Just J-Pop: NiziU Part 2

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Continued from Part 1… But when NiziU emerged, they weren’t like other J-pop outfits. The group — consisting of members Ayaka, Mako, Maya, Mayuka, Miihi, Nina, Riku, Rima and Rio — embraced the internet in a way that other Japanese acts have often avoided. They emphasized uploads on YouTube and, as the centerpiece for the Make you happy music video, performed a routine dubbed the “jump rope dance.” Their style of inclusion became a hit on TikTok, both in Japan and in other parts of the world. The video platform — where uploads usually run for 10 to 30 seconds — overflows with dance covers, and Make you happy provided a new craze for creators to try out. It helped turn NiziU into a sensation in Japan, and it earned the group attention from K-pop fans all over the globe. Japanese artists tend to do well domestically, but often struggle at presenting themselves to the world. NiziU have avoided this by using a time-tested K-pop strategy from day one: They gave fans easy access to them via sites like YouTube, and combined this with elements like dancing that can go viral and get fans involved in the creative process. As 2021 settles in, NiziU aren’t just an exciting new group to keep tabs on — they’re a sign of a potential shift in how J-pop approaches the world. (Patrick St. Michel) This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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