The March edition of Billboard Japan and TikTok’s Next Fire show began on March 4 with a live studio concert by rising singer-songwriter Nishina.
Next Fire is a show on TikTok Live that spotlights the hottest J-pop artists of the moment, based on Billboard Japan’s Heatseekers Songs chart. The collaborative project streams live performances and pre-recorded interviews by the featured artist of the month to present a comprehensive look at their craft.
This month’s artist is the 23-year-old solo artist Nishina, who performed a showcase set including her TikTok hit “Kedamono no Friends” and her new single “Slow Motion” released Jan. 26.
When the livestream began, Nishina appeared onstage with her band members and picked up an acoustic guitar, kicking off the show with “Darling” as soon as everyone was in place. The recorded version of this song features an acoustic arrangement, but the band’s live version presents a new angle that grabs viewers’ attention. She then put down the guitar and performed “U+,” with its impressive high-pitched vocals in the chorus. The airy sound fills the studio, giving viewers a good look at Nishina’s signature style.
She then paused to address her fans tuning in. “I’m nervous because this is my first live studio concert, but I’m hoping to enjoy it until the end,” she said, then went on to introduce the band. “Tokyo Marble” was up next, a track that makes bodies sway with its feel-good groove, and the mood was carried over into the synth-driven sound of the following number, “Kedamono no Friends.” Many viewers noted, “I’ve been hearing this song a lot on TikTok lately,” and left messages like, “Makes me want to dance” in the comments.
The singer then took a short break to talk to her audience. “I feel like chatting if you don’t mind,” she said, and spoke about this and that, including her wish to live with an Australian Labradoodle someday. Then slinging an electric guitar over her shoulder, she launched into her latest single “Slow Motion.” Nishina’s singing was charged with emotion as she expressed the lyrics that show hints of madness, wowing viewers with her intense performance.
“I’m thinking of ending with a song I wrote for someone who always smoked cigarettes,” she said and closed her set with “Heavy Smoke.” The lyrics depicting a warm but twisted love, delivered through Nishina’s emotional vocals, stir up listener’s hearts. It was evident from the comments that many viewers had been waiting for this song. After finishing the song, the singer expressed her gratitude with a simple thank you and quietly left the studio.
A pre-recorded interview by Nishina will stream March 18 from 8 p.m. Japan time on Billboard Japan’s TikTok channel, as well as an archived version of her March 4 livestream.