Mashup: Miki Matsubara x Ariana Grande - Mayonaka no Door ~ Stay With Me

A pile of colourful floppy discs. With one pink disc with a label on it, which features the cover art of my Miki Matsubara x Ariana Grande mashup. The cover art of which features a shot of Miki Matsubara wearing a suit and tie.

When I first listened to Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine, a song which jumped out at me was “Bye”. But as I was listening to it, I kept hearing another song - Miki Matsubara’s “Mayonaka no Door ~ Stay With Me”. So, I said ‘Fuck it’ and mashed the two songs together. And I will be honest with you. I play this mashup more than I do “Bye”. Because not only is this mashup longer than “Bye”, but “Mayonaka no Door ~ Stay With Me” has what I think is a stronger hook. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

Chances are, if you’re reading this and have been reading posts on this blog for a while, then you have a toe dipped in Japanese music  which means there is a likelihood that “Mayonaka no Door ~ Stay With Me” sounds familiar to you. But even if you’re not, there’s still a chance that “Stay With Me ~ Mayonka no Door” sounds familiar to you.

As per Mariya Takeuchi’s “Plastic Love”, Miki Matsubara’s “Mayonaka no Door ~ Stay With Me” gained massive popularity via YouTube. The song experienced a renewed interest in late 2020 when YouTuber Rainych covered the song  off the back of going insanely viral with her Japanese cover of Doja Cat’s “Say So” earlier the same year. “Mayonaka no Door ~ Stay With Me” also went viral on TikTok as part of a really heart-warming ‘They say Japanese women from the 80s know this song trend’. And since then, the song has been covered numerous times; with a cover from Chris Andrian in early 2021 receiving 50 million views. It also went on to be covered numerous times over the years by Japanese singers, including Ms. Ooja and Crystal Kay.

Just as the online virality and renewed interest in “Plastic Love” forced the release of a music video, in order to have an official upload of the song on YouTube, the exact same thing was done for “Mayonaka no Door ~ Stay With Me”. The video of which is actually really cool. And I was surprised to see Boxer in the video, as he’s been a dancer I’ve followed on Instagram for a while now.

Whilst Mariya Takeuchi was alive to witness the resurgence of “Plastic Love”, which resulted in a renewed interest in her and her husband, which led to re-releases of their albums and granted them platforms to release new material for the first time in a while  unfortunately Miki Matsubara passed away in 2004 due to cancer.

Things like this is why I wish Japanese record labels were more receptive to making older discographies available on streaming globally and re-issuing albums. Because what good is all of that music if its gatekept from finding new audiences? It defeats the purpose of it having been recorded in the first place. Miki’s record label at least acted quicker than Mariya’s did in this regard. Although given the regrets which Miki had supposedly expressed at her music career, I wonder if she would have even liked the late attention her music receives now. But the renewed interest of “Mayonaka no Door ~ Stay With Me” speaks to how good a song it is and how much it still touches people, even 40 years after it first released. To such a point that YouTubers still cover it, major recording acts still cover it and people like myself do things like create mashups with it. THIS is what makes music so special. It lives on forever and can mean so much to so many people across generations.

If Miki did say that she regretted her music career, this would have been an understandable sentiment for her to have had in light of receiving her cancer diagnosis. ‘YOUR SONG MEANT SO MUCH TO PEOPLE’ isn’t going to erase the regret of somebody wishing they had just lived their life, over a demanding and all consuming music career. But I’d like to think that at least Miki didn’t feel her music career was in vain and didn’t mean anything, because the legacy of “Mayonaka no Door ~ Stay With Me” says otherwise.