Naniwa Danshi, Snow Man, Travis Japan, IMPACTors, Shounen Ninja, Sexy Zone… at this rate, I might as well sign over my paychecks to Johnny & Associates because they keep introducing me to good music. As a staunch audiophile, I must purchase physical media because iTunes, Spotify, and other streaming services condense their files, so you do not get the full scope of the sound. 

Yes, I know I could stream YouTube playlists, but as an artist, I want to support other artists – which brings me to my newest Johnnys discovery: Hey! Say! JUMP

This nine-member group consisting of Yabu Kota, Takaki Yuya, Inoo Kei, Yaotome Hikaru, Arioka Daiki, Okamoto Keito, Yamada Ryosuke, Nakajima Yuto and Chinen Yuri made their debut in 2007 and, at the time, was the largest group to do so in the history of J&A.

The name Hey! Say! refers to the fact that all the members were born in the Heisei period, and JUMP is an acronym for Johnny’s Ultra Music Power. It’s pretty clever and charming, which is precisely how I would describe this group.

I discovered them organically when I let YouTube play in the background as I was writing. Suddenly this sugar-synth disco beat pulled my eyes up from my work, and I picked up my photo to see the colorful group of cuties dancing around in the “ウィークエンダ (Weekender)” Music video. 

Originally released in 2014 on their – ウィークエンダー single, the video was recently uploaded to the group’s official YouTube page, which was just started in July. 

Their newest single, Fate or Destiny, released 24 August, from their album 「FILMUSIC!」に収録 is a pop-rock power ballad that shows how much the guys have matured in the last decade. 

With fifteen years of music to catch up on – all I can say is thank the music gods for sites like Neokyo and Suruga-Ya.

As I’ve just discovered this group. Stay Tuned.