LOS ANGELES, CA- This week in Los Angeles, right before ever-popular Anime Expo, OTAQUEST will host a unique summer concert event  that features an exciting slate of J-Pop, dance and hip hop superstars who have helped to define the vibrant sound, styles, moves and images that drive Japanese pop culture forward. Popular J-pop artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and m-flo will come back to this U.S. for this one-of-a-kind concert event, and artists like CAPSULE, CrazyBoy, and Hiroomi Tosaka will be making their American debut!

Founded by Taku Takahashi and Eddie Lehecka, OTAQUEST is a cultural outlet that aims to bring  Japanese pop & subculture news  to the masses. This is their foray into the English speaking market, and looks to be a significant step in making their outlet more accessible.

Blurred Culture was able to ask Taku a few questions in advance of the festivities this week.


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How was the lineup for this one-of-a-kind concert event curated?

We selected the artists based their popularity in Japan primarily. Some artists like m-flo and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu also have notoriety in America, but our focus is on promoting Japanese culture and music so we didn’t want to focus too much on that factor. Each artist also represents a different style of music, which we felt was important as a means of introducing Japanese music as widely diverse. We want to show that there is something for everyone.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
Hiroomi Tosaka. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
Hiroomi Tosaka. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
Taku. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
Taku. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
m-flo. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
m-flo. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.

Do each of the artists have a relationship with you and/or Otaquest?

In regards to OTAQUEST, I’m the most directly involved as the co-founder and producer of the project. Of course, because of that reason, m-flo is very close to OTAQUEST as well and we chose to use our first US performance last year as a way to highlight that. We do have a relationship with the rest of the artists as well, but the nature of that relationship is different for everyone. We all get along great though and many of us have worked together prior to this event.

TLメインア. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
TLメインア. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
CRAZYBOY. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
CRAZYBOY. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
CAPSULE. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
CAPSULE. Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
Yasutaka Nakata (of CAPSULE). Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.
Yasutaka Nakata (of CAPSULE). Photo courtesy of OTAQUEST. Used with permission.

Anime, music and gaming have long been inextricably connected with each other, and has its own devoted following in the United States. What are Otaquest’s plans for the future to keep growing the global audience this market?

We see the connection between all of these different mediums as a great to introduce new people to different things. OTAQUEST was started with the idea that anime & gaming fans often times are interested in other aspects of Japanese culture. We plan to continue using that connection as a means of introducing people to what’s going in Tokyo as far as fashion, music, art, etc. through our news coverage and original content at otaquest.com, but we’re also in the process of starting a clothing line that aims to highlight Japanese designers & artists, and will continue with the OTAQUEST LIVE brand to showcase great music. We really hope to be able to take this concept worldwide at some point.

Tickets for OTAQUEST LIVE and the AFTER PARTY can be purchased at THIS LINK.

Follow OTAQUEST on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

OTAQUEST LIVE
OTAQUEST LIVE

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