What’s Happening? #6

Today…

… is rest mode… until tomorrow (7/13 JST)

HeartJack ~ MADKID Release Memorial Special ~
Shibuya VUENOS  @ 16:00 (4:00 p.m.) JST

Along with MADKID, we’ve got…

  • SELLOUT
  • ADDICTION
  • FAYS
  • BUZZ-ER.
  • WhiteA
  • BANQUET
  • no name (OA)

Sources: MADKID Official Twitter :: MADKID @ Nippon Columbia

Global Axcel News

  • This Saturday (7/14), here at the AXCEL STYLE home base 1, the only J-Pop/K-Pop radio show existing in the U.S., Bento Box Saturday, will feature “Summer Time” to be played on the internet airwaves. The show starts at 10:00 A.M. PST (2:00 JST) and everyone from around the world can listen to it on KCSS. 2 It may be something small but it’s a small start to get MADKID recognized here in the U.S. Hopefully, we’ll be able to let the guys know about it soon (if one of them does come on live stream one of these days this week…) so they can at least be aware that we’re doing our part outside Japan that doesn’t always involve social media. Thank you Karu-chan for the request and please, give her a holler too! 😁
  • Yesterday (7/10 JST) at around 21:30 (9:30 p.m.) JST, Shin returned to live streaming on Pococha and was on for about 3 hours. He gave us an update regarding his injury he endured last June and the usual random talks.
  • Earlier today (7/11 JST), Kazuki also returned to live streaming on Pococha at around 12:00 JST. Unfortunately, he came online around the time that I was getting ready to go to work, so I wasn’t able to stop by and say hello. As far as I know, even though Japan was eliminated in the World Cup, he’s still continuing on watching the final matches.

Coming Soon on AXCEL STYLE

I know that this site has only been around for over two weeks now, however, I’ve decided to expand the site more by adding a commenting system on the site and a few more things. Unfortunately, the base parent theme that this current theme is based on is a bit problematic as of late. There are customization options but is also very limited. I even tried installing the Disqus commenting system and it would not appear on any of my posts.

In addition, I’m also limited to sizing and changing certain fonts within the child theme.

So, in short, I will be working on a new layout. It would still be simple and clean as the current one, but with more custom features in them. It will take awhile but I’ll have it up and ready once everything’s built.

While we’re at it, if you have any questions, suggestions, comments, just holler!

Stay tuned for the new look for AXCEL STYLE, fellow Axcels! 😁

[CD REVIEW] “Summer Time” Type A

Earlier today, my pre-order of the Type A version of MADKID’s second major single release, “Summer Time” has arrived at my doorstep. This isn’t the first time I’ve purchased a Japanese CD before, single or album, so I know a lot about how the marketing in the J-Pop music industry goes. I purchased the CD from CD Japan, one of my favorite Japanese online stores where I can buy my favorite media stuff, such as books, CDs, and even movie DVDs. I’ll open another section here that lists some of the recommended online stores where you can purchase your favorite J-Pop goods. Please stay tuned!

Now, some of you are probably thinking, why still order the CD when you can easily get the digital releases from both iTunes/Apple Music or Spotify? Yes, true. I actually am subscribed to both Apple Music and Spotify, and I actually got the digital singles a day early (July 2nd PST) before the actual release date. However, there is only one reason why I wanted to get the Type A CD specifically, and it’s because of the extra freebie that comes with it: The DVD that includes the “Summer Time” music video 1 and the Behind the Screen documentary of how the video was made, where it was located, a few interviews of the members, and some other extras that are never before seen that should have been in the final music video. I’ll get into more detail much later.

The differences between Type A and Type B

Usually, Type B, or the “second version” of any Japanese CD released would normally mean that they are the straight out regular version. Type A is known as the limited edition, in which the content has some extra freebies included in it, such as a companion DVD, an extra single never before heard or released in public, and other extras. 2

In the case of the “Summer Time” CD releases, it’s the same as that of their first debut major single, “Never going back”. Both CDs have the same content single-wise, from the originals to their instrumental versions. The Type A versions contain a companion DVD that includes the music video for the single and a behind the scenes/behind the screen documentary video that gives us an insight on the development of the music video.

Another difference between the two versions is what most serious fans would go for: The visuals. The official images of the group. Typically, the Type B/regular edition of the CD has better eye-candy visuals of the group from the CD jacket cover to the back cover. Serious fans love everything, which in turn, they end up purchasing both versions of the CD.

In the case of MADKID, if you happen to be in Japan, and if you do pre-order both versions of the CDs, you get to have “full interaction” with the members during the after-show fan meetings. For instance, you can get a handshake, a signed autograph of a poster, and even a few seconds of chit-chatting and well-wishes.

Even though most of the world now relies on digital singles and services like iTunes and Spotify, a lot of Japanese fans are very lucrative when it comes to their loyalty to their favorite artists, bands, and groups. Many of them are serious collectors too. The CDs today serves as a memorabilia collection for themselves as loyal fans, and it’d just be awesome for a serious fan to own something that may worth a lot in the near future. Maybe.

The incentives that come with them are what makes purchasing CDs still a huge thing among Japanese music lovers, in addition to being collectible items to be kept and treasured through time. However, as we know it, stuff in Japan is expensive, and not everyone can afford as much of their items. Even today, many J-Pop artists, or rather their record companies, 3 still do not release any digital versions on music streaming platforms like iTunes and Spotify, or make them available outside Japan. But knowing MADKID and their future goals, they want to make sure that they are up to date with everything that’s going on the music industry around the world, not just Japan, and made sure that all of their digital releases are available to everyone outside Japan.

The tracks

If you are brand-new to MADKID, I recommend you visit the MADKID Amino Wiki for more information about their group’s history, their styles, their music, and so on. If you have been an Axcel for awhile now, you are aware that MADKID does everything on their own: write and compose their tracks, produces their tracks, create their own choreographies that incorporate the tracks, everything. The group started off as an indie group that had to learn the ropes of the industry and the scene altogether on their own. All are formally trained with everything they do (from the dances to the vocals), and they have been producing themselves since the beginning. Just by reading the credits on the CD jacket, even though MADKID is in mainstream J-Pop now, they still continue on creating and producing the signatures they have been known for and will definitely continue the trend.

#1 – Summer Time

I’ve only been an active Axcel since April Fool’s Day of this year, 4 and as a start, I dug up MADKID on both my Apple Music and Spotify. I was able to collect as much of their available singles as I can, especially those featured in music videos on YouTube that were not complete. I bumped all their tracks in the car daily as I drove back and forth from home to work and back, as a way for me to be more familiarized with their style and tone of their music.

Out of the YouTube music videos and fancams of their live shows, one song did strike me: All Day All Night. I wasn’t able to get this single on my Apple Music until May when all of their songs from the indie days were finally released worldwide on popular music streaming platforms. Many of their past tracks have that edgy, non-stop, high-energy joints that would seriously get every ear’s attention in a matter of seconds. And then with that long line of in-your-face tracks and hard-hitting beats, we still got All Day All Night stuck as their third single, so refreshing, so relaxing, and so slow that it would sometimes make you wonder if this song really is a signature MADKID song or not. 5

Summer Time is kind of like the continuation of All Day All Night. After all, who wouldn’t have a fast-paced summer when we can always have a relaxing, memorable summer season, right? 6 This is the type of song that you would seriously want to bump into your car or play over a beach party or simply just be walking by the ocean or a view of the hills while overlooking the sunset.

I haven’t really taken a good look at the lyrics, more like I skimmed through the lyric liner notes. It looks like each member’s parts within the song portrays their ideal summer love, and while listening to the song many times for the past month (since the music video release), I could also feel that their personalities and characters were shown through their parts. 7

The guys and the Japanese Axcels would often call this track “THE Sawayaka” (I’ll make a close translation: “THE Refreshment”), as it is a refreshing change from their more intense, high-energy 1st major single track, “Never going back.” However, “Summer Time” still features the elements of that signature MADKID glitch-style in certain parts, making this refreshing song not stray away from MADKID’s own signature style.

#2 – Forever young (feat. LITTLE of KICK THE CAN CREW)

I have been a J-Pop fan for over 10 years now (not including my extra 10 years hiatus from J-Pop), and I have heard of KICK THE CAN CREW around the same time as I’ve gotten into SPEED. 8 KTCC was the one of the first, if not the first, mainstream hip-hop crew ever to emerge in Japan back in the ’90s. They broke up at around mid-2000s as the members all decided to pursue their solo careers and projects.

Fast forward to 2018 and we hear a legendary name of LITTLE to appear in another hip-hop track by a fresh and talented R&B/hip-hop boy group known as MADKID. Together, they present to us “Forever young.”

As someone who lived her childhood in the 1980s, one of the sub-styles of R&B/Hip-hop that emerged in the mid-1980s is New Jack Swing. New Jack Swing-style R&B/Hip-hop became part of mainstream American pop at around 1986. Eventually, it reached the rest of the world including Japan sometime later, which makes “Forever young”‘s music video taking place in 1987 as legit as the actual R&B/HIp-hop history. 9 In the late ’80s, the clothes that the guys wore in that video were exactly as I remembered it. How do I know that? If I can find some old childhood photos of myself and my siblings, I had a hoodie that’s almost the same style as Yuki’s black and neon green hoodie. 😄 10 Anyway, enough about the clothes.

The lyrics targets towards everybody who is basically a “homebody”, someone who pretty much “wastes” their life away by getting themselves locked up in their comfort zones. As you can see in the video, that’s what You-ta (the bohemian perfectionist), Kazuki (the do-or-die flunkie), and Yuki (lazy-ass slacker) were portraying until Yuki gets caught in a TV starting with a commercial (with Shin being the model) and then evolving in to your typical early MTV-style music video played on an analog TV set. The message of the lyrics basically tells us to get out of our comfort zones and live your life to the fullest.

I like how MADKID has done a lot of exploring and experimenting with the old and classic styles and still make these nostalgia-influenced tracks into their own, like what they’ve done with “Forever young.” So far, it’s my favorite track of the new release.

#3 – OVERAGAIN

Anyone here familiar with all of Lin’s solo singles and sample tracks on his SoundCloud? If you have iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify, or other music streaming platforms, I recommend checking out “Incurability” and his latest, “I Need You”.

OVERAGAIN has the same vibe and style as “I Need You,” with lyrics that would make you start to wonder how this song will be performed by the guys live, especially with their dance routine on this one. The song is quite sultry, and the lyrics are quite romantic… in a mature sense. 😳

This track is almost 100% all-Lin, being the songwriter and composer and trackmaster of this entire song, with Yuki serving as the lyricist for his rap solos. The last song that I can remember that was 100% all-Lin was “Open the Door”, one of the group’s older tracks that were included in their first full-length album during their indie period.

Here’s a track that you can seriously bump into your car or even slow dance to in a club. And I’m still curious about how their live performance would look like when they perform this song. Fancams, anyone?

The clips

The DVD included in Type A contains the music video for “Summer Time” 11 and the BEHIND THE SCREEN (behind the scenes) documentary clip.

A few of the highlights I’ve caught after watching the documentary clip:

  • Even though the Corona beer on Yuki’s hand is a memorable highlight from the music video, Yuki actually doesn’t like beer in general. 12
  • The empty booze bottles on Lin’s scene are just that— empty booze bottles. He was drinking one while he had his headphones on and his iPhone on his hand.
  • Shin’s “spin leaping” by the seashore scene isn’t just random spin leaping. It was an actual dance routine. I think that the entire dance routine should’ve included in the final mv because the dance looked so beautiful and he looked so graceful and elegant dancing it. Then again, gotta be fair to the rest of the members and that the song is long enough accommodating the scenes from each of the members throughout the area too.

I’m sure there are other highlights that I may have missed, however, I’m not going to list all of them here. I suggest you just order the Type A CD and see for yourself.

The Charts

  • Oricon Daily Charts: Rank #6 (7/4/18)
  • Oricon Weekly Charts: Rank #14 (7/10/18)

I’m not sure if the charts also include digital sales from streaming services like iTunes or Spotify. I’ll have to research on this one some more when the time comes.p

Conclusion

If you love the music and don’t care about all the other extra freebies, just purchase and download the tracks from your favorite music streaming service, such as iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Prime Japan. 13

But if you’re a hardcore global Axcel and want to have every single MADKID memorabilia while the boys are still fresh and new to the major leagues, do buy the CDs, especially Type A. Or you can purchase both versions as collector’s items.

If you’ve stumbled upon this site and don’t know anything or just curious about MADKID, please do check them out on YouTube first before purchasing. There is a reason why everything and anything MADKID is available outside Japan, so here’s your chance to check them out without spending a dime. 😁

I look forward to the guys’ next release. I’m praying it’ll be a full-length album, but another single is still a good thing. 😄

[MM6 Final Mission] #MADKID Hour

Shin and Yuki in Shibuya

How’s it going, Axcels?  Happy Monday/Sunday to you all! ☀✌

As mentioned in the previous post, MADKID held the Final Mission event for the “Summer Time” MM6 promotion campaign at exactly 19:30 (7:30 p.m.) JST. Because of time zones, plus it’s Sunday and I slept the entire early night after arriving home from work, I stayed up and was working on an upcoming new guide here on AXCEL STYLE until the Twitter trending event began. I’m happy that some of my friends from around the world were also anticipating for this event and were having their Twitter accounts ready for an almost impossible task: Get #MADKID to trend under the Japan Trends during the 19:30 – 20:30 (7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) JST hour, regardless of the trending ranking spot, as long as it appears on the Japan trends list.

While we continue on tweeting with the #MADKID hashtag, we were also watching the boys on LINE/LINE LIVE, whether you’re watching it on your LINE app, LINE LIVE app, or even on the browser. Here are some highlights that I wanted to point out the duration of the live stream:

  • MADKID members are driving Mario Karts… 🏎💨💨
  • … while the PRINCE and the SWAGGA-nista 1 get to sit in the back seat of an open jeep like kings… 2
  • If you’re a You-ta, Kazuki, or Lin-biased Axcel, you don’t get to see much of them in this live stream…
  • … because Shin and Yuki are kings are the ones who have the phone with Shin holding onto the selfie stick right at them and Yuki holding onto the sign cards reminding everyone who spot them to start trending #MADKID on their Twitter accounts.
  • Shin and Yuki reading a few comments here and there while they’re on the red light.
  • Shin greeting Korean tourists in Korean just passing by them. 3
  • Shin and You-ta greeting each other in English when they reach another red light. 4
  • Axcels in Shibuya who spot them on the streets will take a shot of them, post them on Twitter with the #MADKID hashtag. Those who do that will be entered in a random raffle, in which they will be receiving a (signed?) poster if picked. 5
  • Axcels and (probably) random fangirls screaming Shin’s and Yuki’s name at the sidewalks as they pass by because they’re kings while the two greet and wave at them in return.
  • At around 20:00 (8:00 p.m.), #MADKID has landed in the Japan Trends list at the 17th spot.
  • … now that #MADKID landed in the Japan trends list, the guys and Axcels now want to aim the top spot for the last 30 minutes.
  • Some fans who were watching through LINE LIVE began registering for a Twitter account. 6
  • Shin spotted more Korean tourists who actually did recognize them and introduced himself, Yuki, and MADKID in Korean. 7
  • Shin and Yuki started conversing in random Korean to each other after the short greetings. Yuki started screaming out in Korean up in the air. 8
  • Few minutes after the Korean scenario, #MADKID reached the Top 10.
  • More lucky Korean tourists! One of them complimented Shin’s cuteness in Japanese, and once they stopped at the red light, he and Yuki began conversing with them, but in Japanese this time (the tourists knew Japanese). Yuki asked if they listened to K-Pop and who their favorite artist/group was, he and Shin began singing a verse in Korean from that said artist/group. 9
  • During the last 15 minutes of the hour, #MADKID started to fluctuate between 7th place and 2nd place, back and forth.
  • At the end of the hour, #MADKID finally ended up in 2nd place:
    #MADKID 2nd Place

Afterthoughts

According to my dear friend, this isn’t the first time that MADKID had this kind of event (including the Mario Karts). However, this is also the first time that I’ve participated in a massive Twitter hashtag event of any kind. Even though I wasn’t present in Shibuya or just anywhere in Japan, I do hope that the next time they see this, that I’ll be present this time and find them on the streets when I can.

I also learned that MADKID will always end their release campaigns with something fun and awesome such as this. In addition to that, Shin and Yuki (on live stream) mentioned that seeing their hashtag reaching the 2nd spot in the Japan trending topics list is also the first time that’s happened. So, congratulations to MADKID and all of us Axcels who participated in the event that we succeeded in completing the Final Mission.

Missed out?

Not to worry. You can watch the replay here:

Random Extras

I wasn’t the only one who was excited to write about this awesome event on AXCEL STYLE. 😏

[MM6] Final Mission

MADKID on MAD MUSIC

MAD MUSIC #10 (July 2018)

For global Axcels, even though tuning in and participating in the monthly MAD MUSIC live stream show is an option, you may be missing out on some of the group’s moments, regardless of how small or big they may be. For instance, the boys went through two contests against each other instead of just one in the beginning, and of course, the most important part for all Axcels, Japan and abroad— major announcements of what’s to come for MADKID and for all Axcels near and far.

But, the best thing about streaming on LINE is that if you missed this episode (or all the other episodes before), you can always check out the MADKID LINE account and watch the archived replays. 😊

I’ll post up about MAD MUSIC at another time, but for this post, I’m going to cover their announcement: MM6 FINAL MISSION.

What is MM6?

MM6

MADKID MISSION 6 (MM6) is the official promotional campaign for the upcoming 2nd major single release “Summer Time” that was first introduced on May 1st, the day after the group’s fourth One-Man Live. 1  The MM6 campaign is a series of campaigning missions that the management and their record label, Nippon Columbia, have compiled to challenge MADKID and the Axcel Fandom in completing each of these missions with an incentive waiting for them (and us) as the rewards, as we count down to the release date of the single (7/4/2018).

For global Axcels, among the six missions mentioned above, we were able to participate in two of them:

  • MM6 MISSION 1 – Regional Dialect Promo Video RTs: Each member will have a short video promoting “Summer Time” in different regional dialects based on the region each member represents, in which they will be released at the same day as the “Summer Time” music video (5/23/2018). The promo videos need to have 5000 RTs total (1000 RTs per member/video) before 23:59 (11:59 p.m.) JST on 5/31/2018. The incentive reward: giant ads to be posted in select subway train stations throughout the entire nation.As you can see, we have succeeded in completing this mission and now on the MADKID Twitter, you see a lot of these ads posted…MADKID "Summer Time" train station billboard ad
  • MM6 MISSION 5 – 50,000 views: On the same day as the dialect promo videos, the “Summer Time” music video was also released on YouTube. The goal of this music video is to earn 50,000 views before 23:59 (11:59 p.m.) JST on 5/30/2018. You all know what this meant then: watch and re-watch and share with your friends and watch the video over and over again, it’s easier to just add it to your custom YouTube playlist and play it on a loop periodically in order to make your views count. The incentive reward for completing this mission is this below:

    For me, this was the hardest campaigning that we had to do, and if we failed to reach 50K views before the deadline date (plus we only had a week to do this also), we wouldn’t be able to see the awesome “Forever Young” music video ever.

Earlier today on MAD MUSIC comes another surprise drop that should conclude MM6. Read on.

The Final Mission

MM6 Final Mission
Let me try to break this down…

This Sunday (7/8) at 19:30-20:30 (7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) JST, there will be a “Where’s Waldo”-style event for an hour taking place somewhere in Shibuya, in which Axcels (living near that area) will have a chance to search for the members based on the clues that will be provided via live stream on their LINE LIVE 2 channel. If you are able to download the Japanese version of LINE LIVE (just like how we download Pococha), you have the option of downloading this. But all you really need is the LINE messenger app, which is available everywhere on the App Store or Google Play, and follow the MADKID LINE account by searching for it in your LINE app or scan the QR code below:

MADKID LINE QR code
If you are not anywhere in the Shibuya area (obviously that would be us global Axcels and Japanese Axcels who don’t live near Shibuya), there is only one thing that we are asked to do: trend the Final Mission on Twitter using the hashtag #MADKID on that particular hour (19:30 – 20:30 (7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.)) in the Japan regional trending topics list. For many of us, this is optional, however, if you would like to participate, be sure to line up the hour with your time zone and you will need to do some set up on your Twitter.

Requirements to participate:

  • Twitter
  • LINE (or LINE LIVE)
  • The direct URL of the live stream from the MADKID LINE LIVE channel, which will be provided on Sunday.

How to change your Twitter trending topic region?

Depending on the device you plan on using your Twitter (desktop, iOS, Android), the specific instructions on how to change them are all in the Twitter Trending Topics FAQ. Follow the instructions there and change your default region to Japan. You don’t need to set this up today. You can wait until Sunday.

It’s suggested that we do this so at least we can keep track to make sure that #MADKID really is trending. It doesn’t have to be at the top list, but what matters the most is that #MADKID does land in the Japan trending topics list during the 19:30-20:30 JST hour.

What are the contents of the tweet while we try to trend #MADKID?

Even though it was not specified on what the content of the tweet should be, be sure that it follows Twitter Rules and that you are not using the #MADKID hashtag for something else that can cause Twitter to suspend your account. But from the looks of it, both the #MADKID hashtag and the LINE LIVE URL (will be provided Sunday, just keep an eye on the MADKID Twitter account) should be included in these tweets somewhere.

You can (probably) just tweet about what you love about MADKID, who your favorite member is, post a photo of your favorite member, etc., as long as #MADKID is included somewhere in there.

The incentive?

This is more of a “let’s finish this MM6 campaign with something fun!” type of mission. MADKID Twitter will randomly pick a few lucky Twitter accounts who helped trend #MADKID with a poster of one of the sleek train station billboard ads (probably signed too, who knows). What we don’t know is if global Axcels count on this random picking. We’ll just see what happens, but if we don’t count, don’t feel bad about it. The reward is more of you being able to participate and being able to help MADKID reach their goals even though you’re far away from Japan. I think this is a good ending to this major event chapter for MADKID, don’t you think?

What’s next after this?

The boys will be having plenty of live events and concerts to commemorate their second major single release, plus all other events not yet announced just yet. Be sure to follow MADKID Twitter for all the latest news and updates about MADKID and the members. 3

Also, don’t forget to follow the members’ individual accounts too. They’re all linked in the SLYKY Guide.

Thank you for reading and see you next time!

What’s Happening? #5

Today…

The July edition of MAD MUSIC will begin tonight at 20:00 (8:00 p.m.) PST on the LINE messenger app or the LINE LIVE 1 app if you’re able to download it. Either app will work for you to participate in the show (by commenting or contributing gift points).

After you install, follow MADKID’s Official LINE Account by searching it on the app or scanning the QR code below:

Be sure to check your time zones so you’ll know when to come online and join in the mini-celebration of the “Summer Time” 2nd major single release!  Joining in MAD MUSIC will also give you a chance to meet other global Axcels, follow each other on LINE and other social media platforms like Twitter. I’ll be there also.

See you there! 👋🏼

Sources: MADKID Official Twitter :: MADKID @ Nippon Columbia

Updates on AXCEL STYLE

The SLYKY Guide is up! This is for the fresh and new global Axcels who would like to get to know the members a little bit more by providing this somewhat comprehensive profile of each of the members. Just a reminder that as the group slowly evolves, so will the individual members. This means that what you see on these profiles may be official today but will eventually be changed later.

Got anything curious about your favorite member but unable to meet them on live stream yourself? Holler at me and see if I’ll be able to get your answers.

Thank you for reading. See you next time!