Japan’s unparalleled music versatility and ever-evolving preferences have birthed a groundbreaking collaboration that knows no bounds. Welcoming the dawn of 2023, a monumental music and dance project emerged: D.U.N.K. (DANCE UNIVERSE NEVER KILLED). Spearheaded by renowned Japanese rapper and artist SKY-HI, in partnership with Nippon TV, the leading multi-platform entertainment powerhouse and rating champion broadcaster, this innovative endeavor seeks to transcend cultural barriers and resonate with audiences across the globe.
Music and dance have always come hand in hand in their truest form, holding no limits in breaking any form of boundaries. At the start of 2023, D.U.N.K. (DANCE UNIVERSE NEVER KILLED), a large-scale music and dance project, was formed in partnership with renowned Japanese rapper and artist SKY-HI, together with leading multi-platform entertainment powerhouse and rating champion broadcaster Nippon TV (Japan).
Initially held as a weekly TV program in February, followed by a three-day showcase event in March 2023, both milestones of D.U.N.K. featured some of the best and brightest talents in Japan’s music and dance industry from SKY-HI, vocal and dance groups &TEAM, BALLISTIK BOYZ, BE: FIRST, BULLET TRAIN, DREAMS COME TRUE, GENERATIONS, and artists, Aile The Shota, Ayumu Imazu, REIKO, as well as dance and performance collectives, s**t kingz, to name a few. The goal for D.U.N.K. is simple – Together with multiple vocal and dance groups and performers from various artist management groups and music labels, to transcend barriers and transmit from Japan to the world. With multiple collaborations among participating artists and dancers and never-seen-before cypher dance finales rounding up each event day, the overwhelming success of D.U.N.K.’s debut has led to SKY-HI and Nippon TV’s recent announcement of the airing of weekly previews of the entire project on YouTube from this month.
SKY-HI shares, “Music and dance hold no boundaries. With the rapid changes in the world, we are no longer restricted by traditional ways, we strive towards experimenting, creating, and presenting. D.U.N.K. was created as a new platform and format to represent what vocal and dance groups, dancers, and artists can do in and for our industry. The series has brought together some of the biggest names in the Japanese music industry, and we are thrilled to be able to present this to the rest of the world.”
On embracing change and spearheading new opportunities to present to the world, SKY-HI adds, “As you may know, in Japan, we have limited opportunities where vocal and dance groups from different labels or artist managements can collaborate and perform together across various venues. Now that it is available on YouTube with English subtitles, everyone can easily understand what we’ve been working towards. We wanted to create a unique and memorable experience together to give fans from around the world the opportunity to witness this incredible showcase and project. We also want to uplift and grow with the worldwide music and dance communities and encourage them to join us. This is a rare chance for international viewers to witness Japan’s new culture and see some of our top performers in action. We would like to invite everyone to tune in and enjoy the show. There will be a total of 10 episodes, uploaded weekly on Friday. Let’s make this a turning point in the history of the Japanese music and dance scene. I’m excited to be able to introduce D.U.N.K. as our new culture to the world.”
D.U.N.K.: BE:FIRST and &TEAM (Photo credits: BMSG Inc.)
The first episode of D.U.N.K premiered on YouTube last 13 May 2023. With English subtitles available, it features SKY-HI opening with his single performance with the same title and collaborators, Japanese boyband BE:FIRST and multinational boyband &TEAM. It also features backstage and behind-the-scenes conversations between both groups. A total of 10 episodes will be released every Saturday. These will feature exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and collaborative projects between the most exciting yet, diverse range of performers who will captivate audiences both in Japan and worldwide. This includes members of &TEAM, Ayumi Imazu, BALLISTIK BOYZ, BE: FIRST, BULLET TRAIN, GENERATIONS, s**t kingz, ShowMinorSavage, and TOKYO GEGEGAY, to name a few.
Find Episode #1 on D.U.N.K. YouTube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AlX9RmaLIw
Watch the music video for SKY-HI’s ‘D.U.N.K.’ (Produced by. ☆Taku Takahashi (m-flo, block. fm)) and featuring SKY-HI, SOTA (BE:FIRST), Aile The Shota, Kensuke (BFQ), JUN (BFQ), Money (BFQ), TAK-YARD (BFQ), KAITA (Rht.), MASATO ($RAM HEADS), JUMPEI (YDK Apartment, avex ROYALBRATS), KooDa (YDK Apartment,avex ROYALBRATS), COTA, KAIRI, REN, and RYUNOSUKE: https://youtu.be/zuKrYTpZQEs
To keep up to date, follow D.U.N.K. by visiting their website: https://dunk.dance/. Make sure you follow them on Twitter and Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@dunk-dance.