MANON is Japan’s rising hyperpop star

This story originally appeared on iD Japan.

The maximalist hyperpop duo 100 gecs isn’t for everyone. For French-Japanese artist MANON, however, discovering them was essential – especially since they appeared in her life when the 20-year-old moved from Fukuoka to Tokyo in order to develop her sound. . “I started listening to hyperpop and was looking for songs on Spotify when I came across their music and really enjoyed myself,” says MANON. She has since released a slew of experimental singles, including her latest, “TROLL ME”, a frenzied collaboration with international hyperpop group SIX IMPALA.

It’s this track she chose to perform for iD Japan’s iN SESSION series – a rainbow-hued adventure that follows the pink-haired performer from rooftop to studio, things rapidly evolving from cute anthem to distorted shouto anthem. But while his music is forward-looking, MANON’s aesthetic is purely 90s and early 2000s; all the baby t-shirts and the first digital cameras and Fruits magazine. Wanting to know more about MANON and the source of her creative inspiration, we caught up with her to chat.

Can you tell us a bit about your aesthetic? For us, it’s giving Gyaru**.
**My favorite clothes are chibi t-shirts, miniskirts, baggy socks and mittens. I only recently realized that these were items belonging to the Gyaru culture. So it wasn’t that I liked it from the start, but rather that the things I liked and collected turned out to be that way.

And yet, the song you performed for your iN SESSION covers genres such as pop, emo and shouto…Yes, “TROLL ME” is a song I wrote with a band called SIX IMPALA. The shouto and emo elements came to do it with them. I found SIX IMPALA’s music in a playlist created by a friend of mine and the moment I first heard their music, I thought, “Wow, I want to write a song with them!” So I contacted them several times on Instagram telling them that, and finally we decided to do a song together.

** You have great energy!
**Well, I really wanted to work with them, so I couldn’t stop DMing! You know, SIX IMPALA is a six-piece band, but they only communicate with each other over the internet, and they told me they haven’t even met in person yet.

manon sitting on a barrier in the street

** So how did you work with them on the production?
**We did everything online. I liked the rock side of SIX IMPALA, so I said I wanted to do an emo song with guitar sounds and they immediately sent me the sounds for the first part. Then one of the members suggested, “Wouldn’t it be fun if we could shout?” I thought it would be interesting to try, so I did.

** Seems like this kind of expression is an exploration of the “dark” side of MANON.
** Only recently have I been able to express this element on my own. Mignon was front and center before, when I was producing my music alone, but since collaborating, I’ve also been able to write lyrics about parts other than the “cute” introverted self. Also, since coming to Tokyo, I’ve had a lot more experience of seeing and hearing a lot of art, so I think I’ve been inspired by that too, and I’ve been able to write about more complex emotions.

a shot looking at manon, hands on her head
Manon in pain rests her head on her hand

** Are there any works that have inspired you recently?
** A Thai drama on Netflix called Transfer Student Nano. In fact, I put myself in his shoes and wrote some lyrics.

** What’s next for you?
**I would like to continue collaborating with other people, because I don’t think “TROLL ME” is something I could have created myself. I also secretly want to be in a horror movie…it would be interesting to scare people in a movie, wouldn’t it?

pink haired manon wearing a school skirt in front of a wall of sake barrels in yoyogi park


Photography Tanase

MANON wears Chanel necklaces and bracelets

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