A purveyor of a slick, bilingual, J-pop-infused R&B -- nodding to '90s U.S. boy band material -- Sirup built a following in the late 2010s, both as a solo singer/songwriter and as a member of the popular Soulflex collective. Releases such as 2021's Cure offer a refined blend of modern production and honest lyrics.
Born and raised in the Kansai region of Japan, he initially performed under the name KYOtaro, a moniker used on the 2016 Japanese R&B chart-topping album Room. The following year, he made his live debut as Sirup at Shibuya, Tokyo's WOMB. 2017 also brought an eponymous debut EP containing the lead single "Synapse." In 2018, he issued Sirup EP2 as well as the collaborative single "Mirror" with YonYon, the Seoul-born, Tokyo-raised DJ and producer. May 2019's Feel Good, Sirup's first full-length release, was a record rich in new material sequenced alongside popular EP tracks such as "Loop," which soon racked up over ten million online streams. That same month, he supported U.K. musician Tom Misch on the neo-soul and jazz artist's first Japanese live date. Early the following year, Sirup released a third EP, CIY, before issuing two stand-alone singles, "Hopeless Romantic" and "Mirror," the latter a collaboration with the Birmingham, U.K. hip-hop artist and multi-instrumentalist ROMderful. Following a run of four teaser singles, Sirup's second album, Cure, saw the light of day in March 2021. ~ James Wilkinson