Metal (the lead singer) once again demonstrates some powerful and clear vocals in this song.
Some background on Babymetal: they originated as a sub-group of Sakura Gakuin, and focused on a fusion of the metal and idol genres. The lead singer’s name is Suzuka Nakamato (Su-Metal), and the other members are Yui Mizuno (Yuimetal) and Moa Kikuchi (Moametal). Ironically, the girls didn’t know what metal was before they were in the put together in the band. Unfortunately, Su-Metal graduated from Junior High School and the record label had a policy to “graduate” her from the group. However, the record label decided to continue Babymetal as a band. Good choice. It seems that their exposure is growing rapidly.
So if you like metal and if you like J-Pop, listen to this talented group. They’re selling tickets for a tour and their new album comes out on April 1st. If “KARATE” is just one of their singles from that brand new set of songs, I can’t wait to hear more.
Fellow metal lovers, what do you think of Babymetal? Let me know in the comments below!