Crystal Kay talks race, acting, 'Yokohama ratchet pop' and a new EP

Crystal Kay talks race, acting, Yokohama ratchet pop and a new EP | Random J Pop

Crystal Kay doesn't do a great deal of interviews, probably because nobody in Japan cares enough about her to want to conduct one with her. But with her recent foray into trying to break into the US, Japan cinema and Twelv magazine both sat down with CK and dove into a set of questions and that no journalist in Japan has bothered to even entertain with her. Much of the fat which gets chewed in this interview is the same ol' same ol' What's it like being of mixed heritage? Who did you grow up listening to? How would you describe your sound? All of which is understandable given that there are few interviews in circulation of Crystal and she is essentially being introduced to a new market / audience.

Tid-bits of info which CK shares in the interviews are:

  • Crystal Kay loves anime. She was a huge Sailor moon fan and a card collector, yet a bunch of Japanese girls in high school beat her to the punch to sing the theme song. Her management done fell all the way off.
  • Crystal Kay now lives in New York. She moved there a year ago.
  • Crystal is very interested in acting. Something we know she's good at, because she's been acting like her career is in good shape for the past 5 years.
  • What exactly her self-coined musical genre 'Yokohama ratchet pop' is.
  • She still gets stage fright.
  • She plans to release an EP.

Crystal has made zero impact in the US as of yet. Her lacklustre singles have dissapointed many of her fans and have done nothing to cut her across the the new demographic who have never heard of her. Whilst neither "Busy doing nothing" and "Rule your world" are not utterly terrible songs, there is nothing defining about them. Crystal's talents don't shine through on either song and there's nothing distinct or catchy about them to have them stick out amongst what US radio is playing now. What seems to be eluding Crystal's team is that the new sound she delivered with her 10th Japanese studio album Vivid is exactly what she needs for her US debut. There are also notable songs in her discography which she could have replaced her US singles with outright, as better alternatives and showcases of her talents. "Busy doing nothing" should have been "My heartbeat". "Rule your world" should have been All yours' "I wanna be".

Crystal hasn't so much as left a dent on the US with what she's done so far. So it's not like she's ruined her own reputation or her chances of a restart. She;s still so under the radar that she could start from scratch and step back into the game brand new. But the lack of support, financial backing and overall strategy from her record label will always be some of her biggest obstacles. It's not even a case of her label doesn't believe in her. I genuinely think they don't know what to do with her, which is tragic because she's a marketable all singing and dancing package who is easy on the eye and has legitimate talent to back it all up.

Read the full interview with Japan cinema
Read the full interview with Twelv magazine

Thanks to fellow CK fan Nait Phoenix for the heads up on the interview with Twelv magazine.


  1. This po' chile...

    "What exactly her self-coined musical genre 'Yokohama ratchet pop' is."

    My thoughts exactly. Like, I get what ratchet pop is; it's that brand of hip pop that people like Iggy Azalea make (ya know, hip hop for white chicks and gays), but how does tossing in Yokohama (with it's "badass anti-Harajuku-ness") define your music?

    #OffTopic - Ayo, have y'all seen this? YG still thinks 2NE1 can do Japan with these busted remakes (even though they failed so hard the first time around), but at least we got a semi-decent music video out of it.

  2. "Read the full interview......"

    lol no.

  3. My favorite part of the interview is when she says she doesn't get noticed In NY like she does in Japan. IMMEDIATE DEATH. Bitch ain't nobody noticing you ANYWHERE. Even when your face is plastered all over a shopping mall, your ass is like solid snake with your stealth game.

  4. And "he" said let there be death and there was.

  5. I'm guessing "Busy Doing Nothing", "Rule Your World" & "Dum Ditty Dumb" are going to be on this EP which I guess I'm not too strung up about, unless she pulls a JoJo and makes an EP of covers like her "Safe & Sound" cover. That I'd be down for… covers like that could get someone noticed!

    I'm all for CK reinventing herself, but here's hoping that she does it without the idea that we only see her for her ethnicity.

    BTW, thanks for the nod, ?J! :)

  6. James Smith III20 June 2014 at 10:36

    i need minzy to have a solo debut already; homegirl is seriously underrated


    Fuck a CL solo album; we don't need/watch all that ratchetness

  8. James Smith III21 June 2014 at 09:15

    Not gonna lie those CL solo songs due go hard but dn Minzy can dance and sing! I swear she has better control over her voice than so many other singers even many main vocalist.


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