Blogged By: La Tray
Source & Story Credit: Yahoo Singapore – Casey Lee – Wikipedia
Media Credit: Photo (Yahoo News) / Video (YouTube willieharrisjr) (YouTube mflo10yrs)
Posted: Wednesday April 18, 2012 @8:37 p.m. PST
Japanese R&B singer Crystal Kay would be making her world debut with a collaboration with American hip-hop group Far East Movement in their upcoming album “Dirty Bass”.
According to Tokyo Hive, Crystal Kay would be featured in the track “Where the Wild Things Are” from the album that is expected to be released sometime in May. Other artists that would be featured in the album are Justin Bieber, Jang Geun Suk and LMFAO.
“I was so happy that I started dancing. It’s like a dream to have my name on a foreign artist’s CD. Using this chance, I want to become a singer that can give appeal to the world,” said the half African-American and half Korean singer about her collaboration with the group that shares her Asian ancestry.
This is believed to be the first collaboration between a Japanese artist with an international artist in a long time, the last being B’z who were featured in Steve Vai’s album “Asian Sky” some 13 years ago.
MORE INFOMATION ON CRYSTAL KAY: According to Wikipedia, Kay was born and raised in Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture to an African American father and a Zainichi Korean mother. Her father was a bassist from New Jersey and a sailor in the United States Navy stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. Her mother was a professional singer with one album while her father played music as a hobby. As a child, Kay met artists such as Diana Ross and Bobby Brown through her parents taking her to shows.
Although her mother is ethnically Korean, Crystal does not speak Korean. Kay is fluent in Japanese and English, the latter influencing and making a regular appearance in her songs. She has also studied French. Kay has cited Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson as her biggest influences. In Japan she cites the acts of producer Tetsuya Komuro as her J-Pop influences, particularly SPEED and Namie Amuro.
Crystal Kay is considered a pioneer for interracial acts in Japan. She debuted in 1999 when R&B began to take off in Japan thanks to local acts MISIA, Double and Hikaru Utada. Her success paved the way for the mainstream success of many interracial acts in the mid-00s such as Thelma Aoyama, Anna Tsuchiya, Angela Aki and African-American/Japanese enka singer Jero.
In 2009 Kay stated that “There is still some racial thing going on, [but] people are getting used to it. You can see a lot more mixed people on TV, and even (among) models in magazines.” At a summer festival that year half-Japanese half-Papua New Guinean singer Emi Maria left Kay a demo and a note saying “You’re my idol, I’m sad I couldn’t meet you in person.”
Nevertheless Kay has commented, “I consider myself a Japanese artist because I was born and raised here, but nationality-wise I look, and am, foreign.”
As of July 2009, Kay has released ten albums and she has sold over two million records in Japan as of 2009. Throughout her career, Kay has collaborated with M-Flo and BoA, Chemistry as well as other well-known recording artists.
CRYSTAL KAY’S PAST MUSIC VIDEOS: