TOKYO: Japanese singer Piko-Taro has made a Guinness World Record – his viral ditty PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen) is shortest song to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts.
On the chart dated Oct 29, the 45-second PPAP debuted at No 77.
Piko-Taro, 53, received the Guinness award at a press conference in Tokyo on Friday. At the same time, the 53-year-old, who is the first Japanese artist to chart on Billboard since 1990, announced that he has signed on with record companies such as Sony, CNR Music and Time Records to distribute his future music around the world.
The song is simple: Piko-Taro, while donning a garish animal-print outfit, imagines fusing an apple, pineapple and pen in different permutations.
The video, first uploaded in August, has since gone viral with at least 200 million views across various YouTube accounts. It has also produced numerous parodies and covers, while Piko-Taro has also uploaded a separate video tutorial on the PPAP dance moves.
In a tweet last month, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber said that PPAP was his “favourite video on the Internet” and posted a link to the clip.
Piko-Taro – the alter ego of Japanese comedian and DJ Daimaou Kosaka, whose real name is Kazuhiko Kosaka – has termed his style of musical comedy “piko-pop”, which he called a cross between Japanese oldies and old-time music.
Opening the press conference with a world premiere of the “long version” of PPAP – it lasted about two minutes and involved among other things, fusing two pens together to form a “long pen” – Piko-Taro said: “I’d like to see a mash-up of all the existing different styles out there.”
He also threw down the gauntlet to pop artists such as Bieber and Ariana Grande – whom he said he was a huge fan of – to cover PPAP.
His favourite parody, he added, was the Bollywood-styled version.
In a tongue-in-cheek interview with Japanese public broadcaster NHK earlier this month, he said he conceptualised the tune while he was “eating fruits and facing his computer” one day.
“The message of Pen Pineapple Apple Pen is that apples and pineapples can be united if we stick a pen in them, and that we are all riding in one spaceship called earth,” he told NHK. “I hope that it will make some money, too.”
“All I’m trying to do is to write tunes that will put a smile on people’s faces and are easy to remember.”
Piko-Taro has followed up PPAP with another tune, titled Neo Sunglasses. Released three weeks ago, the new 56-second clip has more than nine million views so far. – The Straits Time/Asia News Network