Saturday, 4 October 2014

1001 Nights: The 11th Night (first part) - Suzuki Airi's 10 songs

On the 29th of September 2014, Suzuki Airi from ℃-ute held a talk event, part of the Hello! Shop A Thousand and One Nights series of talk events, this being the eleventh night. The Twitter hashtag for the event was #あいりなう (Airi now).

This is the first part of that night's event, 'Suzuki Airi's 10 songs', where she elaborated on 10 songs of her choice. I've also made a summary of the second part, '50 Questions to Suzuki Airi'. If this interests you, why not take a look at other summaries of entries in this series of Hello! Shop talk shows.

References are made to a Taguchi-san, who I think is the MC/staff representative/manager.
Note that these were taken off fan reports on Twitter, some live-tweeted during the event, some tweeted after, so I have to warn you that there may be inaccuracies here and there.

Airi: 'Good evening, this is Suzuki Airi! Can you find out about this when you put it into Twitter's search bar?'

The 1st song - Her speciality when she was small - Anata ni Aitakute ~Missing You~ (Matsuda Seiko) 1996

The audience was trying to get Airi to sing it, but she wasn't having any of that.
Taguchi: It's all right to sing it.
Airi: No way! Today isn't that kind of event! I'd like to keep it in reserve so that I can sing it someday.
According to her mother, they were accompanying her father for a golf tournament when she was 2 or 3, when Airi held a one-person show at the clubhouse. With a microphone made out of sweets containers, lugging a Hello Kitty rucksack, she suddenly started by going, 'Right, Ai-chan's performance is starting!' She sang the chorus without understanding what it meant, but she remembers the joy she had singing.

Another speciality of hers at the time was Aikawa Nanase's 'BREAK OUT!' (1996), although she could only sing the last part of the chorus that went 'BREAK OUT!' Furthermore, Airi got a scolding for being noisy when she suddenly went 'BREAK OUT!' while her mother was driving the car.

She started going to music school when she entered kindergarten, singing songs that required a large vocal range, like songs by Utada Hikaru. She was also into SPEED, and cried at 'My Graduation' (1998). She was happy that she got to go to their reunion concert!

The 2nd song - A gift from Santa-san - Kimochi ha Tsutawaru (BoA) 2001

Initially she had asked for Mini Moni.'s Mini Hams CD for Christmas, but she actually got 10 CDs. Among those was BoA's 'Amazing Kiss'. She listened to it and became interested in BoA's music. Wanting to listen to BoA's other songs, she asked her mother, who bought her 'Kimochi ha Tsutawaru'. Later that song became the song that she used for the Kids Audition. It surprised the senpais at the studio who heard her sing it on the introductory video.
Airi: BoA-san came back to Japan and did some concerts recently, after so long, and I couldn't go! I had a concert too!
Adding to the mortification of being unable to go to BoA's concerts, there were people who came for individual handshake events with Airi who were boasting that they went to BoA's concert, which made her even more vexed. What's more, a dancer friend of hers from senior high got to become one of BoA's backdancers, which made it even more of a downer.

The 3rd song - Her first time meeting Tamori-san - First Kiss (Aa!) 2003

As a unit, Aa! only released one single with 2 songs before Berryz Kobo was formed and Miyabi left to become a member. Airi revealed that she felt really lonely when she alone was left.

When they appeared at M-stage, Tamori touched on the subject of it being one of her first songs.
Tamori: How old are you?
Airi: I'm in my 3rd year of primary school
Tamori: Do you understand the meaning of lyrics?
Airi: I asked my mother.
At any rate, she was nervous and didn't pull it off well, which is something that she regrets. She also had another regret concerning this song:
Airi: Something I regret was not getting to do this again with the original members before Tanaka-san graduated.

The 4th song - Song that I first sang solo on-stage  - Sayonara no Love Song (Goto Maki) 2004

 This song was selected by Tsunku♂ for ℃-ute's first independent concert 'Hajimatta yo! Cutie Show'. She performed it while keeping in mind the sadness of her primary school graduation.
Taguchi: Singing that kind of song, most guys would come to like you.
Airi: Are you that type of person?
She talked while the video from that performance was playing on the screen, but she herself was going 'Take a look at how weirdly my hands are moving'. She continued to fool around, mentioning things like that, while hiding her embarrassment. Taguchi had to cover for her by saying, 'You can see how carefully she was focusing on her singing, right?!'

When she was rehearsing the song for the concert, she got so angry that it got her crying, but she couldn't remember the exact details of the cause of her anger. A woman who was her manager's superior told her off and made her cry. When she listened to the recording of the song after that, her voice was hardly audible, so she cried again, feeling hopeless.

Since Airi was quite skinny at the time, Maimi referred to her as 'skin and bones'. The topic then turned to the original singer:
Taguchi: What sort of person is Goto Maki to Suzuki-san?
Airi: Someone who I can't get within a 3 metre radius of! Her aura's just too amazing!
Going back to the time of the Hello! Project sports festival, Airi had a memory of Gomaki doing the horse vault.
Airi: Mai-chan was sitting next to me at the sports festival. When Goto-san was running, she passed near us, and there was a lovely scent trailing after! Mai-chan and I were entranced!
The 5th song - Memories with Risako - Very Beauty (Berryz Kobo) 2007

The talk advanced with a video of the performance of BeriKyuu's first joint concert at Yokohama Arena. Risako sang the first melody and chorus solo, then Airi sang the 2nd melody solo, and they met up centre-stage and sang the second and the final chorus together.

At the Nagoya performance of that tour, Airi had caught a cold and couldn't bring out her voice. She was crying in frustration backstage when Risako came along and cried together with her.

Airi notes that she was doing super twintails in the concert. A huge version of the Momochi Musubi, they couldn't be ruined no matter what you did to it.
Airi: I was doing it before Momochi!
The 6th song - Favourite solo song - Zansho omimai moshiagemasu (℃-ute) 2009

 Reason: She likes gloomy ballads.
Airi likes dark, minor key numbers like 'Midnight Temptation' and 'Hitori Shimeshitakatta dake na no ni'. With the ballad component, Zancho became her favourite. However, since she worries about singing out of the appropriate season, she hardly ever sings it.
Airi: The writing on the CD jacket is mine. I'm sure you didn't know that.
Some time ago, KanaTomo sang that song, so Airi wanted to take the opportunity to touch base with her. When she contacted KanaTomo through LINE, she received a brief voice message from Takagi Sayuki-chan going 'Suzuki-sa~n'.

 The 7th song - New singing style, first lines - Natsu Dakara (Buono!) 2011

Airi: I'm told that many people became fans through this song
Airi was 17 when this came out. Although it was a shift from the rock roots of Buono! towards pop, they got to record it until they were fully satisfied. For Buono! recordings, the members share the same general view, but beyond that, they were left to their own devices and not forced into any styles when it came to singing.

The part that Airi was particular about was the toned-down bridge. She really was fussing over that part and was still worried about it before it went on sale, but Nacky told her that she liked it.

Furthermore, the spoken lines weren't in the original lyric sheet, so they were only informed about the lines when they had come for the recording and it was recorded impromptu. And with her difficulty with speaking smoothly came back to bite her.
Airi: I couldn't say 'Anata'. No matter what I did, it always ended up as 'Arata'.

 The 8th song - A miracle that happened at Budokan - Hatsukoi Cider (Buono!) 2012

At the 2012 Yubi Matsuri, Airi's throat was in pretty bad shape, and she was unable to bring her voice out for the high note at the beginning, despite trying many times at the rehearsal. But she prayed to the god of rock and decided to continue doing it even without any proper rehearsal. When it came to crunch time, she was miraculously able to pull off that high note without a hitch. Taguchi-san mentions that it was a big chance to show themselves to the fans of other idol groups.

This single is currently Buono!'s latest single, and Buono! has yet to release a single for over 2 years.
Airi: What's going to happen? I've been told that Buono! should occasionally reunite and sing, but we haven't broken up! I'll do it any time! How many years has it been since our last single!?
Taguchi: It's hard to be part of 2 units.
Airi: Well, there's time for it! Please let us perform as Buono!
This vehement appeal to the staff was met with great applause from the audience.
Airi: Even those who aren't necessarily fans of us 3 will come to Buono! concerts. It's a place where everyone can enjoy awesome music. If you don't let us perform as Buono!, I'll lose my hair!

 The 9th song - Shaping up her waist - Mister (KARA) 2010

Airi: I saw it when it got released, and it made me wonder, 'Won't doing that dance in the riffs shape up my waist?'
Now she dances it whenever she wants to shape up her waist.

(Indirectly related, Takahashi Ai and LinLin to the dance to Mister
At 0:17 Aichan mentions that Airi's good at the dance)

Sayuki asked Airi, possibly still through KanaTomo's LINE, if she had any methods for helping sculpt the waist. Airi recommended that she dance to this song. After that, Sayuki sent Airi a video of her dancing, asking for any pointers. Airi dispensed some advice, and she got another dance video from Sayuki which she found satisfactory. Sayuki's video was a whole-body video, taken at a balcony.
Airi: For fans of Takagi-san, this video is valuable.
The 10th song - Singer she's currently into - Baby I (Ariana Grande) 2013

Airi: She's in the same academic year as me! But she's super cute! I wanted to go to her concert.
Airi continued to heap praise on Ariana while watching the video, praising her cuteness, how cool she was, how mature she looked. The staff had previously recommended a lot of Western artistes for her to listen to, but never before had she been as taken with a Western artiste at the level she was obsessed with Ariana.

Besides 'Baby I', she also recommended 'Problem', which is an Ariana duet with Iggy Azalea. She passionately promoted it to the audience, wanting them to listen to it.

Airi talked a bit on their current Autumn tour.
Airi: 'A lot of the things that ℃-ute wanted to do are being done in this tour, but in any case, there are only a few performances. I'm hoping to get through it all without getting hurt, until the 11th November Nippon Budokan performance. Besides the things we wanted to do, I'm also challenging one thing that I'm bad at, so please don't keep still for that part.'
Also in this tour, she's drawing out a story on the daily changing photos. She also did this before, at the Pentagram 2012-2013 Winter Tour.
Airi: But because of the low number of performances for this tour, the story will also be going through some rapid developments. I want you to see it if you can.
She also mentioned that she'd be unveiling the story through her blog posts.

Finally, she touched on celebratory parties that wotas hold after events.
Airi: When I hear about the celebratory meals you guys have after performances or events, it sounds so fun that I get jealous. Even at handshake events, I'm told, 'I'm going for a drink with Mr A and Ms B after this'. Some people write about it in fan letters too. I always think that it sounds so nice.
She and Taguchi have seen some of these celebratory parties as well.
Airi: When I went for a meal with my parents after we had finished at Nakano, it was really colourful.
Taguchi: When I went for a meal after an event, the person next to me had a Hello! bag. I couldn't afford to be careless in my speech.
First part ended, a short break before they continued on with the second part, '50 Questions to Suzuki Airi'.

Sources: @tfc8@Bon5103@nanashikakka@as_kenken76@undo_hacca

This was the first part of that night's event. I've also made a summary of the second part, '50 Questions to Suzuki Airi'. Also, if these interest you, why not take a look at other summaries of entries in this series of Hello! Shop talk shows?

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