In 2021, the Japanese vocal group WITHDOM released a cover of the track “Gunjo” by YOASOBI, the most popular Japanese artist outside of Japan. The track has garnered praise online and was reported on by media throughout the world for its chilled-out vibes and unique arrangement, boasting a superb R&B finish owing to the quality of the vocal work.
They continue to release music that can be described as unique Japanese R&B, achieving a wide pool of listeners at home and abroad through services like Apple Music & Spotify, as well as being selected for official playlists on these services.
The group released their 5th full album ‘5:8’ (Five to Eight) on digital services on March 22nd, with tickets for their big-city Japanese album tour commencing in Kyoto and continuing to Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka and Fukuoka already sold out, a testament to their popularity.
In addition, on March 24th, the R&B track ‘Universe’ found on ‘5:8’ was selected for the one-month long ‘J-Pop Power Play’ segment on the FM radio station DJFM in Surabaya, Indonesia. It follows their other tracks ‘Tetris’, ‘RIDE ON TIME (Cover)’ and ‘Trippin’ on you’ to become the fourth consecutive track by the group to be selected for the slot.
The love song ‘Universe’ focuses on profound love, with member ROY being involved in both writing the lyrics and music, evoking themes through the use of words related to space, such as black holes and planets. All the while, Chill Trap’s comforting beats, modulations, smooth flow and melody evoke a sense of floating and grandeur, with everything coming together to create a truly superb example Japanese R&B that has been playlisted by YouTube Music in its official Japanese R&B playlist, among other honors.
There are numerous genres represented across the tracks on ‘5:8’ with danceable R&B tracks such as ‘Hey Girl’, ‘Vampire’ and ‘ICE CREAM (English version)’ in addition to the aforementioned ‘Universe’, ‘Tertis’ and ‘Trippin’ on You’, as well as the ballads ‘Blue’ and ‘Goodbye’, which have been added to a wealth of playlists.
The tracks ‘Blue’ and ‘Goodbye’ follow the story of one man. In ‘Blue’ the group sing about the story of a man experiencing the loss of love, while ‘Goodbye’ revists the mindset of the same man two years later when he is trying to rebound from the break-up, offering a novel approach the composition of two songs.
The music of WITHDOM is produced by the president of their production company RoB.inc, TATSUYA, who perfectly blends western tastes with current sub-critical sounds while producing music for both domestic and international artists such as Ryu Siwon, Seo In-guk and CODE-V. Lyrics emerge from group leader SMOOTH who works together with everyone in the group to make the music.
WITHDOM’s music is genre-less, ranging from R&B, Rock and chilled out tracks to the type of epic ballad that epitomizes the J-Pop genre. This 4-person group has attracted high levels of praise for their vocal and chorus work which combines three vocalists and a rapper who assists in the chorus, with their the song ‘Goodbye’ from their album ‘5:8’ coming first on a popular Japanese music program on TV.
Moreover, they were requested to create ‘We Are’, the theme song for the first train wrapping of the Osaka Monorail Company, the ‘EXPO TRAIN 2025 Osaka Monorail-GO’ which features an original design for the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo. The train commenced operations in November 2022. ‘We are’ was produced by TATSUYA, with group leader SMOOTH taking the lead on writing the lyrics. The official music video for the theme song was recently posted on the official YouTube channel of the Osaka Monorail Company.
One highlight of the videos are the scenes where all of the RoB.inc suite of artists; G.U.M, WITHDOM, AGE and U.for join in the singing of ‘We are’ at sites like the area around Bampakukinenkoen Station, the J-League Stadium and Osaka Airport.
In addition, because ‘We are’ has the theme of ‘bringing the world together through song and spreading the smiles of the future through song’ people from countries around the world, such as America, India, Korea, Saudi Arabi, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Peru and Poland participate in the chorus.
WITHDOM are also active in a number of campaigns both domestically and overseas, including being chosen by Kyoto City for appointment as “Global Supporters of Kyoto Tourism (working to share the message of sustainable tourism in Kyoto to international audiences as part of the ‘Mind our Tourism’ initiative)”. Make sure to keep a close eye on them to see what they are up to next.
WITHDOM on Apple Music
‘Mind Our Tourism’