NEO-KAWAII, SOFYEE X CHAI
In the Japanese pop culture circle of “cuteness is justice”, there are so many idols who take cuteness as their symbols and use works to convey their own personalities.
Each age defined cuteness of the day, in the cuteness more and more related to beauty today, we tell more clearly that “cuteness”, the originally warm, ordinary word, has been separated from life. By redefining KAWAII, they have enabled more and more people to regain the pursuit of cuteness. “Everyone’s unique characteristics can be considered as ‘cuteness’ because each individual has personal charm”, said the new definition of “cuteness” proposed by the new Japanese female punk band CHAI.
CHAI, the four with plain looks often show themselves in pink loose pajamas.
Beginning from the last year, with their new “NEO kawaii” style, they have conquered SXSW, the most representative music festival of America. And they have since put on a series of shows in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles, which is the mini-America tour called “The Tour of Japan”. Created in 2012, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, CHAI takes its name from a Russian black tea with jam.
When its member Kana was studying Russian literature at university, she was taken to a Russian restaurant in Japan by her teacher to experience this kind of black tea. At that time, she thought the way of drinking it was so cute that she took it as the name of her band. The lead singer Mana and her twin sister, the guitarist and singer Kana, alas the drummer Yuna were high school classmates before the trio formed a rock band called CHAI with the bassist Yuuki in university.
None of the four is outstandingly good-looking by pop idol standards, and their definition of cuteness is “NEO kawaii”, which is a word they created by themselves. They put the manifesto on their website that “New kawaii means every girl is cute from birth, there is no unlovely girl in the world and you should be yourself.
We all have our problems and worries, but it’s okay. It’s exactly the flaws we each have that make us who we are.” They rely on the slogan “No matter what we do, we will make our voices heard” to convey their purest punk spirit. Being so different from the typical J-Pop, the music of these four girls sends out non-mainstream stories and messages, like “about men”, “all noses are different and everyone is perfect”, “I am me and everyone is cute”, and “everyone’s future is always shining and amazing.” In October last year, CHAI released its first studio album, PINK. The PINK album contains 11 songs including the hit single NEO and song styles like Basement Jaxx, the Gorillaz, CSS, and Tom Tom Club. What makes more remarkable is that the members of CHAI who seem to be still immature have achieved a highly professional level of high-quality performances.