Utada Hikaru performs Kingdom Hearts music at Coachella
The year 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the Kingdom Hearts series. Since its initial launch in 2002, Kingdom Hearts, which focuses on original characters traveling the worlds of various Disney films, has released three main series games and a number of spinoffs, collections and remixes. Throughout the series’ history, one of its most beloved elements has been its music, which features new arrangements of classic Disney tunes as well as original music composed specifically for Kingdom Hearts.
The celebration of the 20th anniversary of Kingdom Hearts included the long-awaited announcement of Kingdom Hearts 4, which will feature the protagonist Sora trapped in a new world called Quadratum, resembling Tokyo, Japan. Although no release date has been announced, fans have already started to speculate about the game. Two major questions include: which Disney worlds will be featured and, vocalist Utada Hikaru, who wrote and sang the openings to all three first games, will he return to work on the series?
While Utada Hikaru’s involvement with kingdom hearts 4 has not yet been confirmed, they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the series in a very special way. At the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Hikaru kicked off his set with “Simple and Clean,” the signature opener to the very first Kingdom Hearts Game. They also performed “Face Your Fears”, the opening of Kingdom Hearts 3, which they co-created alongside EDM and dubstep musician Skrillex. Fans were thrilled and can be seen cheering and singing along to both songs in the official Coachella live streams.
Utada Hikaru, one of Japan’s best-known performers, first got involved in the Kingdom Hearts series when their single “Hikari” was chosen as the original game’s opener. Hikaru, who was born in New York and is fluent in Japanese and English, also wrote and performed the English version of the song, which was renamed “Simple and Clean”. Since then, they have written and sung several songs for Kingdom Hearts, including “Sanctuary”, “Don’t Think Twice” and “Face Your Fears”. Utada Hikaru’s involvement has been cited as one of the main reasons why Kingdom Hearts’ the music has been so widely praised – to the point that a game entirely based on the music, memory melody, came out in 2020.
Utada Hikaru’s continued involvement is one of the things fans most hope to see in the upcoming kingdom hearts 4. As Sora ventures into a more modern world, Hikaru’s J-pop style bits might be more suited to the series than ever. Other fan hopes include new Disney worlds based on recent films such as zootopia and Encanta, worlds inspired by properties Disney has purchased such as star wars, and the return of fan-favorite characters such as Riku.
kingdom hearts 4 will be released at an unannounced future date for unconfirmed consoles.
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