SWEET DEAL: For a virtual K-pop artist, Apoki has scored some major artistic talent for her sixth single — artwork created by famed illustrator Yoshitaka Amano.
The just-released “Hold On” is the pastel-loving character’s sixth single and the first geared for Japanese-speaking fans, many of whom are among her 5 million-plus social media followers.
With a career that dates back to the ’60s, Amano is internationally known for his art, illustration and character design for such video game series as Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D, Gatchaman, and Casshern among many others. He created the three-dimensional Candy Girls specifically for this music video.
Working with Amano registered with Apoki, whose manager said via a Sony Music Solutions spokesperson, “Every artist on Earth loves his work and our desire connected us. It is such an honor to work with him.”
She has also scored support from the Japanese confectionary and ice cream company Lotte, which makes Watermelonbar ice pops that look like slim slices of rosy watermelon, meant to appeal to the culture of cuteness in Japan. The seedless pops are popular in Japan and South Korea.
The ice-pop maker got a freebie with the collaboration by not having to pay Apoki for the placement of Watermelonbar imagery in the new video, according to a Sony Music Solutions spokeswoman. However, discussions about influencer deals are underway for this fall’s release of her first album, titled “Space,” she said. Apoki has previously acted as an influencer for Casio’s G-Shock and Charles & Keith.
Amano is industrious as ever. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the game The Last of Us, the acclaimed artist has joined forces with Naughty Dog and video game art merchants Cook & Becker to create select art pieces and posters. Pre-orders for the limited-edition artwork are being accepted until Sept. 5. Amano also recently announced that he has dreamt up the cover art for the musician Yoshiki’s new album, “Requiem.”
Knowing that Japan is among the leading “mega markets of virtual artists in the world,” Apoki has dreamt of singing “an original Japanese original song since her debut,” the spokeswoman said.