Tuesday, 19 May 2015

MaaDuu interview Airi - Top Yell January 2014

Excerpts from Sato Masaki and Kudo Haruka's interview of Suzuki Airi in the 15th and final instalment of their serialisation Maachan Kuduu no HaroPuro Senpai Tanboudan from the magazine Top Yell.


--- Well then, why don't we let both reporters ask their questions.

Kudo: Here's a question about singing! I watched videos of Suzuki-san during the Kids Audition, and your singing was amazing. You were really adorable.

Suzuki: I wasn't adorable! Seriously (laughs).

Kudo: At the time, you were in primary 2nd? What I don't get is how you were so good at singing at such a young age?

Suzuki: Eh~! Why is that? Rather than being good, I just enjoyed singing. What I heard was that my mother let me listen to music even before I was born. All sorts of songs, like classical music and nursery rhymes. And then I became a child whose mind was dead set on singing, and I've been singing ever since I was 2.

Kudo: Isn't that education for the gifted!

Suzuki: That isn't it~ My father and mother are both pro golfers, so they wondered, 'Maybe she might be interested in golf?', but that wasn't the case at all. At any rate, I liked singing, so it seems I exchanged golf clubs for a microphone and sang.

Sato: I see. Naturally becoming good at the things you like.

Suzuki: Also, I woke up at 5 every morning since I was in kindergarten. Then, until the bus for kindergarten arrived, I'd definitely sing my favourite song, and grandpa told me to make recordings of those. Grandpa was my mentor. I even sang when I caught colds, so there's some with really nasally voices (laughs). But perhaps my love of singing came about thanks to grandpa saying things like that to me.

Kudo: Ama~zing! And do you even listen to them now?

Suzuki: Yup. They were played at my solo live when I was changing outfits (laughs).

Kudo: For me, my dad's horrible, but my mother's good. So when my mother comes to a concert, she'd always say, 'Since you're my child, I expected that you'd be better at singing'. Uselessly putting on pressure. Well, now she says, 'Compared to when you were an Egg, you've gotten better', though (bitter laugh).

Suzuki: That's strict (laughs).

Kudo: My parents are scary. If I'm asked what I'm scared of most in this world, I really can't handle haunted houses, but what I'm most scared of is my mother. I can't defy her.


Sato: Ayumi likes Suzuki-san so much, she'll mumble things like 'Today, this part is different' when Suzuki-san makes an appearance. Al~ways, by herself.

Suzuki: What's that!? Tell me about it!

Sato: For example, in 'Aitai Aitai Aitai na', isn't there a part where Suzuki-san goes 'Ah......!'. Your pose at that point changes from day to day. And there, she'll always say things like 'Ah, it's different today', or 'It's the same today'. While alternating between watching the stage and the monitor. Saying things like 'Her way of singing is different today'. Honestly, she's always watching you, it's kind of creepy.

Suzuki: Eh~! Even though I myself don't notice those differences!

Kudo: For this Hello! Con, Ayumin sings 'Aitai Aitai Aitai na', she's always nervous by herself. Panicking, 'What should I do, what should I do......' (laughs). 

Suzuki: I really understand those feelings!

Kudo: While saying 'What would Suzuki-san do here?', she watches the videos countless times.

Suzuki: There's something mysterious about Hello! Cons, it feels like you hardly ever get into shuffles together with the senpai you look up to.


Kudo: This is a serious question: I actually can't speak smoothly.

Suzuki: Whoa, that's the only thing you shouldn't ask me~ (laughs)

--- What sort of sarcasm is this (laughs).

Kudo: You're mistaken! Please hear me out to the end! I really can't speak smoothly, so when I'm doing plays, I can't say 'Sa-Si-Su-Se-So', and in the end, I can't even say 'Ra-Ri-Ru-Re-Ro'. I can't even say my name clearly. Though it's just 'I'm Kudo Haruka'.

Suzuki: Yup, yup, it's tough.

Kudo: Suzuki-san, you might say that you can't speak smoothly, but it doesn't seem that way at all when you're singing or acting, right? You can clearly hear the words. If anything, it's different than how you usually are, and that difference gets people fired up. To be that powerful at the real performances, what should I do...... I seriously want to know.

--- There might be a method to smoothly gloss over difficulties in speaking clearly, right?

Suzuki: It might be our yaeba.

Kudo: Right, could that be it!?

Suzuki: We kind of can't get rid of it, can we? It does feel like air gets through the gap of our yaeba, right. It seems all right if there's rhythm. But, it gets horrible at stage-plays (laughs).

Kudo: Really!? It doesn't seem that way at all.

Suzuki: You know, I can't say things. Like 'Anata (you)', things like that.

Kudo: 'Anata' is hard!

Suzuki: The part when your tongue hits the teeth for the 'na' and 'ta' is the same, probably. It ends up being 'Anaha'.

Kudo: What should we do?

Suzuki: I noticed that if you don't get enough sleep, your tongue can't move. And, you can't sleep well the night before a play.

Kudo: Applied to reality, did that change anything?

Suzuki: It changed! So, sleeping might be the most effective method. Also, when I first got to make a movie appearance, I took lessons on how to speak smoothly. There, I practised reading out narration manuscripts.


Sato: Well, I'll ask this, but what's your favourite tree?

Suzuki: Eh, tree (Japanese: 'ki')?  Because you're MasaKI?

Kudo: That's the first time I've noticed that! That's why it's asked every time, huh (laughs).

Suzuki: My favourite tree? Tree? Tree? What is it, the name isn't coming to mind. It blooms in autumn, with a really nice scent......

Kudo: The fragrant olive!


Suzuki: The reason, it's because of scent of the path I used to go to school during primary school. I come from the countryside, a place where you really get to experience a lot of nature. The fragrant olive, doesn't it give out a nice scent when we enter autumn?


And finally, a word of advice from Suzuki-senpai to your kouhai!

Suzuki: Firstly, congratulations on finally seeing this serialisation through to the end. Advice, huh... For example, in outfit fittings? It's good if you remember what looks best on you, like the length of the clothing. It's the same when it comes to facial expressions, you should look into what suits you the best. Since if you start doing that sort of research while you can, you'll be able to do work with a convincing style. If you do that, you'll naturally feel more positive.

Have you discovered your own style?

Suzuki: I studied up all sorts of things by myself, as much as I could, and without being too rigid, I asked the opinions of lots of people. Besides that, wouldn't it be better to strike a good balance? The two of you are still young, so you might not be in a position to insist on having things your way, but if you have your own preferences, work becomes more enjoyable.

What a wonderful work doctrine! Reporter Sato, could you comprehend that?

Sato: No, not at all......

Kudo: Oh you! What Suzuki-san wanted to say was...

Suzuki: Kudo-chan, that's fine! Maachan, you're fine this way! Anyway, I want to two of you to give full thought in how you'd say what you want to say in your own way. Since the day will come when it'll be of use. And, please get along with ℃-ute from now on as well (laughs).


If you'd like to read more of Maachan and Kuduu's interviews with their H!P senpai, here's a list of other excerpts I've translated from the book.

Ma-chan Kudo no Haropuro Senpai Tanpo / Masaki Sato / Haruka Kudo

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