A Rough Guide to: Citypop

By Shakira Bakhtiar

A song that makes you reminisce memories you have never had? Yeah, that’s a city pop song.

City pop is a genre of music that was popular in the 1980s, particularly in Japan. The genre is known to be upbeat (typical 80’s music) in nature and is usually paired with retro visuals and sampled into future funk, lo-fi and vaporwave songs, all of which are best known for their aesthetic qualities.

So, why should you explore the genre? Well, you're probably already familiar with it! City pop has made its way around the internet and made a name for itself without anyone truly knowing what they are listening to. “Plastic Love” has been floating around YouTube for what seems eternity and has notoriously been on almost everybody’s YouTube Recommended. Now the song has over 57 million views. 

City pop also became a TikTok sensation with the song “Stay with me” by Miki Matsubara. The song had caused different generations to bond over its charm. Because of the viral nature of TikTok, Matsubara's song blew up. Many parents began to reminisce on their forgotten memories, and many younger generations began to discover something new. It eventually became so popular it topped the Spotify global charts.

City pop has even made its way into the rap game. “Kid Cudi” by Playboi Carti is an infamous track in which the beat of the song was sampled from the intro of “Tasogare” by Mai Yamane, but because of copyright issues, the song was never officially released. Right now though, it can be found on Soundcloud and YouTube. The wonders of the internet never cease to exist!

Although city pop has been around for over 40 years it still isn't as popular as it deserves to be. Maybe it’s hard for people to listen to music that is in another language or maybe it's because it's hard to find on streaming services. Whilst attempting to create a Spotify playlist I noticed a lot of my favourite city pop artists were not there and if they were, a lot of their music wasn't. So, I encourage those who like what they are reading to click on this Blitz-curated YouTube playlist, and enjoy some funky tunes. 

Time to impress with your niche music taste and get your groove on.

Check out Shakira's curated playlist here!

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