© May J. . All rights reserved.
Updated 12th August 2019.
May J was born in Yokohoma, making her major debut when she was only 18 years old. Her international background brings a unique influence onto her music, particularly as she can speak three other languages ignoring Japanese! May J is a widely known household name in Japan from her successful career and singing the Japanese version of “Let It Go” from Frozen. She also doubles as a MC for various TV and Radio programs, including J-Melo, an English speaking music show most of our information for this blog is from! In her career she has released 8 albums, and a further 11 mini-albums/EPs, including cover albums! She has performed all across the world, including London, and we hope she will return again soon to grace us with some more beautiful performances!
To simplify May J’s general sound is to say she is similar to the strong female Western singers such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion. It is these singers, traditional enka singers and also Iranian singers she draws influence from to bring a unique style to her voice. Similar to these singers May J is more about her singing voice, working with producers or being a guest on other artists tracks than writing her own songs. Not to say she doesn’t have input but as a whole she is generally a performance singer. As you can imagine, this means she has an incredible voice, already hinted at with the Western comparisons and she was the first Japanese equal to these singers which is one of the many reasons for her success. This is added which the fact she can sing in both Japanese and English, sometimes singing in one or the other language, or mixing both languages. Again, showing just how talented she is.
When May J started out, she was more within the realms of R’n’B and Hip Hop, but as her career has progressed she has moved to ballad style tracks. Prime example being already mentioned of “Let It Go”, but she does not limit herself in what kind of songs she does. Which is always great as it provides a nice variety of songs in her repertoire. Personally, I believe May J does truly shine on her ballad style tracks. Her strong voice is held back on the more R’n’B tracks, which she performs with perfect tune but just feels too contained. Whereas on the ballad tracks she can truly go wild in the chorus or finale, but be delicate in the more sensitive parts of the song. She is truly masterful of her voice, and that is what makes it such a pleasure to listen to.
My Top 5 Hits
- Have Dreams
- ハナミズキ (Hanamizuki)
- Be Mine
Her discography is mostly available on iTunes, physical copies have the usual need to be imported condition.