UMI’s “Sukidakara” Is a Japanese-Sung Twist on R&B the World Needs to Hear

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Photo: Hadas

UMI’s forthcoming EP, Love Language, is shaping up to be one of the most fun, innovative, and all-around excellent releases in quite some time. With each new release, the visual EP continues to express an array of deep personal issues, from identity struggles to heartbreak, through the lens of intoxicating bedroom R&B. 

Handled episodically, UMI’s follow-up to “Love Affair” follows up where our budding romance left off. “Sukidakara,” the second installment of Love Langauge, is sung primarily in Japanese, with only one verse being sung in English. Transitioning effortlessly between English and Japanese, the songstress highlights a facet of her culture and embraces it in full throughout her lovesick slow jam. UMI spoke on how her multicultural identity influenced Love Language, sharing,  

“I never felt Black enough or Japanese enough. It’s a sentiment I feel like a lot of kids grow up feeling. But as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that being mixed means I can define my identity on my own terms. In the film, UMI is an anime character having to hide her identity as she navigates through the world. She feels disconnected and different from those around her. Similarly, growing up I’ve always felt a need to hide different aspects of my identity because my sense of self wasn’t so rigid and constructed. I didn’t know where I fit in. Like UMI in the film, when you strip away the exterior you realize that I’m a manifestation of my mixed identity.”

Production-wise, “Sukidakara” is a simplistic and welcomed venture for UMI. The minimal production allows UMI’s vocal performance and the narrative to take center stage. It is easy to get lost in the dreamlike wonders of UMI’s vocals over a few gorgeous chimes, only to be sent back with the thud of a strong kick.  

With the already massive upside to the track, the endearing visuals surely do not disappoint. The video showcases UMI continuing to daydream of the young man from “Love Affair,” only to have him enter into her workplace yet again. Although, he is now accompanied by who we are led to believe is his significant other. The viewer watches UMI experience the cycle of emotion sone would expect from this heartbreaking discovery–jealousy, anger, discomfort, and eventual self-questioning. 

In its entirety, “Sukidakara” is a novel take on the lofi R&B sound UMI has carefully cultivated. With production and visuals that highlight the R&B star in the making, UMI has us counting down the days till the next chapter of Love Language.

Watch the video for “Sukidakara” below:

For more from UMI, revisit our live performance and interview with the bedroom R&B sensation below.

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