Amatsuki never meant to be a superstar. He didn’t intend for his debut album to reach number four in Japan’s national album chart. He wasn’t expecting to gather more followers on Twitter than Craig David, Kaiser Chiefs or Muse’s Matt Bellamy. In fact, he never really thought that recording himself singing covers of anime, vocaloid and Jpop songs would ever lead to very much, let alone a trip to England to perform at MCM London Comic Con on 27th-29th May. Actually, of everything that has happened to Amatsuki over the past 12 months, coming to London may be one of the most daunting.
“I can’t speak English very well!” he confesses. “I’m sorry if I don’t talk too much during my set… so I’m going to put extra effort into making sure the performance is extra special instead!”
Although the language barrier is one problem, Amatsuki actually feels some relief that his first UK show will be at a convention, where a majority of people will share at least one of his passions. “I love anime, manga and video games!” So there will already be a connection, even if he can’t speak the local lingo.
It was because of anime that Amatsuki first became famous. He uploaded videos of himself singing along to some of his favourite anime and vocaloid songs on to Japan’s popular video sharing website Nico Nico Douga. He didn’t really expect anything to happen. Maybe he’d get a few views, some nice comments and the odd imaginary internet point or two. In actual fact, he’d go on to amount 35 million internet points with his uploaded content on the site.
For fans outside of Japan he has also opened a YouTube channel, which has so far enjoyed a massive 20 million views. Some of his cover songs have even managed to rival their source material’s view count. One of his most popular is called Chuubyou Gekihatsu Boy, a cover of rerulili’s vocaloid anthem of the same, and is a good example of why Amatsuki’s been able to rise to fame, being able to nail songs that were originally meant for digital, synthetic vocals, without breaking a sweat.
With his rising fandom in Japan, it was only a matter of time until he got snapped up by a major record label. Together they unleashed his debut album Hello World, which reached number four in the charts. He recently topped NHK World’s J-MELO Breakout Artist of 2015 listing, voted entirely by overseas fans of the English-language Japanese music TV show.
Amatsuki will perform on all three days of MCM London Comic Con on the outdoor Festival Fringe stage. He will also conduct panels and Q&A session indoors, and sign and sell merchandise from the JPU Records booth throughout the event, located in the PopAsia section of the North Hall. If you can speak Japanese, why not welcome him with a big “Youkoso” after seeing his show!