Being a J-Pop fan means being a fan of the struggle. Streaming services being 'the norm' and the go-to haven't made things that much easier to listen to J-Pop, because many Japanese labels are like 'Fuck Spotify. Fuck Apple music. What is a Google play music tho?' And even if you do find your favourite artist is available on one of these streaming platforms, chances are that not all of their music will be on it.
The artist in the spotlight today? Crystal Kay. An artist who has been in the game for almost 20 years, but doesn't have a discography available on a streaming service which reflects this. And, at time of writing, the two albums of hers that are available globally are two of her worst.
So, one evening I figured I was going to fix me a little Crystal Kay playlist. I don't know what the fuck I was going to fix a playlist with, but I figured I'd try and make SUTTIN'. And to my surprise...her album Vivid was on there, when it hadn't been before.
However. A reply to my tweet of surprise, revealed that Vivid is not yet available globally. And also made me wonder if it had been available on streaming services for Japan the whole time and just not the UK until recently.
I've also found Crystal Kay's presence on streaming services, from what I can access here in the UK, to be bizarre, because it seems so slapdash. Singles from Vivid were always available, but "Forever" is missing. Then there's her 2018 album For you. Sis, if you're trying to get that global exposure on streaming platforms, why let your label go with the album art which doesn't even feature your face?
Crystal Kay's releases from her Epic records days are available on streaming services, but appear to be region locked to Japan. I hope Crystal does something to get them available worldwide, because she's doing herself a disservice otherwise. Her most iconic and notable songs are from her Epic records days.
So, to try and make good out of a bad situation, I've created a playlist from the scraps that we've been given of Crystal Kay's discography. You better know this. If Crystal's full discography ever gets released on streaming platform globally, I'mma re-do the shit out of this playlist.
For those who use Spotify, there is an option in the settings which allows you to see which songs in a playlist you are unable to play due to regional locking. This also sometimes displays albums in your search results. It's a handy tool to know whether a song or an album flat out isn't on the service at all or if it is, but just not available in your country.
So let me know which songs in the playlist you're unable to play. Hopefully between us we'll get an idea of what is available where and can cuss the situation out between us in the comments.
Listen to the playlist on Spotify & Google Play music
?J pop reviews: Call me Miss... | All yours | Color change! | Spin the music | Vivid | Shine | For you