entertainment

American singer Jero to appear in TV ad

46 Comments

Kirin Beverage Corp has signed up African-American enka singer Jero, 26, to appear in TV ads for its canned coffee “Fire Cafe Zero.” The ads will be aired from May 21.

In a comment, Jero, who appears in TV ads for the first time, said, “I carefully tried not show my nervousness on my face. It was a good experience making the ads and I had a lot of fun.”

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Here is video of the TV ads. COOL!!

http://www.beverage.co.jp/product/cm/fire/

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Stallion??? I said it. Stallion that is the 2nd time you jacked my comments. What gives?

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Stallion you just summed up the entire Japanese entertainment industry.

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talent or no talent, he is a gimmick, plain and simple. A marketed exploited novelty....thats it. A new flavor of a tired, old brand.

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His ability or cultural signifigance is irrelevant. He saw an avenue to make money and so did his producers, and they took it. This has nothing to do with a contribution to art. This is as bubblegum as any other ridiculous fashion that is polymorphed into this confused culture.

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talent or no talent, he is a gimmick, plain and simple. A marketed exploited novelty....thats it. A new flavor of a tired, old brand.

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And I applaud this article for at least headlining him as an "American" singer, unlike most of the Japanese media, which insists on referring to him as the "Black enka singer," as though his color has something to do with the phenomenon of his popularity.

It does.

Are you genuinely suggesting that the novelty of his ethnicity in his chosen genre of music has NO relevance to his fame?

Come on. Not saying it's right, but come on. A lot of Japanese tend to be amazed when gaijin speak their language...you're honestly saying that a black American singing enka isn't going to attract some attention purely for that reason?

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Most kids in Japan think enka is really lame, so hopefully his hiphop style of dressing will put them off trying to emulate african american culture which is of no relevance to them

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I'm part Japanese and my Japanese pretty much sucks. Though, apparently, having Japanese in me automatically means I can speak it fluently? lol.

Anyway, I think apart of the craze is that yes he's a good singer, and he's black, but the only reason why he's getting the reception (I believe) is because he's part Japanese (or asian for that matter). They have some appeal to that aspect -- I at least think.

You make it more in the industry being one of them then you are being an individual.

(Even Leah Dizon, which baffles the hell out of me because her Japanese is terrible).

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FYI, his grandmother was Japanese, hence, he has Japanese blood in him. That's one of the reasons why he can speak Japanese.

Science and logic to the rescue >>> Japanese blood = Japanese language skills.

Brilliant! It goes without saying that "You're OBVIOUSLY talented"!

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he does seem quite nice, i actually like this kind bloke

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He seems like a nice enough fellow, and he can sing, but the hip-hop clothing seems a bit forced.

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Yeah I heard that his grandmother used to play enka, so he grew up around it, and had an appreciation for it, so it was a natural progression for him to try singing it too. So what the hell? If you're half good at something and you have a chance at making it... go for it!!!

Most kids in Japan think enka is really lame, so hopefully his hiphop style of dressing will put them off trying to emulate african american culture which is of no relevance to them.

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Have any of you actually researched a little on this guy? Based on some of the statements, I highly doubt it. FYI, his grandmother was Japanese, hence, he has Japanese blood in him. That's one of the reasons why he can speak Japanese.

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They had Black people on this commercial series for years, I believe a Stevie Wonder tune gave this coffee brand it's name. It's also the same coffee that Tommy Lee Jones plugs.

Remember 3-4 years ago....

"Cause when I look inside my heart And it tells the truth to me Loud and clear my soul cries out It tells me what I need I need the Fire, Fire, Fire"

[Stevie Wonder takes a swig of "Fire" coffee at the edge of the Grand Cnayon. CGI flames burst fron his chest instantly.]

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WOW! I'm def. amazed that they would put someone african american up there! Not that it's a bad thing... i like it! But i don't even know who the hell he is and i'm an african american living in america! i hate his whole look with the dumb dou-rag... ugh!! They should have picked someone different now, like before the sterotyping will began!

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Jero's a self-admitted geek, but he is without question a TALENTED geek. And I applaud this article for at least headlining him as an "American" singer, unlike most of the Japanese media, which insists on referring to him as the "Black enka singer," as though his color has something to do with the phenomenon of his popularity.

Jero will be the first non-Asian enka singer to appear in the year-end Red and White song contest (a program of dubious value these days, but still a significant milestone...).

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wow smiffnwessum, youve been hating on jero this whole thread. go listen to him on youtube and tell us again if he has no talent. if hes so crappy, why are japanese people so impressed with his SINGING and not his nationality?

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When I was in my second year at the MSc. studies, one of our sensei would take us to Karaoke on the weekends, and all we'd sing was Enka. I liked it, and Enka is somewhat similar to 1970's music from Spain and the Caribbean, specially Boleros. In Latin America, some young singers are reviving Bolero as well, so reviving Enka by young singers sounds good. I would like to listen to Jero's songs sometime. I'd like to get some Enka CD's, but I don't know any names. I might just go to a CD store and ask. I guess Jero's look may appeal to young people. My mom was kind of wary of the young singers singing Boleros, but now she likes at least one of the new singers. I'd like to know if people from the Enka generation like Jero's work.

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he began learning the language at the age of 5.

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While I don't wish to really ever have his skill (I'm not even a fan of public speaking let alone public singing), I hope someday my skills in the Japanese language catch up to his. Fluent reading and writing and speaking? Yeah, that's gonna take a while...

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Can't say I'm a fan of either enka or canned coffee, but he's a good-looking lad, and if he's doing well, good for him.

Good luck to him.

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sellout of what? someone doesn't go immediately for what the color of their skin insinuates they should and they are a sellout? It's funny, but it seems like when some people in this world get something nice, there is always someone there to pull them back down. So, you are not a geeky dude?

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he a sell0out, thats why..he's a geeky black dude that's being marketed as some hip-hip head who can sing enka

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Why all the hating?

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Again I ask, have you listened to him? There is NO crossing of hip/hop and enka. The only hip hop in his performance is his clothing. To each his own. I wouldn't wear it. I don't believe you've actually listened to him judging by your comments, but hey, it's your opinion (guess).

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"he has zero talent"

Ha ha ha ha ha!

"Hip-hop + enka sounds a little like mixing flamenco with bagpipes: it has already been tried"

Really? I'd like to hear that. It can't be any worse than Ross Geller playing the bagpipes ha ha ha ha!

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he has zero talent bro, but i give him credit for taking something like this and running with it. but the whole hip-hip fashion thing just doesnt fit this dude..he's a geeky dude

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I personally am not a big fan of his music, although I would like to think that I can recognize a talented singer. But, talent is in the ear of the beholder, I guess.

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Great post rtrhead1. Let's hope Jero-san won't be too affected by the ridiculous comments on here. Jealous and spiteful people will always try to cut successful and talented individuals, more so on JT.

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Uh, smiffnwessum, have you actually listened to him? He is exceptionally talented at what he does and he doesn't pander to the tv stations like some of the other foreign talents who act like fools on tv, cough Bobby cough. He has musical talent and it will carry him far.

<strong>Moderator: Japan Today will feature an in-depth interview with Jero later this month. Look for it in the Entertainment/Arts section.</strong>

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this dude will be a quick fad, like all gaijin with little talents

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"enka is a dead art form...always has been, always will be"

If that were true, it should've been dead a long time ago. Enka is to Japan whyat C&W is for us here. Also should've died a long time ago but it hasn't.

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Hip-hop + enka sounds a little like mixing flamenco and bagpipes

LOL! Jero might not mix the two musical styles, but I'm gunna use this analogy all the same, thanks kagunlapell!

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I don't think enka is dead, but everything does change over time and Jero will bring change and probably more interest to it.

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enka is a dead art form...always has been, always will be

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Last I checked he doesnt mix Hiphop with Enka, he only dresses in hip hop style. Everyone says hes gonna be forgotten next year but I think he might prefer that he always looks really overwhelmed in interviews.

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Hmmm... He found the way to get loaded. Good for you Jero. Reminds me a story of someone whom had reasonable talent but no connections. Now she is singing Enka.

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He should do Jell-O commercials. Jell-O could do with the business here.

kagunlapell . . . never mind.

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Good for him.. Strike while the iron is hot young man!

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I'm not sure what you are referring to kagunlapell, but from what I saw there's no mixing of hip hop and enka. He's singing in the straight enka style, no background beats or other "interpretations."

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I don't like hip-hop, I don't like enka, therefor, I don't like Jero's style. Hip-hop + enka sounds a little like mixing flamenco and bagpipes: It has already been tried, but didn't success.

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The other day, I watched a show which he was on...I was impressed by his politeness very much! Maybe he is the greatest and most talented gaitare (gaikokujin talent) in Japan now. I hope he sings lots of good enka songs.

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Hip hop meets enka Sounds like a short lived gimmick Better plan for next year when the aura wears off

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"Don't call me Gero!!!"

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This guy is darned amazing! GREAT for him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huuOckAGRTE

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