It truly is a week of firsts for Japanese pop star Jin Akanishi. Sure, the singer has charted eleven consecutive number one hits back in his native country, but this week he officially launched in to the United States. On Tuesday, Akanishi released Japonicana, his debut U.S. album. This Friday, the Asian star kicks off his first ever North American tour. But before either of those took place, Jin made his American radio debut on Monday. Akanishi checked in to “The Ralphie Radio Show” via Skype from Tokyo, in an interview that was taped the previous week.
“I’m expecting a lot of dancing, partying… drinking,” Akanishi semi-joked when asked what he was looking forward to in his first go round in North America. “I just want to have a good time.”
The singer will cover a good amount of land – starting this week in Los Angeles before touching down in Vancouver, Honolulu, New York, and wrapping up in San Francisco. Akanishi recorded Japonicana in LA, but he revealed that there is a special connection between him and the Big Apple.
“It’s different, but it’s kind of similar to Tokyo,” Akanishi explained. “I was staying in LA for a long time, and I was kind of missing Tokyo. When I went to New York, I felt [like] I was back home.”
It was on the west coast where Akanishi linked up with the likes of Justin Bieber, Sean Kingston, and Jason Derulo – the later whom he collaborated with for “Test Drive.”
“I learned a lot of things from him,” Jin said of working with Derulo. “I was happy to hear his ‘Jason Derulo’ in the introduction, with my name.”
But besides hearing Jason’s trademark signature, Akanishi was able to witness firsthand how the multi-platinum recording artist works.
“Jason works on a track hard,” he said. “He’ll sing over and over and over until he’s satisfied. I really like that.”
Akanishi won’t just be using his voice – but also his acting ability to make a good first impression in America. The 27 year-old was cast for the movie “47 Ronin,” starring Keanu Reeves.
“I taught him how to play Japanese chess,” Akanishi revealed before light-heartedly adding. “I guess I can brag about it.”
Clearly, he’s adapting to his new surroundings quite nicely.