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Headline

The Voice of Tokyo for over 50 Years

JAPAN’S NO.1 ENGLISH LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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Latest Issue
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Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More” Gets a Naomi Watanabe Remix

An unexpected return of a 2021 song features one of Japan's top female comedians

By Lisandra Moor

The lead single from Doja Cat’s 2021 Planet Her album — and one of the songs making Gen Zers discover Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” — “Kiss Me More” was nominated for Record and Song of the year at the Grammy Awards in April. The song is catchy, yes, but in Japan, it peaked when it reached number 97 on the Japan Hot 100. On July 22, though, the American rapper dropped a remix of the track featuring none other than Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe.

It was actually quite the production, with Kentaro Fujii credited as producer and Awich writing the Japanese lyrics that replace the verses originally sung by SZA. In a recent Instagram post, Watanabe said, “[Awich] gave me a one-on-one rapping class. It’s my first time rapping!”

Though the full version of the song has not officially been uploaded on YouTube at the time of writing (do check your favorite streaming app for it though), Sony Music Japan did release something like a teaser.

 

This twist on an American release, unlike Watanabe’s previous take on Lady Gaga’s “Rain on Me”, is devoid of parodic elements. Instead, it might indicate that she is ready for the next phase of her career. After a year in New York, Watanabe is back in Japan and will star in the Japanese production of Hairspray: The Musical as Tracy Turnblad.

“Kiss Me More” is not the only of Doja Cat’s songs that features a Japanese voice. In spring 2021, a remixed version of “Best Friend,” a duet she did with Saweetie, was released featuring a few verses sung by South-Korean-Japanese rapper Chanmina.

 

“Kiss Me More” and “Say So” are two Doja Cat’s songs that have popular unofficial Japanese versions by Indonesian singer Rainych on YouTube.

On TikTok, several creators have also been covering songs in Japanese, with the most recent titles including Charlie Puth’s “Light Switch” and Kate Bush’s 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God),” that recently had a resurgence in charts around the world after it featured prominently in the fourth season of Stranger Things.

This recent trend of covering and remixing songs in foreign languages can be a marketing ploy, yet it has brought a welcomed appreciation of world music.

So, what international tracks would you like to hear remixed in Japanese?