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Reflections and Visa Versa

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It is often apparent how one idea is able to influence another. It is also common to see certain aspects of popular trends adapted, repackaged and then fed back to the original trend setter.

Japanese pop princess, Ayumi Hamasaki has been delivering her unique blend of techno-pop melody and fashion for over a full decade. Most of her tracks involve one type of synth-machine or another and her lyrics are saturated with the untethered force of raw passion. In 2007, another princess icon emerged from the rough, sporting large-framed sunglasses and a taste for fame; Lady GaGa.

Lady GaGa and Ayumi Hamasaki

GaGa matured her style from rock to dance in the streets of lower Manhattan while Ayumi continued performing overseas throughout Asia. Like Ayu, GaGa’s songs also strongly reflected her emotions and held little back. The two never met, but these days ideas travel in a single heartbeat, and the industry began to consume the similarities between the sister artists. Lady GaGa’s music became more techno and flashy, mimicking the beats of some of Ayu’s most famous tracks. GaGa also began to show off her lust for vogue within the content of her videos and by 2008 she became known as the freak of fashion that she is today.

Normally one icon veers away from the styles of another, but a machine was stirring in the Eastern Hemisphere. Ayu’s songs have always held a more western appearance and producer AVEX has never shied away from observing the New York trends. The music of Ayu borrows heavily from the 80’s and 90’s electro pulse of western pop and her albums continued to synthesize tech pop-rhythms well into the new millennium. Then GaGa brought dance back to the radio and returned the music industry to the catwalk, wearing a custom pair of the late Alexander McQueen’s newest kicks.

Lady GaGa’s global presence soon out-weighed that of Ayu, whom is centered only around Asia. AVEX could not ignore the phenomenon that became known as such. After Bad Romance was released in the states, it took only 4 months before Ayu began strutting through her music videos in 7-inch heels.

Lady GaGa in Bad Romance and Ayumi Hamasaki in Sexy Little Things

The comparison of these two talented performers is inevitable and as one artistic vision begins to project onto another the trend will once again reverse. A similar event occurred in the early 1950’s when Osamu Tezuka changed the Japanese comic world by introducing a softer, rounder version of manga that looked less Japanese and more American. His influences were that of Betty Boop and Disney and with his vision, a new form of imagery was born in the state of the Rising Sun. Later, in the late 20th century, manga imports grew in the United States and, due to the intense popularity, American illustrators began adapting a more Japanese approach to their art work. The same is now being said about Ayu and GaGa. One of Ayu’s newest songs is even titled “Lady Dynamite” and features stunning fashion concepts, including high shoulder pads and dramatic makeup.

Ayu on the left.  GaGa to the right.

So will the real “Lady” please stand up? The truth seems evident that they are creations of one another, twins of the perpetual concept of connected creations. It is evolution – in that one species lives and feeds within the same world as others. We are all connected by the drive to succeed and, intentional or not, we are bound to reflect one another at some point in our combined existence.  Of course, it might take a genius to truly break the trends of the industries… and true geniuses are rare and few between.


Written by laFedeDolce

April 10, 2010 at 21:51

2 Responses

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  1. great comparison! I enjoyed this greatly.


    April 11, 2010 at 00:13

    • Okay, that was redundant. I very much enjoyed the comparison is what I’ve should have written. :D


      April 11, 2010 at 00:14

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