Do you have any advice for GACKT on expanding his career overseas?

GACKT’s Europe tours were a sold-out success twice in a row, an impressive record. However, international mainstream success can be a tough nut to crack for non-English speaking artists. What do you think is the next step for GACKT?

Do you have any advice for GACKT on expanding his career overseas?

ur doin it wrong right wrong who even knows
ur doin it wrong right wrong who even knows

Suggested response length: 200 words or less

  • Amaia

    The first step is really to be accessible in English. This has improved recently with the Facebook and the GACKT Global Store updating in English, but there are still some glaring missteps like the English MOON SAGA promo (“pop up book” mistranslated as “pop up fanny”). And in general the translations are still clearly written by a Japanese person. Some things that are obvious to Japanese people are not clear at all to non-Japanese people.

    While GACKT fans are generally understanding of English mistakes, we unfortunately live in a world where how Asian people speak and write English is often seen as a joke. Anything directed at an overseas market really has to be written/translated by a native, or at least carefully edited by one. Marketing and promotion materials sound odd when literally translated. It is best to have them written by someone who is part of the culture you are marketing to. Otherwise it feels like the international market is still an afterthought/low-priority.

  • Molly

    I agree with Amaia. Carefully translating Japanese to English so that mistakes are avoided would be one of the first steps. I think maybe becoming a little more involved with the foreign fanbase could also help. I know recently he visited a Japanese class in a country he was visiting, and that got people really excited. Maybe have a Q&A on Twitter exclusively for foreign fans or something to that effect?

  • lazycat66

    I’m totally going with Amaia on this one. She said everything already, I have nothing to add. =)

  • I also don’t have anything to add but to agree with Amaia on her opinion. 🙂

  • amanita ika

    First, I absolutely agree with Amaia, overall.
    In addition, I want to say that joining with international music label is also important. I once thought, ‘why doesn’t he join with Sony Music Entertainment or Universal Music Group? He has great qualities for being an international entertainer’. I don’t know if there’s personal reason or something, but I think he really deserves to have great contract with a global music label.
    And, as the advanced step, I think he can do something to get an official VEVO channel. So he can spread his wings to be widely known and more reachable through the channel.

  • Marina Kovalova

    I second Amaia. Actually, her English translations made me complete Gackt fan. And English native speaker in his team is a must. Then, maybe Gackt should try to appear/play in korean dramas, they are very popular outside Korea, it`ll play a good part for him as well. And for the last – collaboration with some really good international musicians.

  • Angela Headley

    I agree with everything that’s been said so far. I think the facebook and twitter accounts are a great first steps, and that having a native work with his english would help a lot. That said, maybe stepping into some more Western media might be useful? Maybe, if his English improves enough, try acting in a movie here?

  • Eli

    Not that I have data to back this up, but I have the impression that every time GACKT’s music was used in an anime or video game that was popular overseas, his popularity soared. If he’s not already in on that FFVII remake, he needs to be!

    He’s also mentioned that he wanted to learn Spanish. I think that would be a great idea. Japanese and Spanish have nearly the same sounds, so it’s a lot easier for a Japanese person to pronounce Spanish than it is for them to pronounce English; that in turn would make it easier for a new audience to connect with him. If he could do a collab with Maná or Juanes or something (or maybe Juan Luis Guerra, who loved Fukuoka so much he wrote a love song to the city!) GACKT would reach a pretty big audience. If he ever does a Spanish version of 12月のLove Song I’d probably melt.

  • Miyu

    What Amaia said. It would also help if he’d come more often to europe like other japanese artists and go on tour like with YFC.

  • International fanclub. Please. Honestly, shipping services are so expensive and I’d rather pay the fees to GACKT than to those services..

  • elizabethg

    I agree too! My advice would be to get a really good English translator! LIKE AMAIA! 😀

  • Ursu Ana Maria

    He should find someone willing to help him getting known in Europe, like a disc company. If you don’t have any conection with Japan, it would be impossible to listen to his songs. Maybe even playing his songs on radio, or even on TV in Europe. Starting with the big countries, and then the little ones. Thinking that his Europe tour was a succes, maybe he is already planning this. And yes, translating right in english is another good point.

  • Ka-chan | カッちゃん

    Even for someone like him it’s hard to get overseas. That’s a simple truth. Especially because Japan likes to keep it’s artists to themselves.

    Dear GACKTさん, it’s great that you practise English with your staff, but if you leave 90% of all translations to our very few (but absolutely amazing) translators, it’s no wonder that it doesn’t quite work out. Not only are people like amaia struggling with definitions and how to understand things and put them into some decent English, they also have a life and it’s a lot of work for people who don’t get paid! Without people like amaia or excused_early there wouldn’t be that many fans, there would be almost no fans traveling to Japan to see your shows every year and 95% of fandom would still think you’re JUST some pretty singer. But due to translations many of us had to realize that you have a personality, too (a quite impressing one even).

  • Forosnai

    The West coast of North America is your friend. Places with an already high Asian population will be more likely to already know about GACKT and want to see him, or will be a lot more open to experiencing new music and culture that isn’t necessarily in English, by virtue of previous exposure. It would make for a good jumping point!

  • If we’re talking about performing concerts … just do it! I know YFC was intended to be GACKT’s way to expand overseas, and that it is tough to bring the high-concept shows like RR and MOON SAGA overseas, but honestly, a stripped down, simple tour is better than nothing. I don’t know the exact logistics behind touring overseas obviously, but there’s been so so many Japanese artists who have done it at this point that to me it seems like it cannot be that hard for someone of GACKT’s stature to at least do a few dates in a place like North America.

  • For the United States, continue your acting career! Everyone that I know loved both Moon Child and Bunraku. I agree with Amaia about the importance of accurate language translation. Keep up the good work, though! My 70-year old Mom watched the Akumu-chan series, special and movie with me and LOVED IT. She’s a fan, too! 🙂

  • Not to forget the overseas’s fans, not to aim to be like European musicians, remains a distinctive singer.

  • YFCzAngel777

    I agree! Being on social media in accurately translated English is huge!

  • Oni Weiss

    more visits to different countries. “we are waiting for you!”)

  • Trin Achronism

    Amaia-chan has it right. accurate translation is key.. unless you want to make funny Japanglish comments in which case, have at it. that and opening up the borders to the fanclub (which I thank you for.. FINALLY!).. there is a high contingency of Asian culture in Australia, so get your butt over here already!