December is here, and that means the holidays are just days away! Throughout the year, the Asian music scene brings listeners’ bubbly sounds and memorable pop and rock hits, but what about during the holidays and winter months? Asian artists do provide fans with plenty of winter cheer and have had plenty of songs to create an entire winter playlist. As you prepare for the holidays, here are some essentials to add to your holiday playlist!
Ailee “My Grown Up Christmas List”
Ailee’s usually powerful vocals soften considerably for a song wishing for hope and peace. The tune provides a lot of calm and may cause a listener to reflect a bit on what he or she desires in life. While it is a Christmas song, it has a message in it for all people, not just those who celebrate Christmas.
AlphaBAT “Surprise Party”
AlphaBAT showcase their sweet side in this upbeat, cute song. Listeners may find themselves bobbing along to the beat, and they may also be soothed by AlphaBAT’s harmonies. “Surprise Party” shows a different side of AlphaBAT because the vocals show their potential. Plus, the song is outside the traditional Christmas music many may be used to hearing by now.
Ariel Rivera “Sana Ngayong Pasko” (“I Hope This Christmas”)
The Philippines also have amazing artists, and they have many meaningful Christmas songs to boot! “Sana Ngayong Pasko” is a sad Christmas tune about wishing for someone who is no longer around. While it is sad, Ariel Rivera provides a lot of heart to make the song memorable.
BoA “Meri Kuri”
In BoA’s heyday, she had a mix of songs that listeners can dance to, and she had many that could touch the soul. “Meri Kuri” has BoA’s signature sweetness, and when a listener closes her eyes, the song can transport her to a lively snow globe of glitter and childlike wonder.
EXO “Miracles in December”
If any song shows off EXO’s abilities as a group, it’s “Miracles in December.” The live stages on the music shows last winter provided chills due to the beautifully haunting lyrics and sound. The song has melancholy tones, so be prepared to tear up at certain points.
EXO-M “The First Snow”
As a friend from China once said, it’s hard to come by Christmas songs in China, let alone full Christmas albums. EXO-M released their Christmas album in 2013 which made fans happy. “The First Snow” captivated many with its upbeat sound, making it a great tune to hear with a loved one.
Foxxi MisQ “Last Christmas”
This version of last Christmas is a fun update to the Wham! version. It incorporates elements of the classic song with a mashup that makes Foxxi MisQ’s an interesting addition to any Christmas list.
Gackt “December Love”
Gackt is known amongst many Otaku fans for his unusual voice. His take on Christmas music involves a sad song about longing for lost love. In many Asian countries, Christmas is a time for couples, so if you’re alone at Christmas, “December Love” may speak to you.
J-Rabbit “O Holy Night”
J-Rabbit’s “O Holy Night” lacks the power many other versions have, but her softness makes the song more peaceful: It’s like fresh Christmas snow glittering across an open field! Her English pronunciation is clear, but it also makes her version the cutest version of “O Holy Night.” Her Merry Christmas from J-Rabbit album also comes highly recommended!
Karashima Midori “Silent Eve”
Released in 1990, “Silent Eve” stands the test of the time. Midori’s voice has a haunting quality that sticks with a listener. “Silent Eve” just proves that a lot of older Asian pop music ages like fine wine.
Lea Lin “Silent Night”
This isn’t a Chinese remake of the original “Silent Night.” Christmas is a holiday for lovers in China, and Lea dedicates this song to all the singles out there. Here’s to finding love on Christmas!
Masaharu Fukuyama “Heart of Xmas” and “Kissin’ in the Holy Night”
Both songs came out in the mid-1990s, but they still maintain their relevancy today since many young people recommend them for the holiday season. Masaharu Fukuyama’s peaceful instrumentals to both songs help create the mood for these songs. Slow dance with a lover or decorate your tree to these classics!
Michael Wong “Christmas in the Year 2999”
Continuing with “Christmas is for lovers,” Michael Wong’s song covers how love can stand the test of time if it’s meant to be. The upbeat song with sweet lyrics will be played over-and-over again.
Mika Nakashima “Yuki No Hana”
“Snow Flower” is one of Mika Nakashima’s most memorable songs and one that often comes up as one of her greatest performances. Her emotion helps paint a warm picture of winter even in the coldest of months.
Mỹ Huyền “Hang Belem”
Vietnamese singer Mỹ Huyền’s “Manger in Bethlehem” may bring tears to a listener’s eyes, especially around the 55 second mark and at 1:55 where the choir joins in and Huyền works her way up the musical scale. No matter the language, the beauty of Christmas shines.
Park Ji Yoon “Snow Flower”
Park Ji Yoon’s take on the Japanese classic has a nice husky sound, and her voice adds another layer to this well-known Japanese song.
Sarah Geronimo “Pasko Na Sinta Ko”
Sarah’s voice always sounds angelic no matter what language she sings. “Pasko Na Sinta Ko” possesses her signature grace and beauty, making it a memorable song that touches the heart.
Tatsuro Yamashita “Christmas Eve”
It’s hard to believe this song is 30 years old and 2014 is the first time it’s seen an MV! From 1988 to 1992, “Christmas Eve” appeared in Japanese railway commercials to celebrate couples on Christmas. Yamashita’s voice adds to the adorable appeal of the song.
Verni Gonzales “Pasko Anong Saya”
Verni Gonzales’ “Pasko Anong Saya” just brims with happiness. Although it’s from the Philippines, the song pairs well with Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” to create a truly joyful affair!
Of course, this list contains only a handful of holiday songs from Asian artists. What are some of your favorites? Share with us on the comments, and be sure to check out our growing playlist of Christmas songs here!
—- Joelle Halon