Enka is one of music genres in only Japan. It is like country song in America or chanson in France. It is old type of songs in Japan and opposite side of J-pop.
Especially old people like Enka. Almost melody of Enka is very similar and old style. How to sing is very unique. Enka singers sometimes use special voice, “Kobushi” in the tune. Female singers wear Kimono and lyrics are very old style. In case love song, woman always waits for the man without saying anything until he notices her mind for him. It was a typical negative Japanese woman in the past. Other type is about a song for memory of hometown, especially cold northern area.
I feel almost of Enka songs are same. The number of the Enka’s fun is decreasing now. The market is decreasing, too. There are certainly some good Enka songs until now. However, Enka is clearly out of date.
Now an Enka song becomes popular and is in the hit charts. The singer is young black American, Jero. His look is just a American Hip Hop singer. He had Japanese grandmother who lived in America and used to hear Enka songs with her on TV and sing in front of her. In his interview, he said he used to sing to satisfy her when he was a child. And he became a fun of Enka. He can speak Japanese fluently and sing Japanese lyrics. Everyone is surprised at the gap of his look and Enka song, Japanese taste. The title of the song is “Umi Yuki” (The Ocean Snow). Certainly, he is just a Japanese singer when we hear closing my eyes. Japanese media praises his song for appealing Japanese soul.
Can he change the image of Enka and does Enka become popular for sake of him in the future ?