Faces to watch, so says Billboard

Billboard magazine usually includes some sort of coverage of Asian markets, but once a year, they devote a number of pages to spotlight Japan. In this week’s issue (Vol. 119, No. 33), there’s a sidebar titled "Faces to Watch", which includes bands the magazine deems buzzworthy.

Here’s who they feature:

  • Greeen A rap quartet who keeps their identity tightly under wraps. The band’s label site should have some audio clips. I went through my Dragon Ash phase a long time ago.
  • Midori Some audio can be found over at Bounce.com and perhaps on JPOPSUKI. Judging from the Bounce clips, they sound like perfect SXSW fodder.
  • Mitsuki She’s 15 years old, but she’s got a pretty mature voice. Two of the Windows Media clips on her official site don’t launch the player, so you’ll have to paste the URL.
  • Jyongri Billboard mentions she was inspired by the movie Sister Act at a very young age. O … K …
  • Angela Aki I checked out Angela Aki when she debuted in 2005, but I wasn’t very impressed.
  • Tamurapan Of the artists profiled, Tamurapan is the only one going around conventional channels to reach her fans directly through Myspace. Not bad.

These days, I don’t seek out new Japanese artists so much, aside from SXSW and perhaps something mentioned over at Bounce or Keikaku. But I thought I ought to pass along these names to folks who may still be interested in exploring something new. That, and Billboard is kind of expensive.