For over a decade and a half, the trio known as Perfume have been on a path to change up what it means to a J-pop girl group. They’ve become representatives of futuristic, elegant electro-pop, and their most recent album Future Pop took steps that much further by weaving future bass into their sound.
A-Chan, Kashiyuka, and Nocchi will be heading to the States in March for their Future Pop tour, which kicks off locally at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on March 30. They’ll then perform in Chicago, Seattle, San Jose, and Los Angeles, and make appearances at both weekends of Coachella.
While they have fans around the globe, here’s a brief intro to the act.
They’re high school friends
Though they’re known for their straight-faced charisma on stage, Perfume is also beloved for the charming dynamic between Nishiwaki Ayaka (A-chan), Kashino Yuka (Kashiyuka), and Omoto Ayano (Nocchi). The three met while attending the arts school Actors School Hiroshima, and debuted formally as Perfume in 2002 with the release of their single “Omajinai Perori (Good Luck Charm).” They would get their first Top 10 hit on Japan’s Oricon in 2007 with “Polyrhythm,” which would eventually be featured in Cars 2.
Perfume’s sound has been crafted by one producer for almost their entire career
While they are technically a trio, Perfume could be considered more like a quartet; since 2003, the act’s sound has been guided by Nakata Yasutaka, a prominent producer who has written all of their hits (and has also worked with the likes of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and SMAP). Under him, Perfume has become known for blending the space between electronic effects and the human voice, and the act has said they feel Nakata doesn’t distinguish their vocals from other sound elements he works with. Perfume does not write their own songs, though they recently expressed interest in doing so.
Perfume is an experience
Along with their precise choreography, the trio are known for putting on highly-stylized, futuristic performances that blend the ideas of “virtual” and “reality.” They have worked extensively with Rhizomatiks, a Japanese digital effects company that gained worldwide attention after its work was featured during the 2016 Rio Olympics closing ceremony. The dynamic between Perfume’s performances and songs have made them legends in the Japanese music world, and they regularly hold concerts in the country’s biggest venues.
The members’ looks are iconic
Since their early days, it’s been easy to differentiate the members of Perfume by their distinct hair styles — Nocchi has a bob, Kashiyuka has long, stick-straight hair, and A-chan typically has her hair pulled back or down with soft styling — and outfits; only Nocchi wears pants on-stage. They recently launched their clothing line Perfume Closet, and have also collaborated on a shoe line based on the heels they are known for wearing on stage.
They’re the first-ever Japanese girl group to perform at Coachella
Perfume will appear during both weekends of Coachella 2019, almost three years exactly since their album Cosmic Explorer peaked at No. 16 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart (dated April 23, 2016). They’re expected to perform songs from their most recent album, last year’s Future Pop, including “Mugen Mirai,” which was featured on the Japan Hot 100‘s 2018 year-end list.