Held in Yokohama on March 1, this year’s SPACE SHOWER Music Awards was once again the platform for both new and established Japanese and international artists to battle it out. We’ll be summing up the winners of this year’s awards and checking out some of the best tunes and new artists to come out of this.

Best Rock Artist

Starting with the award which piqued our interest, Best Rock Artist was picked up by rock, jazz, and hip-hop inspired group Suchmos (ウィキペディア). The groove loving guys also snatched up the Best New Vision award along the way, so they’re definitely a band to try out if you prefer lighter and more relaxed rock music. We can see why they won from the smooth vocals of YONCE built on top of a catchy foundation of jazz, so we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for you on their future activities. For now, we will leave you with the super-chilled out A.G.I.T. from their second album THE KIDS which came out early last year:

Best Male Artist

In an interesting twist of fate, this year’s Best Male Artist winner Kenshi Yonezu, alongside Best Breakthrough Artist DAOKO, also took home Song of the Year for their explosive collaboration in UCHIAGE HANABI for the romance anime series:

Best Live Production

Moving onto a personal favorite, TEAM SAKANACTION was awarded Best Live Production for the artist with the best planning and directing of live performances. Known for their live DJ sets and energetic performances, they curate visuals in shows to match the sound using innovative light installations and projections to produce an impeccable live experience. Catch a glimpse of this of their rainy SAKANATRIBE outdoor event in Hokkaido from 2016:

Best Art Direction Video

Gen Hoshino, the artist for Family Song which drew in over 20 million views on YouTube, won Best Art Direction Video. He dominated the hearts of people and took home the People’s Choice award that is decided by public vote. See the award-winning music video of Gen dressed as a typical Japanese aunty in a home that has been painted from top to bottom in pink:

Best Pop Band

The biggest award at the show belonged to a folk-rock duo, Yuzu (ゆず) who swept up Winners of the Year as well as grabbing Best Pop Band. The citrus named band has an upbeat, motivational and bright signature sound which you may recognize, including Hyouri Ittai, Reason and Nagareboshi Kirari used for the 2011 version of Hunter x Hunter anime series. More recently, they compiled their greatest tracks onto Yuzu Iroha [1997-2017] album as well as releasing new music videos including Koi, hajikemashita, Ai Koso as well as Uta Yell which came out just a few weeks ago:

We’ll wrap up with some familiar faces, starting with household name ONE OK ROCK who won Best Group Artist and Best Active Oversea as expected from their long tours aboard in Europe and America. X Japan waltzed in and claimed Best Music Film for the wildly acclaimed We Are X documentary film and Hi-STANDARD‘s The Gift was given the title of Album of the Year. Although the majority of the winners are more laid-back and pop compared to the rock and metal we usually cover, we’ve learned some new names and enjoyed finding out who Japan thinks are the best artists of 2018. What did you think of this list? Leave us a comment below!

SPACE SHOWER Music Award 2018 winners

Artist of the Year – Yuzu
People’s Choice – Gen Hoshino
Video of the Year – Ken Hirai “Non-Fiction”
Album of the Year – Hi-STANDARD “The Gift”
Song of the Year  DAOKO and Kenshi Yonezu “UCHIAGE HANABI”
Best Breakthrough Artist – DAOKO
Best Male Artist – Kenshi Yonezu
Best Female Artist – Namie Amuro
Best Group Artist – ONE OK ROCK
Best Pop Artist – Yuzu (ゆず)
Best Rock Artist – Suchmos
Best Punk/Loud Rock Artist – Hi-STANDARD
Best Alternative Artist – Cornelius
Best Groove Artist – Wednesday Campanella
Best International Artist – Ed Sheeran
Best Collaboration – Kenshi Yonezu and Masaki Suda “Haiiro to ao”
Best Respect Artist – Elephant Kashimashi
Best New Vision – Suchmos
Best Active Overseas – ONE OK ROCK
Best Live Production – TEAM SAKANACTION
Best Creative Artist – Kenji Ozawa
Best Music Film – X Japan “We Are X”
Best Conceptual Video – Yabai T-Shirts Yasan “Yabami”
Best Art Direction Video – Gen Hoshino “Family Song”
Best Video Director – Kento Yamada
Best Achievement Artist – Keisuke Kuwata

More info:
SPACE SHOWER Music Awards Website
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