March 25, 2010
News for Otakon 2010:
Hip-hop group Home Made Kazoku to make U.S. debut at Otakon 2010
Baltimore, MD (March 24, 2010) – Home Made Kazoku, a unique hip-hop group known for their upbeat music, are making their U.S. debut this summer at Otakon 2010. Anime fans may know their music best through their single "Thank You!!" which is the ending theme song to the smash-hit animation series Bleach. They have also done music for Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven and Naruto.
The group's May 2004 debut from Ki/oon Records /Sony Music Entertainment Japan Inc. won acclaim as the best upcoming artist of the year on the Japanese music scene. Mico is widely referred to as a "soul rapper" because of his husky, powerful voice. Kuro adds a deep, whispering rap which gives life to the lyrics. Combined with U-Ichi's DJ skills, their positive, heartwarming music has caught many listeners' ears.
Vocalists Micro and Kuro are originally from the United States. Micro spent a part of his childhood in Kentucky, while Kuro lived in Chicago until he was 12.
Their first full-length album, Rock the World, achieved #5 on the Oricon national chart, with over 300,000 sales, and spent an amazing two months in the Best20s.
Home Made Kazoku created a buzz with their tracks featured as theme songs on many hit anime series, such as Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven ("Shonen Heart"), NARUTO ("Shooting Star"). Their third album, Thank You!!, hit #5 on the Oricon chart.
Following their fourth album, Home, which including the lead track "No Rain No Rainbow" (the theme song of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: The Movie, "Kizuna"), Home Made Kazoku headlined their first tour in Japan, including a sold-out show at the Budokan in front of more than 10,000 fans.
This March, their fifth album, Circle, was released in Japan, and their U.S. debut EP (digital only) will be coming this summer.
Otakon's Head of Guest and Press Relations, Jim Vowles, said, "When we started looking at musical guests this year, the one thing we knew from the start is that we wanted to try something new and different. Visual Kei and J-Rock have dominated the convention circuit for a while now, and while they're crowd-pleasers (and they've been very good to us here at Otakon), we wanted to show a broader view of the Asian music scene. We talked with some of our music connections and looked at dozens of options.
"Lots of great acts suggested themselves, but eventually we settled on Home Made Kazoku, which offered an upbeat, hip-hop sound. We had the right connections. The music itself was solid and interesting, and they'd had some serious success in the last few years. It didn't hurt that their music has been used for immensely popular anime like Bleach and NARUTO, either. And if you're going to do a hip-hop act, I think Baltimore's a pretty good place for it."
To preview some of the band's music, visit the following clips:
Thank you!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shyMxAxksGk)
No Rain No Rainbow (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWf0rZtM42w)
Shonen Heart (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0StCFKEChU)
Otakon 2010 will be held July 30 – August 1 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
ABOUT OTAKON AND OTAKORP, INC.: Now entering its seventeenth year, Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, and also one of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States. Otakon celebrates popular culture as a gateway to deeper understanding of Asian culture, and has grown along with the enthusiasm for anime, manga, video games, and music from the Far East. Since 1999, Otakon has been held in Baltimore, Maryland; currently, Otakon is one of Baltimore's few large, city-wide events, drawing over 25,000 individual members for three days each year (for a paid attendance of over 70,000 "turnstile" attendees). Otakon is a membership-based convention sponsored by Otakorp, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based, 501(c)3 educational non-profit whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarily through its media and entertainment. Otakorp, Inc. is directed by sn all-volunteer, unpaid staff – we are run by fans, for fans.