City pop is a breezy, mellow mixture of smooth jazz and AOR, often with additional elements of jazz fusion, jazz-funk or boogie. Commonly cited as a facet of the prosperous “bubble economy” era in Japan, city pop is essentially a “mood” or “lifestyle” genre which appealed to an older and more affluent Japanese audience during the 1980s.
Thematically, city pop reflects a life of luxury in a sophisticated urban environment. Albums in this genre were typically produced by pairing a vocalist with a group of talented session musicians in a high-tech studio setting with heavy record label involvement.
I discovered this genre a while ago and became obsessed with it. The biggest source of city pop nowadays is YouTube. That’s why I decided to create this newsletter so I could share the gems I found during my search on YouTube.
While creating the lettering of シティ • ポップ (“city pop”), I took inspiration from the logos and letterings of ’80s Japanese TV shows. They have really bold and unique fonts in Hiragana and Katakana and I wanted to create a mix of all the styles used.