Orange Range is a Japanese hip-hop and rock band from Okinawa. It originated when childhood friends, Kitao (Kat-chan) Kazuhito (former drummer) and Hiroyama Naoto (guitarist) decided to form a band. They recruited Miyamori Yoh (bassist), Hokama Hiroki (mid vocals), Yoh's brother, Ryo (low vocals) and Ganeko Yamato (high vocals), who paid an entrance fee of 200 yen to join. Naoto became the band's official leader after loosing at a game of paper-scissors-rock. The band's name came from Naoto's mother who thought they should be named after a colour. In their early days, Orange Range played mainly in small art houses and clubs. They started out as a cover band.
In 2002, Orange Range signed to Spice Music and released their first mini-album, Orange Ball. A year later, they signed to Sony Music and released two singles, Kirikirimai and Shanghai Honey, in which the later debuted at number 5 in the Oricon charts. The band finally left their home of Okinawa and began touring across Japan, opening for various acts such as Do As Infinity. After that, they gained even more fame when their next single, Viva Rock, which was featured as the third ending theme song for the hit anime Naruto and Rakuyou was used as a commercial song for Daiichi Kosho Mero Dam. Later that year, they released their first major album, 1st Contact, which entered the charts at number 2 and became the fifteenth highest selling album of 2004. That same year, Orange Range won New Artist of the Year award at the eighteenth annual Japan Gold Disc Awards. In spring 2005, they earned the Artist of the Year award. After a number of successful albums and singles, Orange Range slowed down, partially due to the fact that founder member Kitao Kazuhito left in mid 2005. It was initially reported that this was due to tendonitis; though there were speculations that it was because of the band's creative differences as they were turning more hip hop than rock.
Their songs have been featured in TV dramas, anime, commercials, movies and even major events like the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Orange Range has been accused of plagiarism on a number of occasions, most notably with Locolotion, which was based around Carole King's single The Locomotion. It was later credited to Carole King when the song was released ON their album musiQ. Orange Boat was similarly credited as a cover of the Banana Boat Song, made famous by Harry Belafonte. The accusations intensified after interviews given to Japanese magazines. Some fans feel that Hiroyama Naoto’s comments were a bad attempt at humour. Others claim that Orange Range are stealing old tunes and selling them under their young image.