Pens, ap­ples and pineap­ples

How Ja­panese co­me­dian Piko­taro cre­ated vi­ral sen­sas­tion PPAP.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Showbiz - By MICHAEL CHEANG en­ter­tain­ment@thes­

“I HAD a pen. There was an ap­ple on the ta­ble. I poked the ap­ple with my pen. Every­one was laugh­ing. There was also a can of pineap­ples. Since we have an ap­ple, so let’s go with the pineap­ple too.”

And that was how the most an­noy­ingly catchy song ever about stick­ing pens into ap­ples and pineap­ples – PPAP, also known as Pen-Pineap­ple-Ap­ple-Pen – was born.

“It only took me one minute to cre­ate it. It’s a one-minute song cre­ated in one minthe ute!” says Piko­taro, Ja­panese co­me­dian who be­came an In­ter­net sen­sa­tion overnight be­cause of the song, which cur­rently has over 120 BIL­LION views on Youtube.

Last week, Star2 got the chance to in­ter­view Piko­taro when he made his first Malaysian ap­pearExpo ance at the Ja­pan in Pavil­ion Kuala Lumpur.

The 1.86m-tall, 44-year-old co­me­dian im­me­di­ately stands out when he walks into a room, dressed in his usual gar­ish golden-yel­low leop­ard suit and shawl combo, and flash­ing that traden­ever mark silly grin that seems to leave his face.

Up close, he looks younger than ex­pected, though it’s im­pos­si­ble to keep a straight face when you see that hi­lar­i­ous drawn-on mous­tache and the per­ma­nently earnest and en­thu­si­as­tic ex­pres­sion on his face.

So, who ex­actly IS Piko­taro?

“I’m a singer-song­writer from Chiba pre­and fec­ture. I like weird short songs about pens and pineap­ples, and pens and ap­ples. All my songs are about things I love,” he replies cheer­fully.

Err, okay. Mov­ing on then. So, how does he come up with his songs?

“When I’m in the taxi, when I’m in the shower, and when I’m poop­ing!” he says. “Some­times when I’m be­tween wak­ing up and sleep­ing, songs just come into my head and I’ll sing along. I have a lot of that and it’s all in my phone! “Some­times I hum the songs, and send it to my pro­ducer, Kosaka Daimaou, and start cre­at­ing the songs. And I’ll just lis­ten to it again and start danc­ing, and then go to a plain empty white room and shoot a video. That’s my con­cept!” Wait, Kosaka Daimaou, you say? Isn’t he the Ja­panese co­me­dian who bears a strik­ing re­sem­blance to Piko­taro him­self?

“Yes, he is my pro­ducer. We are the same height,” Piko­taro says with­out bat­ting an eye­lid.

Yes, the man who calls him­self Piko­taro will never ad­mit he and DJ Kosaka Daimaou (whose real name is Kazuhito Kosaka) are ac­tu­ally one and the same. Heck, he’ll even in­sist that Kosaka is ac­tu­ally his pro­ducer and man­ager. Go­ing back to PPAP, Piko­taro says that he never ex­pected that one-minute song would be such a huge hit.

“No way! Africa, Amer­ica, Asia, every­one was lis­tento ing to it. I even went the United Na­tions to sing it!” he says.

“Be­fore PPAP, my life re­volves around me be­ing at home and my part time job. Now I go from home to Paris, home to United Na­tions and home to Osaka! I even sing PPAP in other lan­guages, like Chi­nese, French and Dutch!” Does he ever get tired of singing PPAP though?

“Yes, so, so tired! But it’s OK, be­cause the song is so short!”

It’s im­pos­si­ble to keep a straight face when talk­ing to Piko­taro. Just look at that hi­lar­i­ous drawnon mous­tache! — ROHAIZAT MD DARUS/The Star

Photo: AP

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