As is the case with every musical development in the history of the recording industry, major labels in Japan love finding a trend and jumping on it. Hip-hop has been the next big thing in the country for a bit now, and you’d better believe the nation’s biggest companies are trying to capitalize on the promise of this community. SHACHI represents one approach to this, courtesy of Universal Music Japan. She has been making music since 2017, influenced by the likes of American cornerstones such as Eminem, Kanye West, and Nas among others. Yet her approach features plenty of genre skipping, working in EDM drops and trop-house percussion to give her music wider reach (by breaking out sounds that have connected with the Japanese mainstream on a wider level).
She’s on the path upwards, and her newest number “My Feelings” from her just released alone EP highlights why she is ready for the spotlight. Watch the video below.
“My Feelings” imagines what “SoundCloud Rap” would be like if a J-pop label threw funds into it. SHACHI spends just as much time singing here as she does rapping, but it works over the twinkling beat that evolves from a pretty sparse backdrop to something that quickly turns into an urgent bit of electronic crashing featuring samples and warped manipulations of SHACHI’s voice. This number ultimately uses rap as just one building block towards something more pop ready, which certainly sets off some alarm bells, but feels alright seeing as this is just a logical step forward in a country where rap has often been absorbed by other styles for often thrilling results…and mostly because SHACHI pulls it off well. To that end, “My Feelings” really hits…those feelings, mostly by zeroing in on the warm connection that music itself can bring people. One of the better ways to introduce the genre to a wider slice of the Japanese populace.