J-Pop Band MONKEY MAJIK Begins Tour, Debuts Remake of Christmas Classic

Courtesy of Billboard Japan


J-pop band MONKEY MAJIK kicked off its 2018 Singles Collection domestic tour Sunday (Nov. 11) at NHK Hall in Tokyo. The hybrid band with two Canadian and two Japanese members will perform 13 shows before the end of the year.

As the title suggests, the current tour's set consists mainly of the Sendai-based group's hit singles from its 2006 debut track, "fly," to this year's viral "Umarvelous" featuring comedy duo Sandwich Man. The lineup features acoustic and rock numbers familiar to Japanese audiences through their use in commercials and TV dramas.

After playing eight songs for the cheering crowd of 3,500 fans that packed the hall, frontman Maynard Plant announced the band's second collaboration with fellow Sendai-based artists following the recent hit record with Sandwich Man.

The new single is a remake of Junichi Inagaki's 1992 seasonal staple "Christmas Carol No Koroniha" featuring the veteran J-pop singer-songwriter himself and the hip-hop unit GAGLE, both hailing from the northeastern Japanese city.

Though the featured artists weren't present that day, the band treated the audience to a stripped-down version of the upcoming new single featuring keyboards and vocals by Maynard and his brother, guitarist Blaise Plant. MONKEY MAJIK's remake injects a modern twist to the classic song with newly added parts and beautiful harmonies, breathing new life into one of Japan's most beloved Christmas standards.

MONKEY MAJIK's three-way collaboration featuring vocals by Junichi Inagaki and rap/arrangement by GAGLE called "Christmas Carol No Koroniha -NORTH FLOW-" will be released digitally Dec. 5.