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Friday, June 27, 2008

Halcali article on Japan Today

Imagine my surprise when I saw this today! Looks like Halcali's recent international success has done wonders in terms of exposure.

For Japanese female hip-hop duo HALCALI, the world is their stage
By Natsuki Oka
HALCALI, a Japanese female hip-hop duo that performed in New York for the first time in early June, is eager to make further strides on the international music scene. The duo, consisting of two 20-year-olds from Tokyo, made their name when some of their tracks were used as theme songs for a popular TV animation series a few years ago.The songs soon reached the ears of anime fans abroad, and the pair made their overseas debut in Paris in July 2007.
In May 2008, HALCALI performed for the first time in the United States at a concert in Chicago.They followed this up with an appearance at New York’s Central Park on June 1 as part of a Japan Day cultural festival. "Our current goal is to release a new album in Japan, Europe and the United States," Haruka, one half of the duo, said in a recent interview with Kyodo News in New York.
Fellow hip-hopper Yukari added, "In the future, we’re hoping to perform all over the world."

Read full article

It's perhaps an inevitable result of them getting so much attention so quickly that people are just assuming their post Ongaku anime songs is where Halcali began, whereas in reality of course those songs sold relatively poorly compared to their early For Life days. What's become apparant though is there is a real buzz about the band now, a feeling of gaining momentum that hasn't been present since the OTF era.

A worldwide Japan-America-Europe release of album four is looking more and more likely now- and just in the nick of time. I can't be the only one who was worried that dreadful single sales might have resulted in their quiet departure from Sony. What we really need now is what Sony haven't really given Halcali yet in Japan- a solid marketing campaign and a real push towards top 20 chart success.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Details on the France 'Music Day' gig

As I wrote about here, on the 20th and 21st of June Halcali played at the Japan Culture Centre in France, and Excite put up a short piece about it. Here it is, along with my translation.

HALCALI フランス「音楽の日」を沸かす


東京都目黒区出身のHALCA(ハルカ)とYUCALI(ユカリ)の2人組ガールズヒップホップユニット HALCALIが、現地時間の6月21日、フラ ンスで開催の「音楽の日」において、日本文化会館(300人収容)に徹夜組みも含む600人の観衆を集め、満員札止めの大盛況を博した。

アンコールを含め90分のライブで、観客は全員総立ち、熱狂した聴衆がステージに押し寄せる一幕もあり、終始大きな盛り上りを見せた。シカゴの「アニメセ ントラル」、NYの「JAPAN DAY」、今回の「フランス音楽の日」と一連の海外サーキットを終え、次作アルバムタイミングでの、日米欧ツアーへ手応えを掴んだメンバーは、帰国後、楽 曲制作へと戻る予定。目黒区から世界へ飛躍して行く彼女達に今後も注目!!

Halcali heat up Music Day in France.

Coming from Meguro in Tokyo, Haruka and Yukari of the female hip hop unit Halcali performed at the Japan Culture Centre on the 21st of June as part of the 'Music Day' event. The gig was a massive success, with around 600 fans gathering, some waiting outside all night, to try to get into the 300 person capactity venue to watch Halcali perform.

Including an encore, they played a 90 minute set to a crowd who were wildly enthusiastic from beginning to end. After performing around the world with stops at Chicago, New York and now France, Halcali are set to to keep the momentum of this success going by heading straight back home to immediately begin work on songs for their next album.

Today Meguro, tomorrow the world- these girls are ones to keep an eye on!

Great article, and another new album teaser!

More thanks goes to Patrick for the link!

UPDATE: amj links us to this article on the gig over at Barks, which claims that the new album will be out before the end of the year! Which, considering that Halcali albums are usually preceded by a slew of singles, would certainly be bucking the trend.

As one of the problems I had with the last album was it felt too single-heavy, I really hope this is true. I'd much prefer a pattern of a couple of singles, the album, then maybe another single soon after that.

This part of the article threw me a bit though:


After the gig a long queue of people formed to buy the CD. There was a huge rush to get Cyborg Oretachi, which went on sale in Europe in February, signed by the girls.

I was under the impression that this elusive European version (with bonus tracks! Remember that rumour?!) still hasn't been released...

Girl Pop Factory 08 / Densetsu No Futari to be used in movie

A couple of good bits of news on the good exposure for Halcali front.

1. Halcali are set to perform for the second time at the Girl Pop Factory event at Zepp in Tokyo on the 3rd of August alongside the likes of Koda Kumi and Perfume. It will certainly be interesting to see them alongside that other techno-pop girl group; astute fans will easily be able to find numerous similarities between the two. With heavy chart hitters like Kumi on the bill, expect a big crowd and some good exposure for Halcali leading up the (hopefully very soon!) new single release.

2. Halcali are no strangers to having their songs close animes, but now the Ongaku No Susume track Dentetsu No Futari will feature as the ending theme song of the film Jersey No Futari, which opens in Tokyo on July 19th. Expect to see hundreds of people leave the cinema thinking "what was that amazing song at the end?" before heading to their local Tower to find out more :)

Here's the trailer:

Here's a link to page at Nippon Cinema with information on the film and the trailer with the Halcali song playing on it. Can't wait to see it! (Thanks to anonymous for this!)

Thanks to Patrick!