Crystal Kay news dump: The Masked Singer Japan, the Crystal Xmas 2021 'tour' and more

Crystal Kay news dump: The Masked Singer Japan, the Crystal Xmas 2021 'tour' and more | Random J Pop

So, Crystal Kay is actually doing some things at the moment.

I know. I'm a bit surprised too.

Although a trend with Crystal seems to be that she is most active during the holidays, when she does her lil' Christmas gigs and shit. But there's a fair amount Crystal has going on at the moment, so let's clap for a bitch and get into some of it.

Crystal Kay on The Masked Singer Japan

Crystal Kay news dump: The Masked Singer Japan, the Crystal Xmas 2021 'tour' and more | Random J Pop
Crystal Kay, The Masked Singer Japan | Amazon Prime Video

From the very start, fans knew Miss Television was Crystal Kay. There was no mistaking her voice. And it was from this moment that fans and regular viewers alike knew Miss Television was going to go to the finals, and go she did. But alas. She didn't win. Women with vocal talent pulling up to the Masked Singer only to not win is a common thing. JoJo got played the exact same way. How the fuck she didn't win after that performance of Michael Bolton's "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" is just-

*Sighs*

The first season of The Masked Singer Japan show concluded on October 15th, but only WEEKS later did we see any type of acknowledgment from Crystal on her social media accounts that she was on the show. I posted that this was a mess, and then the next day there's an Insta post. I'm not saying that it's my impact, but *Looks into the camera* Crystal shoulda been letting everybody know about her stint on the show THE DAY after the finale aired.

It's a real shame that The Masked Singer Japan was region locked on Amazon Prime to Japan only, given that the franchise is so well known worldwide. The Masked Singer franchise as a whole has a big ass fanbase. There are even YouTubers who post on nothing but the various versions of the show. But of course, with Japan being Japan, they said 'Fuck dem other countries' and forced everybody to seek raggedy uploads on Youku and bilibili. Japan really be cutting off its nose to spite its face with this region locking bullshit.

The whole Masked Singer situation is a mess. But, hey. It's the most promo and the biggest platform Crystal has had in almost a decade.

📺 Miss Television on The Masked Singer Japan: Episodes 1-8 | The finale

Crystal's trio of digital singles

Crystal Kay news dump: The Masked Singer Japan, the Crystal Xmas 2021 'tour' and more | Random J Pop
Crystal Kay, Hitori ja nai Kara | Instagram @ crystalkayofficial

Crystal had released a digital single "Hitori ja nai Kara" on November 5th, her first single in almost a year. The song features in the movie Dancing Mary, which stars one of the 837 men who is part of Exile. This honestly feels like a hand out, because if her management posse at LDH really wanted maximum exposure for this film and to tie in a song that could actually be a hit, they woulda had the main Exile group do this song. But, whatever. We gon' take what we get in this instance. The song is cute, and Crystal actual features in the music video.

But there's more.

Avex had released a Speed tribute album on October 27th, which features Crystal Kay. As is the case with her stint on The Masked Singer, Crystal Kay has spoken very little of her involvement in this project, which is crazy. Speed had FANS back in the day, and I'm sure they still do. Maybe Crystal's label was like 'Bitch, that's an Avex release, so don't talk about it'.

It's dumb that Crystal was on a show singing covers, that she had a cover song from a once popular ass girl group in the bag, and that Crystal's team didn't feel that it might make sense for her Speed cover to be released as a digital single right after The Masked Singer Japan finale?

Okay.

🔊 Stream "Hitori ja nai Kara": Spotify | Apple Music | YouTube Music
🔊 Stream "Steady": Spotify | Apple Music | YouTube Music

But there's more.

Crystal Kay also features on DJ Tetsu's song "Say My Name", which releases on November 19th. Tetsu is a Japanese producer based in the Netherlands, who is signed to LDH Europe. So there's a likelihood that this song will be in English.

Dance Crystal hasn't fully taken off yet, but it has the potential to. Crystal Kay's remixes ever since her Sony days were always dance and more often then not, were great. The CK and dance penny dropped for me with the DJ Taku produced "Over and Over", which I still keep in rotation and think is a great song. Crystal's voice suits an array of styles, but it really does suit dance music. And speaking of DJ Taku, Crystal had been in the studio with him over the past month, so we'll see if anything comes of that.

📀 Random J Pop Special Edition: a Crystal Kay dance album, Euphoria

None of these releases are being pushed particularly hard, which I get, as none of them are really main Crystal Kay singles; which is what makes them even more strange. But each of them showing a different style of Crystal is a cool thing, which could work in Crystal's favour if her team knew what they were doing.

Crystal's sound right now is so fractured, and it's clear that LDH don't know where to position Crystal or how to push her as a result of it. Crystal's 2012 album Vivid was such a perfect foundation on which Crystal and her team could build, but they let the sales of it dictate the sound of her future releases, when the sound was never the issue. Now as a result of that, we've got generic Japanese pop Crystal, R&B Crystal, Dance Crystal, Soul Crystal and grown ass woman vibing Crystal all standing in different corners as though there's no way for them to coexist.

Crystal's team need to work on how to re-brand Crystal, and remind people of who she was and who she is. A big problem for Crystal right now is that her fans and the general Japanese public are associating Crystal with who she was during the Sony days, which makes sense, because that's the equity she'd built over so many years. But Crystal pretty much died after that, because nothing she's done since leaving Sony has stuck or made traction.

Crystal needs to sit down with her team, look back, and really hone in on what worked, and how they can get back to that whilst also moving forward. There is a clear disconnect in terms of how Crystal wants to be seen and heard versus how LDH are putting her out. And whilst it's cool to know that Crystal has 3 digital singles out within weeks of one another, the varying style of these singles kinda highlights this. Fans can deduce which song feels the most Crystal ("Steady"), but the general public won't. New Crystal releases come with no expectations, because it's like spinning a wheel, and that's a problem.

Crystal Kay to hold Christmas live shows

Crystal Kay news dump: The Masked Singer Japan, the Crystal Xmas 2021 'tour' and more | Random J Pop
Crystal Kay, Crystal Xmas 2021 ~I Sing~ | Instagram @ crystalkayofficial

Crystal will be holding gigs around Christmas, just as she has done over the past couple of years. These performances are being treated like the I Sing tour; except Crystal doesn't have as dedicated a following or the budget to do an ACTUAL tour for I Sing, which is just...wow.

Crystal's team aren't doing enough ground work to solidify her fanbase enough for her to actually tour and push merch, which is how artists make the real money. A few Christmas gigs ain't gonna cut it. She is not Mariah Carey. If a bitch needs to perform in the middle of a mall between the Beard Papa and the Uniqlo to get shit back on track, then she needs to do it. I'm sure JBL can loan her a speaker she can wheel around.

Crystal Kay news dump: The Masked Singer Japan, the Crystal Xmas 2021 'tour' and more | Random J Pop
Crystal Xmas 2021 ~I Sing ~ | Instagram @ crystalkayofficial

Look at this shit. Not even a new promo shot y'all. The same fucking one that's been used for the past year and a half.

Whilst Crystal may not be able to sell out the Tokyo Dome, she can still pack out small venues. So there's no excuse for her team not having her do smaller gigs during the year in key cities, or holding an online show, OR re-releasing some of her older concerts.

I also don't understand why Crystal's team didn't have her record an album of Christmas covers as an extension of I Sing (which could and should become a series of albums) if they knew she was going to be on The Masked Singer Japan singing covers, and they knew she was going to do Christmas gigs. Three digital singles is cute, but what woulda been cuter would have been something festive to kick off a larger campaign. It would have been so nice to have had Crystal do a Christmas album of covers, which also features flips of regular songs into Christmas songs (i.e "I Love..."), and also covers of Japanese Christmas songs, such as Namie Amuro's "White Light" or BoA's "Meri Kuri" to get people talking, and remind them she has done songs with both of these artists.

Gurl, fire the whole management and marketing team.

HENNYWAY.

Below are the dates for Crystal Xmas 2021. For each of them, the venue will open to the public a full hour before the show starts. The ticket purchasing website is raggedy and displays with a message 'Not secure', so book at your own risk.

Billboard, Osaka
December 1 & 2, 2021
1st performance: 4:30pm
2nd performance: 7:30pm

Billboard, Tokyo
December 14 & 15, 2021
1st performance: 4pm
2nd performance: 6pm

Billboard, Yokohama
December 24, 2021
1st performance: 4:30pm
2nd performance: 7:30pm

🎫 Buy tickets: Crystal Xmas 2021 ~I Sing~
🎧 A Christmas CK playlist: Sparkle

Crystal Kay to return to Broadway

Crystal Kay news dump: The Masked Singer Japan, the Crystal Xmas 2021 'tour' and more | Random J Pop
Crystal Kay, Pippin | Instagram @ crystalkayofficial

The initial announcement came and went, and is now buried by Crystal actually being active in her music career (a good thing), but Crystal Kay still has her second stint as The Leading Player in Pippin coming up next year. We'll see how this pandemic shakes out and if this ever gets off the ground, or goes the way of Hairspray. Pippin is set to run from August - September in 2022.

If Crystal's team want there to be reciprocal value in Crystal being a part of Pippin, then they need to do something to connect her being a part of this show with her actual music career. Have her and the cast perform a number or two on national TV shows. Do a special global livestream before the show kicks off, with the entire cast performing number. Have Crystal's music releases timed in tandem with the activity of the Broadway show. Crystal is a singer who is staring in a musical. Connecting the dots and creating campaigns and moments for Crystal shouldn't be hard.

Pippin has an official website, which in true Japan fashion has a whole different URL to the old Pippin site. I don' t know why the fuck they couldn't just use the old URL, but that's Japan for you.



Hopefully Crystal's team will try to keep this momentum going throughout 2022 and have it culminate in an album release at the end of the year. One that actually stays in the charts for more than a week. But my hope gauge be depleting y'all.

🎧 CK Playlists: This is Crystal Kay | Crystal Kay: Ballads
📀 CK Special Edition: Euphoria, a Crystal Kay dance album

💿 CK album reviews: I Sing | For You | Vivid | Shine | Spin the Music | Call Me Miss... | All Yours | Color Change! | 4Real | Crystal Style | Almost Seventeen | 637 -Always & Forever- | C.L.L. ~Crystal Lover Light

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