Always Smilin'! - The Rise of Nico Nico Douga Singers (Part 2)

In the previous article, we talked about the advent of Nico Nico Douga (literally translating to 'Smile Videos'), the 'Japanese YouTube' of the Internet, and its growth into a platform for independent musical acts.

These artistes, more popularly known as utaite, have not only found an outlet in which to showcase their works, but also great success both artistically and commercially.

This time, we're going to introduce some of these utaite that we happen to like!


Credits: utaite.wikia.com/wiki/Utaite_Wiki

Dasoku (蛇足)

The first thing that caught our attention about this gentleman from Hokkaido was his relaxed, almost sleepy sounding vocals. Yet, despite that, there is an undeniable charm to it that adds a certain level of smoothness and maturity to every song he covers. His undeniable obsession with his cat, Moka, also makes him that much more quirky (and adorable, apparently!) to his female fans.


Credits: utaite.wikia.com/wiki/Utaite_Wiki

anibee's picks

Magnet

Credits to: YouTube

Composed by utaite producer, 'minato' and featuring fellow utaite, Clear, this normally feminine duet gets a suave new make over in this powerful cover!

Eh? Aa, Sou.

Credits to: YouTube


Credits: utaite.wikia.com/wiki/Utaite_Wiki

Gero (げろ)

While all utaite possess amazing talent and ability, it was Gero's insane-yet-passionate growling and shouting amidst all the smooth-sounding singers that instantly won over this writer! Known as 'Gerorin' to his fans, Gero shows surprising range, fully capable of 'serious' songs despite his panache for the comical. This eclectic mix has given him much success, touring Japan and recently, other countries, with fellow utaite. He even recently visited Singapore together with Dasoku last month!


Credits: utaite.wikia.com/wiki/Utaite_Wiki

anibee's picks

Ponponpon

Credits to: YouTube

Easily one of his most infamous covers to date. The normally bouncy and girlish 'Ponponpon' suddenly takes on a crazy, side-bursting mutated rock form with Gero growling - and then cracking up midway. And yet, it somehow ends up sounding better than the original (in our opinion anyway).

Just Be Friends

Credits to: YouTube

Showing his 'serious' side, Gero covers this sentimental tune with the same passion he always possesses, yet showing a surprising amount of sensitivity.


Credits: utaite.wikia.com/wiki/Utaite_Wiki

Hanatan (花たん)

Possessing an amazing voice with equally amazing range, Hanatan has had great success as an utaite, having done songs for several Vocaloid composers and video games such as the Touhou series. Able to completely change her vocal style to fit nearly any song, it's little wonder why Hanatan's regarded as one of the best female utaite, and perhaps vocalists, on the internet.

anibee's picks

Rinbu Revolution

Credits to: YouTube

Just one of the many examples of her 'mature' style of singing.

Tropical Summer

Credits to: YouTube

One of her original tunes. Here, she takes on a more youthful, bubbly tone.


Credits: www.originalsoundversion.com

Supercell

It's almost impossible to talk about utaite however, without mentioning the group that is known simply as 'Supercell'. Started by composer and lyricist, Ryo, this band has grown to about 11-people strong, and has several notable people amongst its members such as artist 'huke', of Steins Gate fame! Supercell has also worked with numerous vocalists, released 2 successful albums and numerous singles, and has recently done songs for the recent hit anime, Guilty Crown!

anibee's picks

Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari

Credits to: YouTube

One of the many songs from their smash-hit album, Today Is A Beautiful Day. The tune is catchy, the lyrics are meaningful and the video shows impressive production values.

Departures ~ Anata ni Okuru Ai no Uta

Credits to: YouTube

This beautiful tune features their newest vocalist, Chelly, and was performed under the name 'Egoist', a fictional band within Guilty Crown, the anime which this tune was an ending song for.

Choruses (ニコニココラボ)

Sometimes, one utaite isn't enough! Nico nico choruses, or 'Nico nico korabo' as they're called in Japanese, occur when several utaite decide to work together. These collaborations can range from 4 persons - to several hundred!

anibee's picks

Smiling

Credits to: YouTube

This amazing collaboration features almost 100 utaite singing together. Male and female vocalists, as well as a few rappers, get together to sing this incredibly uplifting tune. Inspirational!

We've only barely scratched the surface of the amazing world of Nico Nico Douga utaite however! Keep searching through yourself - and you'll never know what you'll find!

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