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World Wide Soul: Mika Arisaka


The idea behind this post is to look beyond artists from the US or the UK and see what the wider world has to offer in terms of soulful sounds!

The inspiration for the post came from a new name on my radar: Mika Arisaka!


Information about her is difficult to come by. A simple google searche brings up some basic information, however unless you are fluent in Japanese (no prizes for guessing i’m not) then understanding it is impossible. What little information i have found is summarised below:

Name: Mika Arisaka
From: Japan
Label: Jazzy Sport
Style: Nu-Jazz/Experimental/Soul
Affiliation: Reggae Disco Rockers, Jazztronik

Not much I know, but it’s the music that counts and believe me it does!

As far as i can tell she has only released one solo album, but she is also the featured vocalist for the Japanese group Reggae Disco Rockers, and has a number of collaborations under her belt. The aforementioned solo album is entitled ‘Aquantum’ and was released mid-2008. The album features 2 discs, the first of which is her solo material and the second features collaborations with other artists.

Lead track from the album is ‘Sparkle’, a very catchy, sing-song track that had me intrigued as to what the remainder would be like. If she were to release a single in the UK or US it would probably be this track.

Mika Arisaka – ‘Sparkle’

The 3rd track on the album ‘Bebop My Baby’ is the track that hooked me and reeled me in though. My instant thoughts were comparisons to Erykah Badu, particularly her jazzier side (think Orange Moon, Green Eyes), this was played on repeat at least 3 times before i got any further.

Mika Arisaka – ‘Bebop My Baby’

‘Cyberlover’ is a track firmly rooted in the electro/progressive soul sound that is so popular now, whereas ‘Lonely Planet’ and ‘Next Life’ are more conventional songs that really show off her vocals.

Mika Arisaka – ‘Lonely Planet’

The second CD is not as strong as the first, but does contain a couple of solid tracks such as ‘you, music’ and ‘A.D.D.P’, and an interesting cover of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (a collaboration with the Reggae Disco Rockers) that shouldn’t work but has actually grown on me a fair bit.

Reggae Disco Rockers ft Mika Arisaka – ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’

What is apparent from the first complete listen of the CD is that Mika Arisaka is not one to be confined to a single genre, she mixes things up and trys things out, ultimately centering on what sounds good rather than what ‘fits’.

More info: Myspace, Wikipedia
Album info: Jazzy Sport
2 Comments leave one →
  1. vivrant thang permalink
    11/03/2009 2:43 pm

    Although I’m unable to hear the music (still using Sendspace?) , I am anxious to check it out simply because of the way you describe it. It seems like she may have one of those sounds that you don’t expect to hear once she opens her mouth.

    Keep this up. It’s different and it will help me (and your readers) expand our horizons a bit!

  2. 11/03/2009 2:48 pm

    that’s strange, i can play them if i visit the site without being logged in (i’m on fileden now).
    is all the audio not working?

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