Maki Ohguro is one of those artists that you never really hear about, and yet left a huge impact on Japanese music in the 90s. Undoubetedly you’ve heard one of her songs before, even if you don’t really remember it. Indeed, she used to be a pretty big thing in the mid-90s with her heavy pop-rock sound. You don’t find many people who declare themselves to be Maki’s biggest fan, and yet if you see her giving out a free concert (because she can, that’s why) you think, “Oh, cool! Free Maki concert? I’m in. Let’s go!”
The best way to describe her style is “heavy and loud,” and yet she’s not hard rock or metal at all. She’s squarely in the pop-rock category, but like most of her fellow labelmates of the 90s (which include ZARD and B’z, just to namedrop a couple superstar names) she has that edge to her music that you just can’t deny. Her songs are catchy and infectious, even if you don’t think about them much.
I like to think of Reina in particular being that kind of Maki fan. She would buy some of her albums and play them as background noise, but she would never fan over her. (Not that she fans over anybody, but I digress.) These days she would definitely have some classic Maki tunes on her cell phone and listen to them during her commute on the train.
Actually, I take some of that back. I could see Reina watching Maki videos on TV and thinking, “Hm, I could go for a style like that.” Not that she would ever commit to it.
Below is a video of all of Maki’s 90s songs, a perfect sampling for our theme this week!