Name: Akiba Idol Emily
Subtitle: The My-Pace Songstress of Dove City
Age: Eternally 17
Birthdate: May 5
Birthplace: Columbus, OH
Height: 5’7”/170 cm
Year in School: Unknown
Music Influences: Hamasaki Ayumi, TRF, Perfume
Outside J-Pop Music Influences: David Crowder Band, Bond, Jennifer Lopez, Andromulus, FM-84, Paula Abdul
Fashion Influences: SHINee, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Instruments: Piano, violin, recorder
Cannot play: Guitar
DAW: Logic Pro X/Yamaha PSR 530
Aikatsu Type: Cool
Aikatsu Brand: Swing Rock
PriPara Type: Cool
PriPara Brand: Baby Monster
Love Live Type: Cool
Idolmaster Type: Cool
Beatmania IIDX Single Level: 5-6
Beatmania IIDX Double Level: 3-4
DDR Feet: 6
DDR Level: 8
pop’n’music Level: 20-25
jubeat Level: 8-9
MUSECA Level: 11
Rhythm Game Tournaments:
Quarterfinalist - Friendly Jubeat Tournament - Akiba Arcade, November 25, 2017
Hobbies: Watching anime, riding roller coasters, coloring, sleeping
Favorite Color: Dark Blue
Favorite Drink: Mountain Dew Code Red
Likes: Blue skies, long drives on back roads, penguins
Dislikes: People who aren’t honest
Collaboration Wish List:
Indie: voia, FM-84, Stellure, Andromulus, Mark Pheonix
A-List: Ayumi Hamasaki (obviously), Yasutaka Nakata, verbal, Garth Brooks, Nekomata Master
In November of 2006 Emily arranged a (link) piano version of “Ready Steady Go,” L’arc-en-ciel’s opening song for Full Metal Alchemist. To date the video has amassed more than 200,000 views on YouTube. Other covers were pulled for copyright violation -- including several that returned to the DJ Aoiko theme and style -- but a few other piano covers survived, including one of well known meme song Caramelldansen.
Emily approached J-Pop music again when she was invited by Filipino-American J-Rock singer Kamiyan to join him at his concert at Hoshicon 2015, in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. They performed together as Kamiyan and Haru-Haru, playing covers from RWBY and Tokyo Ghoul.
In 2017 Emily began frequenting Gotcha Gachapon (the predecessor to Akiba Arcade) in Columbus. Upon its move to Akiba Arcade at Eastland Mall, she volunteered her services to help promote the arcade. Her debut will be on 20, November, which is an important date in the Bemani community.
Akiba Idol Emily is an idol in the style of older J-Pop idols from the 90’s and early 00’s, such as Utada, Hamasaki Ayumi, Tamaki Nami, Koda Kumi, and Amuro Namie. Less idol than artist, these solo acts paved the way for a new lyrical frontier with a darker image, less choreographed dances, and meaning to every word they sang. Such music these days is usually referred to as anison; what separates Emily from utaite and Youtaite is her physical idol activities of promoting the arcade.
Emily was originally inspired by the early Avex Trax sound and style to write J-Pop music. The tracks on her second composition collection, Shut Up And Listen, are directly influenced by J-Pop of the era, including One More Night and Call My Name. Later tracks retain this influence, such as Midnight Rave from Almond Dust, and more recently Epilogue from North Side Angel.
This same style and sound fits the early Bemani era, which is represented at Akiba Arcade. Both music from Avex Trax and songs from beatmania and Dance Dance Revolution were inspired by eurodance and the Para Para culture. Emily’s goal is to take the older style and unite it with a newer Bemani, to promote the arcade while composing in the style she loves.
Emily is a net idol as well as a locodol -- an idol who promotes local culture, in this case Akiba Arcade. She is not a school idol, as she is not in school, and she is not a Japanese idol, as she is not Japanese.
Is Akiba Arcade a real place?
Yes it is! You can find out more information here.
Where can I hear your music?
You can hear my music anywhere you listen to music! YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, BandCamp, Tidal, LINE Music -- you name it, it’s there!
Where can I see your videos?
All videos from Akiba Idol Emily and Akiba Arcade will be posted for now at my regular YouTube channel. The channel will go through a bit of transition as it moves from my normal branding to Akiba Idol Emily. My old videos will remain, though at this point there aren’t that many of them :)
Will you ever do song covers?
At this moment, sadly no. I may approach this again in the future, though! There are lots of rules and regulations to official covers, and since I am a professional musician, I have to follow these or my publisher can drop me. Thank you for your understanding.
Will you ever do livestreams!
Yes, yes, yes! This is in the works! The only problem we have is that Akiba Arcade, as of now, does not have wi-fi. (Long story.) Once they have wi-fi, we will work out the logistics of livestreaming. Until then, we will be posting regular videos on our YouTube, so be sure to check them out!
I want to work with you! Are you open for collaborations?
At this time I am open to outside-initiated collaborations. If you want to have me sing on your cover, I’m fine with cutting you a .wav and sending it to you. I am not presently initiating collaborations mostly so I can focus on my idol work here at AkiAke.
You’re an American singing Japanese pop music. This is cultural appropriation. I demand you stop.
If you’re going to be technical, Japanese culture as a whole started assimilating Western culture with the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1854. Most of what we see in Japanese pop culture has roots in Western intellectual property (Tezuka Osamu being inspired by Walt Disney is a good example). This world is an incredibly diverse place, for better or for worse.
Cultural appropriation can be avoided by understanding your source material, promoting and giving visibility to the original source, and playing by the rules set by the source material in question. I am an idol, yes, and I consider myself a locodol -- a local idol who promotes the community, much as a public figure or a newscaster would -- and an American Net Idol -- an idol in America who promotes gaijin and otaku culture. And J-Pop is my genre -- I didn’t choose it; rather, it seems to have chosen me. But I do not consider myself a J-Pop Idol. To do so would be to fundamentally change who I am as a person, physically and mentally and socially, to fit what J-Pop Idols in Japan do.
I am not Japanese nor do I pretend to be -- to do that would be cultural appropriation. I don’t prescribe to be an actual Japanese pop idol any more than Akiba Arcade prescribes that they’re actually located in Akihabara. What we do is we give visibility -- to the gaijin and otaku culture in the Midwest and to Columbus as a whole. When I put my uniform -- or cosplay or yukata -- on, I understand I am representing a world that originally wasn’t mine, but that I have since become a part of.
That said, if you are actually Japanese and are offended by something I’ve done, please contact me privately so I can better understand why it is offensive.
You’re too old/fat/klutzy to be doing this. Don’t you have a normal life to live?
Funny you said that! I’m glad you asked. :)