From Prison, The TV Killer – A Persona 4 Fan Song

After a good while of working up higher-quality music productions, I’m now ready to drop more original stuff with higher production values (at least in terms of collaborators) like this one. And this isn’t really a cover or a remix. You know those works by nerdcore folks out there? And I still remember Circus-P’s “How to Pretend” as well. Does that one track I helped make in tribute to Uri’s The Boogie Man count, though? Anyway, they can be passed off as originals, but they are also explicitly shown to be in tribute to established intellectual properties. And while I wanted to release this for free via Bandcamp, as I’m relying a lot on the name of and even some audio samples from an established intellectual property here, I recently set up an artist account there and had my assumptions about its free download system dashed, so yeah, I’m gonna release it still on Bandcamp only, but as a name-your-price thing, though please remember that “Another obvious villain we can cancel anytime” isn’t just some ironic tagline. Sure, I guess those who’d pay me are folks who seriously like me and my stuff for one reason or another on top of having the money for it, especially since stuff like music videos are around to help them decide how much they’d support the stuff, but still, PLEASE, pay and support like someone with a life.

All that aside, I wasn’t really expecting the new Persona announcements when I decided on the upload date for this. What a coincidence, right? Anyway, Persona 4 has been quite on my mind again lately, what with stuff like my sucky and discontinued attempts at streaming it and my desire to accomplish all its Achievements on Steam plus my delays at doing so. As for how I still want to play it some more, I guess it’s also because I’ve been realizing how much of an impact it’s made on my life, especially my art. Maybe I should write up a TRY for it sometime? But I digress.

What, you want me to be more explicit about the identity of this song’s POV character? Well, I think the song’s done more than enough there already. And even if I were quite lax about spoilers, which I am, I’d still recommend playing the game for yourself. To give you an idea without wasting my TRY chance, it’s very story-driven, so much that it borderline overshadows the gameplay, but the story is way more integrated with the gameplay than it seems, and they’re integrated well enough to make quite the enjoyable game. The writing has its flaws, especially considering stuff like how this fan song’s POV character upstaged the heroes, but as a reflection of my actually questionable character, I find them pretty endearing, especially with how they come off as honest through stuff like a mix of personal and public perception being an essential to the formation of the boss Shadows. And I’m further digressing here.

Now, as for other stuff about the song, I did the lyrics and vocals and video. But before that, I commissioned and spoiled fellow “spiral tones” remix contest winner Recoyale into composing and arranging for me here. I don’t think I solidly knew what sort of sound I wanted at the start, actually, and I picked Reco because he was someone I felt I could approach easily enough. But once I heard what he got for me, writing lyrics and working vocals flowed more smoothly than I expected! The result is this crumbling structure that goes from rapping to singing and then speaking, all with frigid and somber tones that both emphasize and engulf the POV character’s personality, complete with the wonderful enhancement that is Shigeru’s vocal audio engineering! And now that I think about how I characterized this song’s POV character, I might’ve also subconsciously drawn influence from certain psychological elements utilized in Persona 5, elements involving some traumatized people, although I don’t think this guy in this song isn’t really someone we can call traumatized. Also, Reco being impressed by the final audio definitely helps my belief that he, Shig, and I were more in sync than we expected here! Now we’re talking, alright!

As for the illustration, I commissioned (and not spoiled so much, I think?) this guy who goes by Riichu. I remember first encountering him when he was streaming with Koneko Monsi, and I eventually noticed his pretty neat art and his availability for commissions. Again, I don’t think I solidly knew what sort of visuals I wanted, and I was picking based on options fresh in my short-term memory at the time. But then again, I was wanting some visual obscuring on the identity of this song’s POV character, and in hindsight, Riichu’s skill at drawing slender figures works real well with the character. Special mention also goes to how he went above and beyond with the coloring!

And then comes the video, where I tried to emulate the Midnight Channel and the TV World as much as I could. Older closed captions here, high-level fog there, reprinted ripped TV World entry transition, weird scenery changes, TV static, all that stuff. Shig also boosted my confidence in my work here, as he liked the “WHAT YOU WANNA SEE” part and the glitching character art part, and speaking of which, my favorite part about my video work here is the intro. Also, I think I finally learned how to work up the typing effect in AviUtl, which I flexed in the chorus!

Now, honestly, releasing this has been taking a lot out of me, and it’s stacking on my other stresses, which I think are mostly self-inflicted, also leading to this being uploaded later than I planned, but gosh dang, I am happy about this. I mean, it’s a more original song with higher production quality than what I’ve done before, and I enjoyed making it with my fellow artists! It’s even got me more motivated to make more full-on originals AND learn further about how to do business properly, despite and through stressful situations! And of course, I’d like to ask for honest constructive feedback, so yeah, gimme that!

Jin (Shizen no Teki-P) – ZIGI – TOB English Cover

Looking up what the title of this Jin song can mean, it appears that “mere child’s play” may be the most fitting, considering the song’s themes. But that doesn’t look and sound as cool as “ZIGI,” so yeah, I left it as is. Anyway, distinguishing this Allegories track further from the rest of Jin’s discography, especially considering “Yobanashi Deceive” and “Imaginary Reload” being similar to it, I’d say that, well, it’s the creepy one among Jin’s dark groovy tracks I’ve known so far. I think I’ll even call it my favorite among them thanks to how it depicts adulthood as childishness rather than just adulthood as the enemy of childhood. The video description hype line certainly helps, too, as it goes like “A child who deceives another child is called an ‘adult,'” which I certainly agree with, especially as a manchild. Still, I also tried to make the original’s English segments more understandable in my translyrics. You know they had to be fixed.

As for other fun things I had with the production of this cover, it also included my first vocal recording at my grandparents’ place. It went better than I thought, and/or Shigeru worked on my recordings better than I thought. However it went, the finished audio got me figuring out my sound better, and so I have big thanks to give. For one, funk might be more of an essential in my sound than I thought, you know? And yes, this cover also brings me back to my two attempts at covering “Yobanashi Deceive.” And I’m happy to have outdone the me that did those, alright.

Also, yes, I did include upside-down subtitles to match the original video’s. You like it?

Well, here’s the mp3 and the lyrics sheet of this cover if you liked it that much. Do remember to credit and link me if you’re using them, especially with honest constructive feedback to me.

Jin (Shizen no Teki-P) – MERMAID – TOB English Cover

Even while working on the subtitles for this cover, this song and its MV got me wanting to cry, and this is one of two Allegories tracks that I consider tearjerkers, the other being “FREAKS.” Like, dying’s already and always a pain (If it’s not you being in pain thanks to your dying, it’s someone who loves you who’s in pain there), but losing a loved one is arguably worse, and knowing that you’re in a situation where you’ll soon die after them doesn’t really help alleviate the pain that much. And making this song hit harder to me is how it’s about a couple, and I’m quite the sucker for romances. And now I’m further enjoying how Jin had his own vocals take center stage in the mini album, especially with how the songs and their themes better resonate with a mature human voice. I guess I can say that his discography ages and ages well with him every release, then!

As for the translyrics, yes, I also changed up the onomatopoeias. The original Japanese has “fuwa fuwa” and “hara hara,” while I bring you “ticking and tocking.” And basically, I think these translyrics feel lengthier and more sophisticated than the original Japanese, emphasizing the feeling of hammering the adultness of the persona onto your heads, while Jin is softer and more elegant about it with the help of what seems like simpler and more child-like writing to me, something I think is made easier to do by the Japanese language and its packing of a lot of meaning into a few syllables.

As for the audio engineering, which was done by Shigeru again, well, seems like we have another case where there’s a need to cut the bass on my main vocal. I guess I gotta keep that in mind for more delicate productions. Anyway, the lower range of my vocals here are more on the single harmony track here, something I’m glad to have worked up after listening closely to the original and knowing that I can handle something like this quite confidently now. Again, I love my higher range and how it’s improving, but lately, I’ve also been growing appreciation for my lower range and how it’s improving.

And I guess that’s it for this one. Here’s a link to this cover’s mp3, and here’s a link to this cover’s lyrics sheet. Please credit and link me if you’re using my stuff, okay? And I’d love it if you give me honest constructive feedback!

Maarbble – Again again, and again – TOB Remix

Did another lyrical remix of an originally instrumental track by a creator I first met as a fellow fan through the VTuber scene. Last time, it was of Joshua Hartshorn’s “Faceless Entertainers,” and now, it’s Maarbble’s “Again again, and again.” Both tracks even have arts made by their respective composers! And both remixes have Shigeru involved, though this time, he worked on all the vocal audio engineering.

Anyway, this is a short and upbeat track I made really, well, weird with my lyrics, which I’d basically describe as an attempt to better stylishly express my current crushing. Like, there’s an attraction, but whether or not it’s the romance meant for me and her, I’d rather not pretend that it’s gonna be all sunshine and rainbows, that I’ll be happy with everything about her, and that I’ll be a good guy all the time about my crushing and all that. I’d even want to say that she also has traits that piss me off, and that I’m very likely to react really improperly against them! Still, I’d love to love her, even if that love is meant to be just friendly love. And I think I’d love to write more lyrics about this sort of thing.

What do you think, though? I’d love to know, especially your honest constructive feedback. And hey, here’s this remix’s mp3, and here’s this remix’s lyrics sheet. Do credit and link me if you’re using my stuff, okay?

Calliope Mori – Red (Lo-Fi Version) – TOB Vocal Cover

And so I’ve covered my other favorite Your Mori. track, and I covered it with the Lo-Fi Version because that arrangement fits my vocals better. And yes, I did make my singing vocals rougher and rougher every chorus. I really should appreciate my lower vocal range more. I’d like to thank dj-Jo for the added interlude as well, because hey, more room for me to yell like a banshee and almost drown in the middle of the musical vocal ocean. Also, points to Calli again for her voice being a big help in making her raps sound wise and strong in this song, because man, I think I sound like a nerd acting tough rather than a toughened nerd in the raps here, hahaha! X”D

Anyway, gotta send really big thanks to the great folks who helped me out here: Shigeru with the audio engineering, ArkFord with the illustration, and Venetian with the video! Again, I’m kinda at a loss for words about how Shigeru gets my voice so well now, and now I’m wondering about what sort of tougher challenge I should give him to further break his limits well. And Ark’s giving that elegance real good again, though I want to give him a dorkier order next time. As for Venetian, who I worked with for the first time, I love her simple and subtle work here, especially with the text.

And now, here’s this cover’s mp3. And again, I’d like to ask for honest constructive feedback~

Jin (Shizen no Teki-P) – Erase – TOB English Cover

My appreciation for Jin’s Allegories mini album continues and grows, indeed. And this particular song, which also has a synthed vocal version utilizing KAFU, from said mini album has themes that are not so new to his discography, considering songs like “Toumei Answer” and “Lost Time Memory,” but I don’t think he’s ever gone this direct about it before. Still, I think he plays around with the dramatics as music wonderfully, connecting with lyrics depicting the familiar experience of trying to glorify self-loathing by imagining it as a story to be told, especially a cheap one posing as something holy for us fellow fools to vainly enjoy, something that Jin’s deceptively light instrumental work with Shota Horie, a.k.a. kemu, emphasizes as well.

As for stuff about the translyrics here, something I’d like to note in particular is my decision to have the final pre-chorus split the plural first-person in the original into singular first-person and singular second-person. I guess we can also call it my lazy butt’s copium thanks to how I think I started thinking about whether it’s an error or not after getting the fully engineered audio, but anyway, I feel like the outright plural would’ve made something unnatural both in the singing and in the storytelling in English.

As for the vocals, I could only have my lower range as the harmony here. Jin’s beautiful songwriting continues to push human vocals to their limits, and too much squeak would’ve invaded your ears if I tried to add a high harmony, so yeah. And I’d like to thank Shigeru very much again for yet another beautiful piece of work on the products of my wrung neck.

And now, this cover’s mp3 and this cover’s lyrics sheet. Please do credit and link me if you wanna use my stuff, okay? And please give me feedback, especially the honest constructive sort.

Okayu Nekomata – Mogu Mogu YUMMY! – TOB English Cover

Going through the original lyrics of this song and remembering who wrote it, I was like “Yup, this is definitely Pinocchio-P stuff.” Meanwhile, looking through my lyrics again, I think my Gothic senses combined with my English dub trashiness emphasized the darker parts. And I think my vocals are a more obvious scare compared to Okayu’s laidback vocals that served as a big factor in how this song got stuck in my head this much. So yeah, I don’t think I should be surprised at all if families have very horrified reactions to this.

And hey, sending big thanks again to Shigeru, who just came back from a break! Also, it’s been over a year since I first worked with him! Really quite an honor to have worked with him so much!

And now, this cover’s mp3 and this cover’s lyrics sheet. Please credit and link me if you’re going to use my horrifying stuff here. And of course, honest constructive feedback, please~

DEMONDICE – wanting, getting, wanting – TOB Remix

So this wannabe rapper boy came across this wannabe rapper lady who got some inexplicably warm welcoming back with her recently released EP, with this track I remixed being the first single off it. Now, I could act like I can’t be an overrated blowhard with dumb luck like her, but I cannot deny the potential I see in her as this svengali-in-the-making I actually am. I mean, I feel like I can make her style look more awesome AND my own. Really, I bet I’m just projecting how well I’m working with her style. And I bet it’ll still be a win-win even if we end up having a rivalry instead of having collaborations. Not even me being very likely to be a regular loser in a rivalry between us would stop it from being a win-win. I mean, I feel as if this niche we inhabit is quite stagnant right now, and I think this sort of battling would bring some way better life into it. And if it hasn’t fully sunken into your brain yet, then I’d like to tell you that yes, you can call this remix a diss track.

So yeah, I’m very thankful for your work here, but I’m also really sorry for turning you into my lackeys for this, alfonsomusic and Denyel. Please feel free to cut ties with and distance yourselves from me if worse comes to worst. Indeed, I am this bloodthirsty…among a lot of other horrible things.

Now, to further prove that, here’s a link to this remix’s mp3, and here’s a link to this remix’s lyrics sheet. Do credit and link me if you’re using my stuff, though I understand if you violate that request because hey, why should an actual villain like me get respect, right? And to further prove how much of a delusional and megalomaniacal idiot I actually am, I’d like to ask y’all to give me honest constructive feedback. Though hey, maybe wise luck will be around and keep this thing and me from breaking out. Gonna be big pain to me, but it’ll be big relief to you all, don’t you think?

Oh, and one more thing: that “villain” remix of mine? Her English cover of that song definitely inspired that quite a lot.

Joshua Hartshorn – Faceless Entertainers – TOB Remix

With that open space in the middle of the hypnotically groovy Faceless Entertainers EP’s title track, I felt like writing and singing lyrics over it. And I feel like I made all that pretty faceless, even with all them lyrical acrobatics and especially with those flat vocals. It’s an honor to have them vocals edited by Shigeru mixed and mastered by Joshua Hartshorn himself, too. Josh also helped tune up my lyrics, so yeah, thanks very much again~

Now, with that faceless paragraph above out of the way, have some more facelessness in the form of a link to this remix’s mp3 and a link to this remix’s lyrics sheet. Please credit and link me if you’re bothering to use my boring stuff, of course, and again, please give me honest constructive feedback.

Towa Tokoyami – FACT – TOB English Cover

I think I made and sung translyrics that are more forward and aggressive than the original, alright. Combine that with my voice, and you get the ultimate threat to multiversal security. And yes, I be feeling myself a lot again. Should help you remember that the original singer is way more decent than me, though.

Also, I am now more sure that bass boosting is essential to mixing my vocals. Thanks very much again for helping me figure that out, too, Leanna~

Now, here’s this cover’s mp3, and here’s this cover’s lyrics sheet. Please credit and link me if you want to show the world that you’re more charming than me with my stuff so that y’all can give me more concentrated fire guaranteed to keep me canceled forever. I still encourage honest constructive feedback, though.