As further evidence of just how bad the record business is in Japan, several of Sony Music Japan’s highest profile J-pop acts have announced they are leaving the label.
The Brilliant Green, Mai Hoshimura and Sowelu, all of which have demonstrated fairly consistent chart success in recent years, are either leaving or were dropped from Sony and its sub-labels.
On the official Web pages of Sowelu and Hoshimura, the two artists indicated that they wanted to focus on more personal music.
Music writers have speculated that the two would probably end up at Avex, though no announcements have been made to that effect.
All three of these artists recently released best-of albums and had reached the end of their contracts with Sony, so it is assumed that the parting-of-ways was Sony’s idea.
Major-label artists in Japan rarely change record companies of their own volition.
In addition, SMJ recently shut down the English-language Qeb page promoting its full roster of J-pop and J-rock artists.