Happy LNY with MAX’s “Tora Tora Tora” Single

Originally released on 2/21/96, to celebrate the 2022 Year of the Tiger 🐯 everything old is new and fun again for the EP version of “Tora Tora Tora” (1/1/22). The EP has the original song as well as 5 other versions to enjoy. To celebrate its release as well as the new year, MAX has a fun video up on their YouTube channel. The EP is available on all streaming platforms.

MAX 🐯!

ORANGE RANGE’s Okinawa-Themed EP “OKNW.ep” Set for 2/23 Release

OKNW.ep Album Art from Amazon.co.jp

ORANGE RANGE is releasing an Okinawa-themed EP “OKNW.ep” on 2/23. The EP will feature 3 new songs (6 total tracks including instrumental versions) “Melody”, “Evergreen” (featured in the amazing film “Miracle City Koza”) and Fuirisoshinka” (described as an eisa song written for Chatan High School where most of their members are from). Needless to say we’ve been looking forward to the release of “Evergreen” ever since we heard it on “Miracle City Koza” so what a great album to start off 2022 with. The limited-edition release of the EP includes a cute handkerchief with a shisa motif and the club members version includes a happi with the same theme.

Singer-Songwriter Meli Araki’s “Este Mar”

Meli Araki’s “Este Mar”

Ishigaki-based Singer-songwriter Meli Araki released her first amazing single “Este Mar” (This Sea) back in September 2021 and it’s sung in both Japanese and Spanish (she’s nikkei from Peru). The song is available on all streaming platforms and she also has a wonderful acoustic version called “Este Mar (Emerald Heart Version)”. Be sure to add both versions to your playlist!

MATSURI’s “Senkō Hanabi” Digital Single Artwork

via Twitter

MATSURI’s 3rd digital single was just released and it’s another awesome song by her. Now that the song is out we have album artwork to go with it and if you’ve checked it out on Apple Music you may have noticed that it’s listed under the title “Hotaru” which was the previous single. 🥺 The folks over at Spotify did the safe thing and kept in Japanese (線香花火).

Tamashiro Chiharu’s “Hope Dream Future”

via Twitter

Tamashiro Chiharu (Kiroro) recently announced the release of her solo single “Hope Dream Future” on 9/21. As the song’s title implies, it’s a very uplifting song (very Kiroro) and the recording musicians include Shimabukuro Masaru (BEGIN) and members of HoRookies. Be sure to add it to your collection and check out the MV.

Tamashiro Chiharu’s “Hope Dream Future” MV

Cover of Kiroro’s “Mirai e” by i-Dushi

i-Dushi’s Cover of “Mirai e”

A hula version of i-Dushi’s “Mirai e” (Kiroro) was recently put together by Insense Music Works on their YouTube channel. The cover song was released with the compilation album “HONEY meets ISLAND CAFE – Sea of Love 5 -” from December 2020. Unfortunately, the album nor the single is available globally so we’ll have to enjoy the video on YouTube.

HoRookies’s 2nd Album “Focus” Release Party on YouTube

via Twitter

HoRookies recently released their 2nd album “Focus” at the beginning of the month and held a release party for it on YouTube. They announced that it’s now available on YouTube as an archive so if you missed the livestream or just want to watch it again, here’s your chance! By the way, if you haven’t added “Focus” to your library, it’s definitely worth a listen.

Gus Hokama’s Lovely Song “Jikuu no Hana”

Gus Hokama’s Segment from the HUOA Virtual Festival 2021

I hope you enjoyed the two days of Uchinaa culture with HUOA’s 2021 Virtual Okinawan Festival (and if you haven’t, there’s always the archives). We were treated to a lot of amazing local talent and a few special guests and one that came to our attention is singer-songwriter Gus Hokama from Argentina and his song “Jikuu no Hana”. The video has been on his YouTube channel for a few years with Español subtitles (it’s sung in Japanese) but the version clipped above has English ones and is the Español version of the song. This particular song with Gus’s husky voice wouldn’t be out of place in a K-drama. It’s so good. The icing on the cake is that musician Brandon Ing makes a special appearance on sanshin for the song. “Jikuu no Hana” is from his 2018 album of the same name which is definitely worth adding to your music library (Apple Music link).

Gus recently released his single “Quiero oír tu voz” on June 19th and has a music video for it.