Shikao Suga is something of an anomaly in Japanese mainstream music -- though firmly ensconced in the machinery of J-pop, Suga has kept his original influences at the forefront of his music.
While creating the music for a number of anime series (which can tend toward the predictable in their scoring), Suga has kept 1970s and 1980s funk at the core of his instrumentation. Under a layer of standard J-pop vocals, he may have a thicker layer of funk bass and stuttering beats, resulting in a sound almost in the vein of Jamiroquai. Beginning his career (originally a departure from an office job) with 1997's Dash Through the Hit Charts, Suga's funk-jazz influence quickly made him a go-to man for television themes that stood out from the pack, and he also built a reputation as an able provider of music and lyrics to other artists, especially those under the same Office Augusta label (many of whom, like Suga, are members of the group Fukumimi). After five albums, the predictable greatest-hits compilations began appearing, with the pair All Singles Best and All Live Best achieving particular success. Along with compilation appearances, Suga has remained a strong force in Japanese mainstream music, pumping out more singles as an artist as well as writer, hosting a popular radio show, and continuing to be an in-demand artist for anime themes (the theme "Nobody Knows" debuted on the Oricon charts at number three in 2008). ~ Adam Greenberg, Rovi