Meet CHAI, the band placing punk into kawaii
‘Cute’ is just not usually a phrase related to transgression, however CHAI wield it as their weapon of selection. With their synchronised on- stage head bops and chant-filled songs that shout with self-affirmation, the band advocates for a brand new type of Japanese musical outfit – one thing that was apparent from their hyperactive sold-out present in LA the evening earlier than. Oscillating between shoulder-shimmying dance tracks and fizzy punk-funk, CHAI’s energetic set completely captured the hyperkinetic spirit of their movies. The clip for his or her final single, “CHOOSE GO!”, nodded to the band’s recognition overseas with a twisted tackle high-school film tropes, together with a chaotic American Soccer squad: assume Friday Night time Lights at ten occasions the pace.
“As a result of we grew up having these insecurities, it was the right approach for us to bond over this (concept) that our complexes are literally a superb factor. It’s what makes us us” – Mana
CHAI’s creative sound lends itself nicely to this projection. Greatest described as an infectiously upbeat amalgam of bubblegum pop and new wave synth-rock, CHAI’s music is topped off with an unquestionably punk perspective, as propelled ahead by Mana’s love of a punchy, exclamatory lyric. It’s a dynamic mirrored in individual, with the singer extra talkative than her twin sister, Kana. Mana is mid-bite right into a dumpling when she explains why they’ve referred to as their newest studio album PUNK: “To me, punk (means) changing into who I need to be. (Changing into) that one that you’ve at all times needed to be.”
“We bought collectively as a result of we have been mates,” Mana explains of CHAI’s beginnings of their residence metropolis of Nagoya. “My twin sister Kana, Yuna and I all went to the identical highschool and we have been in the identical music membership collectively – I assume right here it could be, like, glee membership or one thing!” At school, the twins met bassist Yuki. “We would have liked a bassist and we thought, ‘Oh, why not embody Yuki?’ I used to be the one who truly mentioned, ‘ what, let’s make a band, let’s do that for actual.’”
Although, they’ve solely been a band for 4 years, CHAI have skilled a fast rise within the UK and US – one thing that every one three clarify makes them “really feel like we gained, in a bizarre approach”. In spite of everything, as Mana explains, most file corporations in Japan “don’t strive one thing new” exterior of the usual J-pop formulation, which tends to place a premium on syrupy-sweet vocal hooks and idol-level beauty. However to them, the actual fact they’ve been “in a position to break down that first door” with their distinctive fashion is proof that perhaps issues are slowly altering at residence. Or, no less than, pivoting away from the one-size-fits-all J-pop aesthetic which they themselves by no means felt snug embodying.