BABYMETAL. An intriguing name for a group, and the concept perhaps even more: a trio of 'cutesy' Japanese girls that happen to sing along (and rock out) to heavy metal music. But Su-metal (lead singer), Moametal, and Yuimetal are much more than that, and their music has had quite the dramatic effect on the world - and this is what makes them our new music spotlight for this week.
Over the years, our spotlights (also known as our new music discoveries) have focused on international music, covering the rise of French singer Indila, to the enigmatic Stromae, and violin-dubstep artist Lindsey Stirling, all of which you can read about above. But this time we're heading all the way to Japan - and although we have previously discussed our favourite K-Pop videos - Japanese idol bands have a whole different following, conceptual style and musical influence. BABYMETAL is perhaps one of the most intriguing phenomenons, whose tour sells out all over the globe, and whose fans are every bit committed to rocking out along with the metal members as they are.
While the concept seems novel, the execution is anything but, and the group benefits from its strong instrumental roots and the stage presence of its singers; all three of them. While Su-metal does most of the main vocals (most likely due to her age of 18), Moametal and Yuimetal perform some impressive supporting vocals, and have become even more involved as they have grown older. It certainly begs the question as to what the trio could accomplish in five years, considering their rise to mainstream fame and growing popularity amongst a multitude of audiences.
But what makes BABYMETAL so appealing? Is it their energetic and enthusiastic performances? Or their own personal style combined with bubbly personalities? Or the music itself? There are no shortage of things to love about the group as a whole, even if the members itself admit to being "afraid" of hearing metal music for the first time (they were created as a group by a Japanese idol company). Oddly enough, this just makes them more loveable and endearing.
Each member has their own subtle and unique styling that ties in fittingly with the rest of the group's signature colours (black, red and silver). Su-metal usually has a different torso styling or cover, and her hair in a ponytail, whilst Moametal has one ringlet pigtails and usually a tutu, and Yuimetal has multiple smaller ringlet pigtails and a tutu to match. Not to mention the signature hand movements, signs and dances the group perform, much to an eager crowd's delight. And let's not forget their allegiance to the 'fox god' (their version of the metal 'rock out' finger sign). All of this makes BABYMETAL what they are, and the idol group just keeps going from strength to strength with every album they make.
Their first studio album, simply entitled Babymetal, was released back in 2014, and contained their signature song 'Gimme Chocolate!!' - as well as several other classics, such as 'Megitsune' (one of their best) and 'Ijime, Dame, Zettai'. Following up from this, the group released their second studio album, Metal Resistance (containing incredible anthems like 'Karate' and 'Road of Resistance'), earlier this year in March, which received positive reviews and skyrocketed to the tops of charts in Japan, the UK, Australia and the US - an incredible feat for such a young group.
The future is certainly promising for the trio, and whilst it could be difficult to understand the appeal of 3 young girls rocking out to metal music, if you watch one of their videos or concert sets, maybe you'll see why. Their energy, humour and personality shines through each of their performances, and it is perhaps the sheer joy that you can get from listening and watching them that inspires others to just take a step back and immerse yourself in something you've probably never heard before.