Halcali (ハルカリ Harukari, stylized as HALCALI), is a Japanese pop and new-school inspired hip-hop duo consisting of members Halca (born April 21, 1988) and Yucali (born July 18, 1987) from Meguro, Tokyo, Japan. Its name is a portmanteau of Halca (ハルカ Haruka) and Yucali (ユカリ Yukari). Their debut album, Halcali Bacon, reached #5 on the Oricon charts, making it the first album by a female hip-hop artist to enter the top ten in Japanese history.
Halca and Yucali at Japan Expo 2007.
|Origin||Meguro, Tokyo, Japan|
Halcali also made their American debut in May 2008 as the musical guests of honor at the Chicago Japanese culture, manga and anime convention, Anime Central. They performed again in America at Central Park, New York City on June 1, 2008 as part of a Japan Day Festival as part of a Japanese tourism campaign.
On May 30, 2012, Halcali released their fifth original album, Halcali no Okawari. The duo commemorated the album's release by holding a sold-out, one-man live at Shibuya Club Quattro on September 15, 2012. Halcali performed a total of 25 songs, spanning their musical career, and were joined by surprise guests Yosuke@HOME and Scha Dara Parr.
As Halcali did not renew their contracts with Epic Records Japan, they have had no outstanding entertainment activity as a unit as of 2013. Since then, Halca has been focusing on fashion and photography, while Yucali received her qualifications as a nutritionist, married in the Spring of 2015 and had her first child in June 2018.
Haruka and Yukari were close friends since elementary school and also attended the same local Meguro dance school. Both girls were only interested in becoming dancers in the future and had no aspiration to become singers. In 2002, Haruka and Yukari noticed a pink flier for an audition to become a "female hip hop unit" which was held by the group Rip Slyme. Yukari admitted that the both of them entered the competition simply to see what it was. Among hundreds of entrants, Haruka and Yukari were chosen to form Halcali. The girls modestly spoke of their formation, saying that although there were many girls cuter than themselves, Rip Slyme and Oshare Toy Factory riskily chose them. Yukari stated, "Sometimes it's like you want to have a piece of really gross gum- Just to see!"
Halcali debuted at a free concert held by Rip Slyme at the Budokan theatre. There, Halcali performed with Rip Slyme and were introduced along with their debut single, "タンデム" (Tandem). "Tandem" was released on January 8, 2003 and was marketed on several Japanese television networks, along with MTV. The single entered into the Oricon Charts at position 19.
The time between the release of their first single to that of their debut album Halcali moved away from mainstream J-pop and toward a style combining pop and rap; an airy, self-parody "bubblegum" rap in the vein of earlier groups such as East End X Yuri. This was evident in their second and third singles, "エレクトリック先生" (Electric Sensei) and "ギリギリ・サーフライダー" (Girigiri Surf Rider) released in mid-2003. Both singles focused on rap rather than pop.
The latter song attracted attention from Western audiences when it appeared on Adam and Joe Go Tokyo.
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The new styleEdit
In winter 2003, Halcali released their fourth single, the Christmas-themed "Strawberry Chips" (ストロベリーチップス). This single continued to show the fluctuation between rap and J-pop.
After the release of "Strawberry Chips", Halcali's visual style shifted, along with the layout and lyrical style of their songs. Their fifth single, "Marching March" (マーチングマーチ), was the first to showcase this new style. This change in style is attributed to Halcali's coming-of-age, however it also represents the changing of fads that occurred in Japanese teens at the time and was necessary to retain their fanbase.
Their sixth single, "Baby Blue!", was an instant cult hit. The album art and video featured the character Hanpanda, a trend by Japanese artist Nagi Noda, which has since become popular.
Haruka (ハルカ Haruka), portrays herself to be the more mature of the pair in her PR and personal blog entries. She shows focus for performances, commentating seriously on those commenting on her in TV appearances. She has recently become more focused on fashion, and has appeared in Barfout, a fashion magazine, along with Yucali.
In the past, Yukari (ユカリ Yukari) would portray a childlike image, which gave the group's image a more school-aged look. She wore a tilted baseball cap or some other sort of head apparel as was the fad at the time. Her current image is now more adult-like.
Progression and fourth albumEdit
Halcali's sound has been progressively and markedly different from their period of inception- initially being focused upon peppy, high-energy beats with equally fast and furious lyrics, moving onto more creative songs which seem to weave between genres and sounds, a la 音樂ノススメ (Ongaku no Susume), and more particularly サイボーグ俺達 (Cyborg Oretachi), which included musical genres ranging from rap, pop, electrocore and rock.
As Haruka & Yukari have matured, they have taken on the role of writing their own rhymes and lyrics and composing their own music. Their third album, サイボーグ俺達 (Cyborg Oretachi), featured many tracks which were written or co-written by Halcali. Every single after this album has also been written by or co-written by Halcali as well.
Several songs by Halcali have been used as opening or ending themes in anime television series.
- "Marching March" - Pokemon Sunday Ending
- "Tip Taps Tip" – Eureka Seven, 3rd Ending theme
- "Look" – Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z, 2nd Ending theme
- "Lights, Camera. Action!" – Getsumento Heiki Mina, Opening theme
- "Tandem" – Ga-Ra-Ku-Ta: Mr. Stain on Junk Alley, Ending theme
- "Long Kiss Good Bye" – Naruto Shippūden, 7th Ending theme
References made in Halcali videosEdit
- "Tandem" – Super Mario Bros. (Stage 1-1)
- "Electric Sensei" – "Stepper's Delight" by Rip Slyme.
- "Tandem" – "Automatic" by Utada Hikaru.
- "Giri Giri Surf Rider" – Michael Jackson's "Beat It" video.
- "Candy Hearts" – Chad Jackson - "Hear the Drummer (Get Wicked)"; "Candy Hearts" makes a reference to "Peace, love, unity and having fun" from the song.
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- [2003.01.08] Tandem (タンデム)
- [2003.04.09] Electric Sensei (エレクトリック先生; Electric Teacher)
- [2003.07.09] GiriGiri Surf Rider (ギリギリ・サーフライダー; A Surf Rider at the Last Moment)
- [2003.11.26] Strawberry Chips (ストロベリーチップス)
- [2004.06.09] Marching March (マーチングマーチ)
- [2004.10.20] Baby Blue!
- [2005.12.07] Tip Taps Tip
- [2006.02.22] Twinkle Star
- [2006.12.13] Look
- [2007.03.14] Tougenkyou / Lights, Camera. Action! (桃源郷; Shangri-la)
- [2007.06.20] It's Party Time!
- [2008.11.12] Long Kiss Good Bye
- [2009.02.11] Re:Yasashii Kimochi (Re:やさしい気持ち; Re:Tender Feelings)
- [2009.09.23] Konya wa Boogie Back* (今夜はブギー･バック; Boogie Back Tonight)*
- [2010.01.27] Endless Night / YES
- [2010.05.05] You May Dream*
- [2010.09.15] Roman Hikou (浪漫飛行; Romantic Flight)
(* Denotes a Collaborative single as Tokyo No.1 Soul Set + Halcali)
- [2003.09.03] Halcali Bacon (ハルカリベーコン)
- [2004.11.24] Ongaku no Susume (音樂ノススメ; Recommended Music)
- [2005.03.16] Halcali Mix (ハルカリミックス) (Remix Album)
- [2007.07.18] Cyborg Oretachi (サイボーグ俺達; We, The Cyborgs)
- [2010.05.26] Tokyo Groove
- [2011.02.09] Tokyo Connection (First Concept Album; First Mini-album)
- [2012.05.30] Halcali no Okawari (ハルカリノオカワリ; The Changes Of Halcali)
Download exclusive tracksEdit
- [2006.12.01] Slalom '06 (スラローム '06)
- [2007.01.09] 2 Higher Clap 007
- [2007.02.01] Girl! Girl! Girl!
- [2004.03.24] Halcali DVD (Temporary Title) (春狩デーヴィーデー(仮))
Compilation / OtherEdit
- [2004.04.14] "The Japan Gold Disc Award 2004" (#22 ストロベリーチップス (Strawberry Chips))
- [2004.06.02] "Garakuta Dohri no Stain Original Soundtrack" (#2 タンデム (Tandem), #3 ギリギリ･サーフライダー (GiriGiri Surf Rider))
- [2004.09.01] "Magokoro Covers" (#3 愛 (Ai))
- [2004.12.03] G.Last - "Tribute to Godzilla 50th" (#7 Godzilla Is Coming To Town! / Bank$ feat. Halcali)
- [2006.04.05] "Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven Original Soundtrack 2" (#2, #3 Tip Taps Tip)
- [2006.05.07] "Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven" (#6 Tip Taps Tip)
- [2006.07.26] m-flo - "m-flo inside -Works Best II-" (#7 Baby Blue!)
- [2007.06.20] Kohei Japan - "Family (Kohei Japan)" (CD2 #22 ハルカリズム "CANDY HEARTS" (Halcali Rhythm "Candy Hears"))
- [2007.06.27] "Powerpuff Girls Z Original Soundtrack" (#3 LOOK)
- [2007.08.22] □□□ (Kuchi Roro) - "Golden Love" (#3 Cosmic Dance)
- [2007.10.24] "Okuda Tamio Covers" (愛のために (Ai no Tame ni))
- [2007.12.05] The Hello Works - "Payday" (Performed in the Chorus)
- [2008.03.26] "Sound Concierge: Japan: Japanese Lyric Dance" (#12 Oboroge Copy View)
- [2008.09.24] Fujio Akatsuka - "Tribute — Fushigi da ga Seikai da!" (#2 すきすきソング (Suki Suki Song))
- [2009.03.18] Judy and Mary - "15th Anniversary Tribute Album" (#11 ラッキープール (Lucky Pool))
- [2009.07.08] ヨースケ@HOME (Yosuke@Home) - "パノラマ" (Panorama) (Performed in the Chorus of b-side トコナッツ (Toko Nuts))
- [2009.09.02] DJ Caroline D'armore - "J-Girl's Celebrity Mix" (#29 FLASH)
- [2009.11.25] DJ Kaori's JMix 3 (#14 今夜はブギー・バック (Konya wa Boogie Back))
- [2010.02.24] Tokyo No.1 Soul Set - "Best Set" (今夜はブギー･バック (Konya wa Boogie Back)
- Epic Records, Sony Music Entertainment Japan, (2007) "Halcali Official Web Site" Epic Records/Sony --"女性ラッパーとしては初のベストテン入り！オリコンアルバムチャート5位にランクイン。"
- "Anime Central - The Midwest Largest Anime and Manga Convention!".
- "Japan Day @ Central Park: Japan Day Festival". japandaynyc.org. Archived from the original on 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
- Just Doing It the Halcali Way! June 13, 2008, by Dennis A. Amith [kndy], retrieved June 13, 2008
- "ハルカリのうれしい。。。｜HALCALI OFFICIAL BLOG Powered by Ameba". HALCALI OFFICIAL BLOG Powered by Ameba.
- Epic Records, Sony Music Entertainment Japan, (2007) "Halcali Official Web Site" Epic Records/SONY -- "東京都目黒区出身のHALCA(ハルカ=19)とYUCALI(ユカリ=19)の2人組ガールズヒップホップユニット小学校の頃から都内の同じダンスス クールに通い、「FEMALE RAPPER オーディション」で、見事グランプリに輝き、O.T.Fの全面プロデュースのもと、デビュー。";
- Epic Records, et al. (2007), As a rough translation (In original past-tense) -- "The signing [of Halcali] by O.T.F begins with Haruka (19) with Yukari (19), who commute to the same dance school alongside 2 groups [of girls] from Girl's High School (Puhotsu Puyunitsuto (?) ) to "Female Rapper auditions" where they were chosen from the competition ... [moved to beginning as per grammar]"
- Epic Records, et al. (2007) -- "2002年7月26日 RIP SLYMEによる無料武道館ライブで、メンバーの呼びかけで客席からステージに上がり、1万人の観客を前にデビューシングルとなった「タンデム」を初披露。"
- Epic Records, et al. (2007)., Rough translation (past-tense) "On July 26, 2002 the rap band RIP SLYME announced [live,] on-stage in front of 10,000 viewers that [...] new band Halcali would be releasing their debut single "Tandemu" (Tandem)"
- Epic Records, et al. (2007), -- "2003年1月8日 1st single「タンデム」リリース。プロモーションビデオがCS/BS系ミュージックチャンネル4局(WOW WOW、スペースシャワーTV、MTV、M-ON!)のパワープレイが同時に決定し、話題騒然に。オリコンチャート19位にランクインする。"
- Epic Records, et al. (2007),Rough translation (past-tense) -- "1st single, "Tandem" is announced [for release] on January 8, 2003, with the music video being played on [television networks] WOW WOW, Space Shower TV, MTV and M-ON to coincide with the release of the single. In ranking, it reached position 19 on the Oricon Charts."
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