I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Def Tech -- My Way


NHK's "Uta Con"(うたコン)is settling in their new Tokyo home for the next couple of years, Tokyo International Forum. For this particular episode, it looks like the hosts wanted to focus a bit more on the house orchestra led by Kome Kome Club(米米CLUB)member, Takahiro "Flash" Kaneko(金子隆博)so he got to give his take on his job taking care of the backing music week by week.

Plus, I got another blast from the past. The duo Def Tech consisting of Shen Brown and Yuuki "Micro" Nishimiya(西宮佑騎)appeared for the first time on "Uta Con" and for the first time in front of my eyes in over 15 years. The song they sang was their big hit "My Way". It's truly something when one of my family who usually "enjoys" time with the program by griping about most of the guest performers actually mutters that "My Way" is rather pleasant!

After the broadcast tonight, I started looking for the single "My Way"...only to find out that it had never been released as a single. What actually happened was that the Def Tech song had been used for a Yokohama Tire commercial, and word of mouth with the song started spreading like wildfire (and perhaps tire sales even increased). "My Way" was a track on the duo's debut album "Def Tech" released in January 2005.

Listening to "My Way" again after so long, my impression is that it's a relaxing country-pop rap tune that was written and composed by Shen, Micro and vocalist Jesse from the band RIZE. However, it's actually been given the hybrid genre label of Jawaiian Reggae (Japan + Hawaii + Jamaica) which suits me fine. The source album became a monster in sales, selling more than 2 million copies and whether you look at Wikipedia or J-Wiki, "Def Tech" was either the 3rd or 4th best-selling album of 2005. Not surprisingly, the album hit No. 1 on the Oricon weeklies for two weeks in a row in April and then popped back up to the top spot twice on different dates in May. Shen and Micro also got their invitation to appear on the Kohaku Utagassen that year.

I had been wondering where Jesse's idea to name the duo Def Tech (that I sometimes confused with Daft Punk) came from. According to J-Wiki, the name has the double meaning of "really cool technique" and "Don't show off your technique". Up to the present day, Def Tech has released 10 albums on CD and 7 iTunes singles.

Shen and Micro had a brief parting of the ways starting from 2007 but then got back together again in 2010. I was informed on tonight's "Uta Con" that "My Way" has gotten some resurgence in popularity due to Def Tech's contribution to the YouTube Channel The First Take. "My Way", since its inclusion on The First Take in November 2020 has amassed close to 17 million views as of this writing.

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