New Zealand-born R&B newcomer Jay’ed played the first concert yesterday since his recent CD debut. He performed five songs, including the single “Superwoman,” at the Daikanyama Unit venue in Tokyo. The single was released on the Toys Factory label on May 21 and has been used as the ending theme for a couple of minor TV shows. Currently it’s at No.95 on the Oricon singles chart. A singer-songwriter, Jay’ed is the son of a Japanese father and Kiwi mother. He traveled often between the two countries before settling in Osaka. When he was 17, he decided to get into music after watching American R&B duo K-Ci and Jojo perform at a local live house. He is described as having a unique sense of rhythm and timing.
• Popular singer Nakashima Mika (25) and female comedy trio Morisanchu are to team up as the rock band Mica 3 Chu. They will debut with the July 23 release of an all-English song “I Don’t Know,” described as an “upbeat angry rock song.” Nakashima said she hoped fans would “sing it out loud and get rid of their stress.” The idea for the band came about when the four appeared together on the TBS music/talk show “Utaban.” Oshima Miyuki (28) will play guitar, the recently married Murakami Tomoko (28) will play bass, and Kurosawa Kazuko (29) is on drums.
• NHK has announced the names of the principal cast members for next year’s taiga period drama. Tsumabuki Satoshi (27) is to play the lead role of military commander Naoe Kanetsugu (1560-1620) in “Tenchijin,” the 48th annual drama series. Tsumabuki will be supported by such names as Kitamura Kazuki, Tokiwa Takako, and the currently hot young actresses Nagasawa Masami and Aibu Saki. The drama is based on a novel by Hisaka Masashi. Naoe was the chief retainer to the powerful Uesugi clan between the end of the Sengoku Jidai (warring period) and the early Edo Era.