Pen-Pineapple- Apple-Pen sets world record

ST VIDEO: WALTER SIM
Japanese singer Piko-Taro receiving the Guinness World Record for the shortest song to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, set by his viral ditty PPAP.
Japanese singer Piko-Taro receiving the Guinness World Record for the shortest song to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, set by his viral ditty PPAP.ST PHOTO: WALTER SIM

TOKYO • Japanese singer Piko- Taro has set a Guinness World Record - his viral ditty PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen) is the shortest song to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts.

On the chart dated Oct 29, the 45- second PPAP debuted at No. 77.

The 53-year-old received the Guinness award at a press conference in Tokyo yesterday.

His track rewrites the mark set in 1964 by American folk band The Womenfolk for the song Little Boxes, which was one minute and two seconds long.

Piko-Taro, who is the first Japanese artist to chart on Billboard since 1990, announced he has signed on with record companies such as Sony, CNR Music and Time Records to distribute his future music around the world.


Japanese singer Piko-Taro receiving the Guinness World Record for the shortest song to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, set by his viral ditty PPAP. ST PHOTO: WALTER SIM

The song is simple: Piko-Taro imagines fusing an apple, pineapple and pen in different permutations.

The video, first uploaded in August, has since gone viral with at least 200 million views across various YouTube accounts.

Piko-Taro said yesterday that the song was produced on a budget of just 100,000 yen (S$1,325). It has since produced numerous parodies and covers, while Piko-Taro has also uploaded a separate video tutorial on the PPAP dance moves.

In a tweet last month, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber said PPAP was his "favourite video on the Internet" and posted a link to the clip. The tweet has since been retweeted 66,300 times and liked 122,000 times.

Piko-Taro - the alter ego of Japanese comedian and DJ Daimaou Kosaka, whose real name is Kazuhiko Kosaka - has termed his style of musical comedy "piko-pop", which he called a cross between Japanese oldies and old-time music.

He opened yesterday's press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan with what is said to be a world premiere of the "long version" of the PPAP. It lasted about two minutes and involved, among other things, fusing two pens together to form a "long pen".

He later told reporters he wanted to see a "mash-up of all the existing different styles out there", adding that the Bollywood-style cover was his favourite.

He also threw down the gauntlet to pop artists such as Bieber and Ariana Grande - whom he said he was a huge fan of - to cover PPAP.

When asked how his life has changed since his track went viral, he said: "Only one month has passed since PPAP has proliferated. I don't even have my salary yet - I haven't received one yen of revenue from PPAP yet."

He has followed up PPAP with another tune, titled Neo Sunglasses. Released three weeks ago, the new 56-second clip has more than nine million views so far.

When asked at the press conference if he had the desire to hold a world tour, Piko-Taro replied in mock horror: "Do you think anybody would want to come? My song is one minute. If I perform 20 pieces, the concert ends in 20 minutes. Or I can talk the rest of the time, or whatever."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2016, with the headline 'Pen-Pineapple- Apple-Pen sets world record'. Print Edition | Subscribe