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March 1st, 2024 | Tokyo, Japan | by ATTANGO

In the eclectic and dynamic Japanese hip-hop world, one artist stands out for her originality and versatile musicianship: ASOBOiSM. Born on December 4, 1994, in Nagasaki Prefecture, ASOBOiSM grew up in the Totsuka district of Yokohama, in a family that encouraged multilingual learning. Rich in languages and cultures, this environment greatly influenced her artistic style, skillfully blending Japanese and English in her lyrics. In this article, we explore the fascinating journey of this rapper and singer-songwriter, from her beginnings to her rise on the hip-hop scene.

The Roots of ASOBOiSM and Her First Steps in Music

ASOBOiSM was born into a unique family environment. Her parents, both teachers who specialized in multilingual education, encouraged the early learning of 21 languages. This exposure to various cultures shaped her education and her music. ASOBOiSM’s home was often filled with music, as her parents were passionate about guitar. This musical atmosphere inspired her to sing, write songs, and play the guitar, a passion inherited from her father.

ASOBOiSM began learning piano at a young age and joined the school band in middle school, where she played the drums and became the club’s director. In high school, she continued to explore different instruments and musical genres, forming a band and playing in the light music club. Her interest in music expanded when she started playing the guitar at university.

Travel played a crucial role in ASOBOiSM’s artistic development. In her fifth year of elementary school, she traveled alone to Russia, and during her second year of high school, she studied in Houston, Texas, where she joined a jazz club and explored different musical styles. These experiences enriched her understanding of international musical cultures.

From “Tamana” to “ASOBOiSM”

ASOBOiSM began her career under “Tamana” but soon needed to explore other musical avenues. In 2017, she formed a rap unit with an Italian DJ she met at university. Despite losing contact with the DJ, she persevered as a solo project, renamed “ASOBOiSM“. She gained popularity by sharing the stage with established artists like Cypress Ueno and collaborating with renowned DJs such as DJ Hasebe. Her first EP “DWBH“, released in 2017, was an immediate success, reaching the top spot at Tower Records. Her music caught the attention of Apple Music, which named her “New Artist of the Week” in 2019.

In addition to her rap career, ASOBOiSM has distinguished herself in various fields, including composing music for idols, collaborations with brands such as “My Hero Academia” and “Monster Strike“, and advertisements for companies like Asahi Soft Drinks. Her song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” demonstrates her ability to merge pop, rap, and singing into perfect harmony. She is also part of the group ZOOMGALS, which was formed during the coronavirus quarantine. She has closely collaborated with Namichie, with whom she released the track “HAPPOBIZIN” in 2019.

ASOBOiSM represents a new wave of talent in Japanese hip-hop. Her journey, marked by a multicultural education and an early passion for music, has shaped a multifaceted artist. Her mix of rap, pop, and international sounds continues to impress an increasingly broad audience in Japan and internationally.

Photos sources:

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