The Lebanese singer-songwriter Japan, Man releases lo-fi, bedroom pop-esque track, “The Law”.
The video for “The Law”, the debut single from Japan, Man, weaves clips of adorable home footage in with DIY-style, bedroom pop-esque visuals of the 15-year-old Lebanese singer-songwriter.
The video draws on all the different parts of the singer’s life, from footage of her hanging out with friends, to that of her in ballet classes as a little girl. It’s a unique, authentic look at the intricacies of her life, as she sings of the consequences of growing up in the digital age, and dealing with the judgments of others.
We talk to Japan, Man about growing up online and more….
What’s the meaning behind your stage name?
I know I wanted something that stuck after the first time you heard it and Japan, Man really did the trick! I wanted something memorable and unique. The “Japan” part is in there since Japan holds a very sincere place in my heart. There’s an era called the Ming Dynasty with exquisite illustrations done by Japanese artisans on the pottery, demonstrating very elaborate artistic skill. “Man” is in there to add some flow to the name and, it’s just got this ring to it, which makes it entertaining to say!
Your new song is about growing up online. What in particular inspired you to write it?
I just feel that we live in such a horribly judgmental society, not just online but everywhere. Everyone, including myself, has experienced it. I’ve had my fair share of judgment and it can get to a point where you don’t know what you’ve done to deserve it. I’m still growing up and still learning about myself, I’ve got so much to learn. It’s very burdensome finding your way through life, as well as unlocking a better mental health, while vicious comments are constantly chaining you down.
How would you say your upbringing inspired your music?
I was raised in Lebanon by my mother who is English and my father who is Lebanese. I mean, Lebanon and England contrast each other greatly. The customs are very different between the two countries. Perhaps it’s given me a wide range of perception towards these two sides of the world. I presume it’s slightly confusing for me regarding where I belong, which is very much expressed through my writing and I think many people can relate to that feeling.
What sort of music did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to a lot of different music. I’d always listen to French artists with my dad like Dalida and Gilbert Bécaud, who I still love! When I was about nine, I formed a liking towards Taylor Swift but those days are behind me! I started listening to Nirvana when I was 12 and I was really into their album Nevermind. That album was kind of my introduction to older stuff and I slowly moved from music in the nineties to the eighties and so on. I owe a lot to my older brother for showing me so much good music as I grew up. I don’t think I’d be as interested in music today if it wasn’t for him.
What do you want people to get from your new track?
I want people to get that being yourself takes immense amounts of courage and very thick skin. Feeling like you’ve done something wrong or feeling like you “broke the law” just because you are being who you want to be is a really painful way to feel. Feeling like your true self is unwanted can seriously mess you up, that’s why it’s important to ease into it and slowly blur out the opinions of others.
What do you want people to get from your new track?
I feel it’s a lot more authentic that way, and it’s actually quite fun to make.
The video is really interesting – why did you decide on this lo-fi, DIY style?
It’s like a little flashback sequence, seeing how far I’ve come in my fifteen years of life is quite cool and surreal. I feel it’s important for a person to look back every once in a while, keeping everything they have achieved in mind in order to truly appreciate themselves. It’s really hard to appreciate yourself and many people struggle with this issue. Those home videos also add a certain vulnerable nostalgia that help convey authenticity to the video as a whole.
What’s the meaning behind inserting home video footage into the visuals?
I’d describe it as laid back and relaxing with a slight melancholic essence. I feel it fits well into the lo-fi and bedroom pop genre of music as it’s quite nostalgic and has really strong bass lines.
How would you describe your genre?
I’d describe it as laid-back and relaxing with a slight melancholic essence. I feel it fits well into the lofi and bedroom pop genre of music as it’s quite nostalgic and has really strong bass lines.
If today was your last day on earth, what would you do and where would you go?
I would make sure to be surrounded by everyone I love and watch every single movie on my watch list. I’d want to write all my deepest secrets and sentiments on a paper and put it under my pillow for somebody to find. I’d want to cuddle with my dog, Jack, and I’d also want to go to the south of France with my brother, and stay in a house like the one in Stealing Beauty.
What’s your 5-year goal when it comes to music?
I’d like to see myself going on some sort of tour. If everything were to work in my favour, I’d want to do music full time and build a steady career writing songs!