The independent band Suiyoubi no Campanella begins to make a name in Japan, but also beyond its borders. Focus on a band which, despite its status, works with big companies that want to communicate to a young and trendy Japanese audience.
Who is behind Suiyoubi no Campanella?
Suiyoubi no Campanella, also written Suiyôbi no Campanella or 水 曜 日 の カ ン パ ネ ラ, is a Japanese band formed in 2012 by singer KOM_I, producer Dir.F and DJ Hidefumi Kenmochi. The band plays an electro-pop music in which KOM_I, the singer, puts her acute and imperfect voice, and does not hesitate to rap on most tracks.
Suiyoubi no Campanella plays its first concert on 11 March 2013 in Shimokitazawa ERA. The band’s fate is closely linked to the bohemian district of Shimokitazawa in Tokyo. Indeed, KOM_I became one of the icons of this district, and it is in the Village Vanguard shop of Shimokitazawa where the group has exclusively sold its first mini-album.
The band quickly acquired a reputation thanks to the wacky performances of KOM_I, who does not hesitate to dismember and cut a deer during a concert in the manner of a Marilyn Manson. This offbeat spirit is reflected in the Suiyoubi no Campanella music videos that are completely barred and sometimes disturbing.
After releasing several EPs and demos, Suiyoubi no Campanella published its first album “Zipangu” in October 2015. The video clips of the songs from this CD are well performed with substantial budgets, like the music video of “Rah” which is directed by Kodama Yuichi. The album will remain more than three months in the charts, reaching the eleventh place of the Oricon.
The Japanese band takes its first steps abroad by visiting the American festival SXSW in March 2016. Suiyoubi no Campanella is only at the beginning of its ascent, and KOM_I still seems to have many tricks up her sleeve.
When an indie Japanese band works with major brands
In just a few years Suiyoubi no Campanella has become a paradox in the Japanese music industry, since this band offers a not “mainstream” at all electro-pop music, but accepts many collaborations with leading brands.
Admittedly, it is not uncommon for Japanese solo singers or bands to sell their souls to big companies to appear in commercials of all kinds. But these artists do not have the same status as Suiyoubi no Campanella, as they are often attached to big labels which thus ensure that their artists remain visible and bankable in an industry where everybody does everything to get their head above water.
Until very recently, Suiyoubi no Campanella was produced by Tsubasa Records, a small independent label with limited means. So it’s hard to imagine that this Tokyo native band can afford to be integrated into communication campaigns orchestrated by major groups of agribusiness, large retail chains or tourist offices. And yet, this is the case!
The electro-pop band realizes more and more music videos which are just disguised commercials. And their signing with Warner Music Japan should only confirm this trend.
“Chupacabra” MV tastes like Red Bull
The last video clip of the band is the perfect example of this kind of approach. The video is like a completely normal music video. However, a closer look reveals that the central elements of this MV are nothing more than a Red Bull can and its pink beverage.
Suiyoubi No Campanella plays tourist guides in “Shakushain”
As I said earlier, the major brands are not the only ones to use the image of this Tokyo band to create clumsily hidden communication campaigns. The clip of the song “Shakushain” which is one of my favorite of the band, is nothing but an advertisement for the city of Sapporo and more generally the Hokkaido region. There is also a mention at the beginning of the clip that clearly indicates that “all images of the video was shot in the Hokkaido region.” If you had any doubts …
“Medusa” is a Parco poetic music video
Here is another example of product placement in a Suiyoubi no Campanella movie clip. Most of this video takes place in a department store at night. A department store that could remain anonymous… Except that we discover rather quickly that is a Parco, and that all this colorful video clip was a mere commercial.
I encourage you to see other footage from Suiyoubi no Campanella on their YouTube channel, to ascertain that the videos found in this article are only examples among many others, and also to enjoy the music, which remains despite all very well made!