A great way to develop your language skills is to listen to songs in the language that you are learning. Most language teachers recommend that students start listening to songs in the beginner levels themselves as it helps develop a sense of rhythm in the languages and expands vocabulary. And more importantly, it’s just that it makes learning so much fun! So here are a set of essential Japanese artists with accessible lyrics that can set you off on your journey of discovery! 

Jub up by Mood Indigo 

Kick start your Monday with this unhinged, insane song from Mood Indigo! Mood Indigo is often called Japan’s longest surviving band, with a faithful following that has crossed a generation. Keiichi Suzuki, the founder of the band is a restless innovator who pushed the boundaries of Japanese rock and pops through the 70s and the 80s. Jub Up with its sudden chord changes, catchy chorus, crazy lyrics, and unbelievable video is perfect to get rid of the Monday blues! 

The Summer Song -Happy end

Discover the band that changed Japan’s music scene and revolutionized pretty much everything with Happy End’s Summer Song. When Happy End released the album Kazemachi no Roman (The Romance of A Windy City), they revoked the memories of a Tokyo that had got completely transformed thanks to the Olympics. In just the 3-4 years of their existence, Happy End influenced deeply Japanese rock with their unique brand of music. Filled with nostalgia and beautiful imagery paired with a soothing guitar sound, lose yourself in the gentle sounds of the Summer Song

Real folk Blues OST of Cowboy Bebop

Many discover Japan’s great music scene through anime. Many opening and end credit theme songs of anime series have gained cult popularity amidst fans. But perhaps the one with the greatest cult following for over 3 decades is Shinichiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bepop. The Anime series that mixed sci-fi, blues, Nouvelle Vague tributes and so much more with a set of unforgettable characters was an instant hit all over the world. While the opening theme is as iconic, we recommend the song from its end credits- Real Folk Blues – by The Seatbelts.  It’s amazing blues touches and fabulous lyrics are sure to rock your Wednesday. 

My Happiness- Hachimitsu Pie

Another influential band of the 60s and 70s, the group takes its name from a Beatles song. The band’s songs written by Keiichi Suzuki, the band’s founder, owe quite a bit to his influences- Dylan, The Beatles etc…with a Japanese edge. My Happiness is often called a love song worthy of representing Japan itself and with good cause. Perfect for a throwback Thursday 

Shintaro Sakamoto
The highly eclectic Sakamoto was for a long time associated with one of the country’s most popular pop-rock bands. In his solo career now he explores new sounds with a unique blend of poetic lyrics and gentle singing. Unwind on a Friday with this unique artist.


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