ARASHI releases Bruno Mars-written 1st all-English song

Japanese boy band ARASHI today released their first English song, “Whenever You Call‘, which is written and produced by Bruno Mars. Image credit: ARASHI Twitter account
Image credit: ARASHI Twitter account

Japanese boy band ARASHI today released their first all-English song, “Whenever You Call‘, which is written and produced by Bruno Mars.

The digital single is available for streaming and download, and a music video has been uploaded to the official YouTube channel of ARASHI.

Band backstory

According to Japan Times, the Grammy-award winning American singer and songwriter decided to write and produce the song for ARASHI “after listening to the group’s previous songs and watching concert videos, and gave the members vocal lessons as well.”

Officially formed on September 15, 1999, in Honolulu, Hawaii, ARASHI is composed of Aiba Masaki, Matsumoto Jun, Ninomiya Kazunari, Ōno Satoshi, and Sakurai Shō.

They released their debut CD on November 3, 1999 with the single “Arashi’, which sold nearly a million copies.

In 2005, the J-pop band released a theme song for the popular manga-based Japanese drama “Hana Yori Dango”, which starred Matsumoto as one of the lead actors. This single, “Wish”, was used as the opening song.

The “Hana Yori Dango” Japanese TV series was based on the manga “Boys Over Flowers” written by Yoko Kamio.

Interestingly enough, that Japanese manga series would be adapted into several live-action dramas in different countries. The first was “Meteor Garden” in Taiwan in 2001, followed by “Hana Yori Dango” in Japan in 2005 and 2007. In 2009, the “Boys Over Flowers” TV drama aired in South Korea, while mainland China came out with “Meteor Garden” as a Netflix Original in 2018.

With over 54 million copies of albums, singles and videos sold as of last year, ARASHI is Asia’s best-selling boy band. Apart from topping the charts and selling out concerts, they have hosted a number of variety shows and become one of the country’s top endorsers.

The band began a 20th anniversary tour in November 2018 and released a 20th anniversary album on June 26, 2019. On October 2019, they launched their official YouTube channel.

ARASHI has announced that it will halt their activities at the end of this year.