Van Paugam


The Original city pop dj

Originally from Miami Beach and currently based in Chicago, Van Paugam specializes in 70s and 80s Japanese Disco, Funk, and City Pop. Claiming the title as the first DJ on Youtube who used only vintage Japanese records ripped from vinyl to create mixes of rare and classic music that has rarely been heard outside of Japan. He started his journey into Japan’s music scene in 2016 in search of nostalgia for a distant time and place, and continues today uncovering artists and records that might have been lost to time if not for the meticulous preservation of Japanese record shop owners and aficionados.

Having achieved 100k subscribers on Youtube, he lost the channel on February 14th 2019 due to a dispute with the Recording Industry Association of Japan. Credited with resurrecting the genre by creating the first City Pop mix on Youtube, he influenced dozens of other Youtube Channels, Radio Streams, and even K-Pop stars such as Yubin on her hit single “Lady.” Inspired by an intense obsession with nostalgia, he plays with themes of memory, distortion, and aesthetics.

Van Paugam has DJed dozens of events, Japanese festivals, Anime Conventions, Nightclubs, and hosts four monthly parties around the city. Having recently played the first City Pop night in Paris, he is expanding his international credits with several events scheduled in Tokyo for November 2019.

Despite losing his Youtube channel, he continues to DJ live, and create new original content focused on expanding the influence of Japanese music from a distant era to inspire a contemporary and cosmopolitan minded audience.


“probably never would've reached American ears if it weren't for Van Paugam, a Chicago-based DJ who's made it his life's work to resurrect City Pop for a new generation of Westerners.“ - The Chicago Reader

German Article on AMYPINK

Kayo Kyoku Plus

Interview with Japanese Consulate of Chicago

Italian Interview with Takamori

French Interview with Synth Squad Paris

Italian Article on Deerwaves

Van Paugam Kawaii Cafe Paris

In this edition of Medill Newsmakers we take you inside the world of City Pop, Van Paugam, and other trends in online music.

Hisashiburi CityPop is a short-doc that explores the history and reemergence of CityPop, a 70s-80s music genre of Japanese music featuring Van Paugam.








All designs by Van Paugam inspired by Tokyo nightlife of the 1980s. Available exclusively at https://www.vanpaugam.store