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J-Pop Producer Imase Helps Launch New Pokémon Music Collective With ‘Utau’

Universal Music Japan’s new project will feature new music inspired by the music and sounds found within the Pokémon world

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imase - UMG Japan
imase - Photo: Courtesy of UMG Japan

J-pop producer imase has helped launch Universal Music Japan’s Pokémon Music Collective with the track “Utau.” The new project will see the label collaborate with The Pokémon Company to release a collection of new music created by artists taking inspiration from the music and sounds found within the iconic video game.

“Utau” is the first track to be shared from the Pokémon Music Collective and was inspired by the game’s Pokémon Center. “When you’re beaten by a strong opponent, before challenging a gym leader, and in a Pokémon league where you can’t lose, the Pokémon Center is always there,” imase told Billboard, noting that he grew up playing the game. “I created this song so that listeners can imagine the Pokémon Center, which holds such a special place in my heart. Here’s hoping everyone carries a Pokémon Center in their hearts, too.”

The 21-year-old producer added: “There are various Pokémon hidden in the lyrics, so be sure to look for them!”

imase - うたう [Official Audio] / Pokémon Music Collective

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Imase, whose music has gone viral multiple times on TikTok in Japan, is signed to Universal Music Japan and released his debut single “Have A Nice Day” in December 2021. Since then, he has shared a handful of other singles, including most recently “Analog Life,” which arrived last week (September 30).

The Pokémon Music Collective, meanwhile, will continue with further new material from other artists across different genres, who are yet to be announced.

In 2021, a wealth of artists, including Vince Staples, Cyn, and Mabel helped celebrate Pokémon’s 25th anniversary by contributing to the special release Pokémon 25: The Red EP. Reflecting the longstanding tradition of dual releases for the core Pokémon video game series, with each featuring nuanced differences from the other, and paying homage to the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue video games, Pokémon 25: The Blue EP followed later.

Buy or stream “Utau.”

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