Pikotaro is a musical artist from Japan who is best known for his song titled “PPAP” (Pen Pineapple Apple Pen) that went viral and generated 336 million views and was even rated as #1 trending on YouTube for approximately three weeks. After being featured on major news outlets like CNN and BBC, Pikotaro earned a spot (number 77) on the prestigious Billboard Hot 100; the song also broke a Guinness World Record for being the shortest song to ever be featured on that chart.
In response to the Covid crises, Pikotaro is back with a remix of his song that promotes proper hand washing techniques. To accompany the song, Pikotaro has released a new soap product called PIKOWash as part of a partnership with a Japanese beauty company known as MTG Co.
Pikotaro recently granted an exclusive interview where he discussed PIKOWash and more.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your passion for performing and how did you become a social media star?
Pikotaro I work because I want to make people all over the world smile. But of course, there is a language barrier. Music—in other words singing and dancing—is a common language, and anyone who sees it or listens to it can understand. I wanted everyone, no matter who, when, where, or what circumstances they’re in, to not be able to help but smile when they see my songs and dances. As a result, I’ve made some wonderful connections and am now known to lots of people.
MM: How did you get interested in making soap?
Pikotaro: First, as COVID-19 began to spread, people around the world began to emphasize proper handwashing. In that context, we released the song “PPAP-2020” to help people have some fun and learn how to wash their hands the right way. The folks at MTG heard the song and said, “Why not spread the word about fun and proper handwashing from children to adults, from Japan to the world, and from Earth to the galaxy!”After that, I worked with MTG to launch the PIKOWash! Project in order to spread the word to “Enjoy the Wash!,” “Properly Wash!,” and “Thoroughly Wash!”
MM: How did your social media career help you raise awareness of this soap?
Pikotaro: I created this song based on “PPAP,” which the world already knew, and so I was able to see children not just in Japan but all over the world enjoying washing their hands on SNS. It seems that there are kindergartens and nursery schools that are playing “PPAP-2020” as they have their students wash their hands before meals. Seeing that news warms my heart and makes me think, “I’m glad I did this.”
MM: Might you create other types of soap or even other products in the future?
Pikotaro: Currently, only the PIKOWash! Hand and Body Soap is being sold in America, but in Japan, we’re also selling PIKOWash! hand gel, which is very popular. We haven’t decided yet about any other new products.
MM: How do you hope your career evolves and expands from here?
Pikotaro: I want to keep on making videos that people just enjoy watching, and at the same time, I want to do lots of work that makes as many people as possible happy. My goal is world peace.
MM: What projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
Pikotaro: We set up a studio at the home of my producer, Kosaka-san, so we can release things whenever we want. From there, I’m planning to continue to share lots of new entertainment. I’m thinking of lots of projects using song and dance to bring smiles to people around the world, especially children.
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