The composer of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no YaibaThe chart-topping opening theme song “Gurenge” appeared on Nihon TVThursday’s “Downtown DX” show. According to an estimate revealed in the program, Kayoko Kusano earned over 250 million yen (about $2.2 million) from the song alone.
Songs earn royalties through multiple formats, including CDs, downloads from music streaming services, subscriptions, and karaoke. Karaoke in particular was highlighted as “Gurenge’s” biggest earner – the composer earned 3 yen each time the song was featured, and it was the most featured song of 2020.
When the presenter suggested that if half of Japan’s population decided to sing “Gurenge” just once at karaoke, it would have earned more than 100 million yen (about $910,000), Kusano said the actual number doesn’t wasn’t that high, but it still amounted to an extraordinary amount that she had never seen before.
Musician Takanori Nishikawa, who was another guest on the program, remarked that as a performer, his job is separate from the karaoke experience. On the other hand, the composer is inseparable from a karaoke song. He also suggested that “Gurenge” has the potential to make even more money in the future through karaoke.
According to Kusano, however, ‘Gurenge’ could have performed better than she did, saying she was told that had it not been for the coronavirus, her income would have been five times higher.
As for demon slayer himself, Kusano remarked that it was “a standout show” and amusedly described it as “a household name” when the earnings of “Gurenge” were revealed.
The song, performed by Lisadebuted digitally in April 2019 before being released on CD in July 2019. The digital version racked up over a million downloads in July 2020 and topped the digital singles chart for 2020. She is the first female artist to be at the top of the annual ranking.
The song was featured at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics with a performance by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. Lisa sang the song during her performances on Kōhaku Uta Gassen (“Red and White Song Contest”), Japan’s most-watched music TV show, in 2019 and 2020.