Monday, February 14, 2005

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[iTunes store! ]...........................

As performed by Alyssa Collins; produced by Janet Fisher for Goodnight Kiss Records; co-production and additional music by Adam A. Johnson and Art Munson; music by Janet Fisher, lyrics by the Japanese people and Danny Bloom

A love of the culture's animation is what first drew 16-year-oldAlyssa Collins to start learning Japanese.Back then, she couldn't have dreamed she'd be teaching vowel soundsand rapping the Japanese alphabet in a catchy song on iTunes.Hirigana Song is an international effort, set to a quirky, toe-tappingdance beat which has already prompted one radio reporter to dub it a"Velcro song.""My friends are all over it," Collins tells the Sun. "One said, 'Iknew you were going to get this far.' "They are already divvying up their roles in her entourage when shehits the big time, says Collins.One wants to be her bouncer, the other her PR manager."It was pretty cool just to see how far this thing could go and howcool it is," she says. "And just to see your song on iTunes!"Hirigana Song has only been available on the site since just beforeChristmas, so it's too soon to measure sales.The song was the brainchild of Danny Bloom, an American living in Taiwan. He contacted L.A. songwriter Janet Fisher with theidea for the lyrics. She sent out a call for an English singer capableof proper Japanese pronunciation, Alyssa's dad John in Ottawa heardabout it and the connection was made.SIGHT UNSEENThe song was created in a process where it was shipped back and forthbetween a producing team in Los Angeles and the Collins family's minihome recording studio. The players involved have yet to meet."It wasn't hard to sing, because I've been self-teaching Japanesesince 2004," the teen explains.
Not only has she been speaking the language, Collins has been watchingthe animation on television, drawing it and reading it.The Laurier High School student comes from a musical family: MomLucie, a national clinical manager, started studying classical pianoat the age of five and put herself through university by singing atweddings; dad John, who works in marketing, writes his own music. Johnand Lucie Collins are working on an album together, which they plan torelease independently later this year.Alyssa\'s younger brother Jonathan, 13, didn\'t get the music gene but,as his mom points out, is "a great dancer."Alyssa began performing in public at the encouragement of her musicteacher, who later invited her to record a demo at his music studio.Next up, Alyssa would love to hear Hirigana Song playing on the radio."I hope so," she says.

You might call it 'Sesame Street' Meets Japanese Pop

Listen to a sample of the song as performed by Alyssa Collins here:

"Hiragana Song"

LYRICS (c) 2006-2007

hira-gana, kata-kana, hira-gana koo
hira-gana, kata-kana, hira-gana koo

A sounds like the ah in the English word father.
I sounds like ee in the English word machine.
U is like truth.
E sounds like e in extra.
O is like most

Hira-gana kata-kana hiragana koo... (ni-hon-go!)
Hira-gana kata-kana .... (you can do it, too!)

Everybody go! ........................................

Ah ..oo.. ay.. oh
kah.. kee.. koo.. kay... koh

sa shi su say soh
ta chi tsu tay toh

na nee noo nay noh
ha hee hoo hay hoh

ma mee moo may moh
ya yee yoo yay yoh

ra ree roo ray roh
wa wee woo way woh

Hiragana katakana hiragana koo... (nihongo!)

Hiragana katakana .... (you can do it, too!)

NIHONGO! .................................................

kya kyu kyo, sha shu sho...
cha chu cho, nya nyu nyo...

hya hyu hyo, mya myu
myo rya ryu ryo,

CHO BERRY NIHONGO! ..................................................

Ah ee oo ay oh
kah kee koo kay koh
sa shi su say soh
ta chi tsu tay toh
na nee noo nay noh
ha hee hoo hay hoh
ma mee moo may mo
hya yee yoo yay yoh
ra ree roo ray roh
wa wee woo way woh

This is what you gotta know ...

A sounds like the ah .
I sounds like ee
U truth.
E prey.

Hira-gana kata-kana hiragana koo... (ni-hon-go!)
Hira-gana kata-kana .... (you can do it, too!)

This is NIHONGO! ...............................................................

(c) All Rights Reserved 2006-2007


[ 1. ''I just love it. especially the NI-HON-GO! shout-out in the background. I could see this track being forwarded like wildfire around the Internet , for the full spectrum of reasons: from sincere [a kawaii way to practice j-phonetic principles] to kitsch [a ludicrous sample for trip-hop compositions]. seriously, this has "cult something" written all over it. i'm already picturing an animated video file, replete with lip-synching bunnies in sailor suits. Alyssa just nailed it!'']

[ 2. "LOL! That's the funniest thing I've heard in a LONG time -- well done, you guys! I like the sound very, very much. The person who said you might be on to a cult hit has it right, I think, especially if you released it in Japan. I can just imagine millions of knock-kneed knee-socked blonde-bouffant burdened girls squealing, "KAWAIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!". Keep me posted on its evolution!"]

[ 3. An art book editor in NYC, 28, said: "Love it, it's Sesame Street meets Japanese pop. This could be big!"]

[4. A woman in NYC, Japanese, said: "The song is VERY cute. You are right to call it that. It is certainly a great idea -- a J-pop song to teach people the very basic phonetics. Well done. What a creative idea. I’ll be curious to see how the song catches on. I am sure a number of Internet surfers will get into it -- AND it is the kind of thing that basic students of Japanese need."]

[5. A Japanese woman in Taiwan, aged 35, said: "Here how I feel about the song : The song sounds like very Japanse style. But also filled with Western elements in it, and yes, it sounds silly, but cute, more like cartoon or for elementary school kids or for a TV commercial. Also it sounds like a "teaching you something " song, no doubt.. I like the background music."]

[6. Former A&R director for major label: "Your cute/silly/goofy song has a huge potential, if you can find the right label to bring it out in a global launch...."

[7. "A really great song. The techno/dance background is absolutely perfect for language studies, as the deep rhythms put a person in a mindset that makes it easy to absorb information. I usually have problems distinguishing between sounds in Japanese since I don't know the language, and don't have a context. "
But listening to the song made it much easier to hear the subtle sounds and tones. Admittedly I had already learned the vowel sounds, so when I listened to it I paid more attention to the consonant sounds to distinguish m's from n's, and g's from t's. I really hope you make more of these, it's a great way to learn Japanese." ]

[8. In these times of war and world problems, this little song goes a long way toward giving people a smile on their faces, a chuckle, and the entire production is fantastic. Sign me up on iTunes as soon as it is ready. Who is the girl singer? She was a perfect match for the music and the words. By the way, what do those words mean? "]