Saturday, 9 January 2016

Our first music ~ Tokyo Girls' Style talks about memorable spring songs~

Music and Tokyo Girls' Style

Stay with me / TOKYO GIRLS' STYLEReflection / TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE

──What got all of you first interested in music and singing?

Shoji Mei I've enjoyed dancing ever since I was small、 I would listen to songs until the very end in order to dance to them。 I never really paid attention to singing until I entered TGS (laughs)。 Ever since I started with TGS activities I've taken the initiative to listen to music、 and watch music programmes。

Nakae Yuri Just like Mei, I enjoyed dancing since I was small as well、 I danced following the rhythm of the music、 feeling the flow of the rhythm with only my body。 I started getting interested in singing when I sang as TGS。

Arai Hitomi It started with my grandmother (laughs)。 My grandma taught me nursery rhymes、 and we sung them together。

Konishi Ayano Even before I was aware of things, I was dancing and singing in front of the television。 I've always yearned to be a singer。 I've been singing ever since I could stand。

Yamabe Miyu The only one who wanted to become a singer was Ayano (laughs)。 When I joined Avex in my 5th year of primary school、 my ambitions at the time were to become a model or an actress。 I was strongly aware that I wasn't good at dancing nor singing、 and it was tough when I was just starting out with TGS、 but my interest in music gradually surged as we continued on with our activities。 It's thanks to TGS that I came to like music。

First CD

Shoji Mei

Relatively recent, isn't it (laughs)。 My mother used to buy CDs for me、 but this is the first album that I bought with my own allowance。Watching SEKAI NO OWARI-san's documentary、 there were lots of things I learnt about in detail about their way of thinking and their attitude towards music。 At last year's 「ROCK IN JAPAN FESTIVAL 2014」, I watched SEKAI NO OWARI-san live on-stage for the first time、 and I went and bought their CD as I wanted to listen to it carefully。

Nakae Yuri

Ikimonogakari 「Kimagure Romantic」
The first time I sang in front of people, it was this song。 I've always admired Ikimonogakari-san 、 so I sang 「Kimagure Romantic」 for the TGS auditions。 It's a song packed with all sorts of memories for me。

Arai Hitomi

Vanilla Beans 「Tengoku he no Kaidan」
We got to work together with Vanilla Beans-san at the 「TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL」 right after we made our début。  I bought it because it was a one-coin single (500 yen)、 but it gave me a shock that the lyrics were in English (laughs)。
※「Tengoku he no Kaidan」 (Stairway to Heaven) is a Led Zeppelin cover。

Yamabe Miyu

Shoujo Jidai 「Gee」
I liked Shoujo Jidai even before they made their Japanese début、 and the first song I ever bought with my own allowance was 「Gee」。 I bought it from the CD store close to my house as I was coming back from school。 I was really nervous as it was my first time going to the CD store alone (laughs)。 I remember really shaking in my boots while I bought it, like 「Is it really okay for me to buy this……」。

Konishi Ayano

Fudanjuku 「Otoko」
I listened to songs by a lot of artistes through downloads or by looking them up on YouTube、 but this album was the very first CD that I bought thinking 「I want to listen to this album carefully」。 I was just a normal fan、 but now I'm on good terms with their members。

Memorable spring song

Shoji Mei

Remioromen「3gatsu 9ka」
This is a spring song that's close to winter……(Nakae: 「We're the same」) Eh、 we overlap? I normally listen to a lot of male artistes、 but even among them, this song has an impact。 The first time I heard it, it was moving, like 「How do they convey the message so strongly?

Nakae Yuri

Remioromen 「3gatsu 9ka」
Just as Shoji mentioned a second ago (laughs)、 the lyrics and voices in the song really get to you。 Before I came to Tokyo、 when I had my final lessons in Osaka、 I sang this song together with the girls who were taking lessons with me。 With that memory、 this song comes to mind when I talk about spring。

Arai Hitomi

Ikimonogakari 「YELL」
We sang this song at my primary school's graduation ceremony。 There were friends who we'd be parting with once we entered middle school、 and the memory of 「YELL」 resounding in the gym still remains until now。

Yamabe Miyu

Yuzu 「Eikou no Kakyou」
I chose this thinking that this brings up the memory that spring is coming。 I'm in my 3rd year of senior high、 and my final class was music。 At the time、 the class presented a song to our homeroom teacher and the music teacher that had been taking care of us。 We had limited time to gather and practise、 but everyone cooperated to give them this song as a present、 so I won't forget it my whole life。

Konishi Ayano

Moriyama Naotaro 「Sakura(Vocal solo)」
My mother is such a big fan that she's in Moriyama-san's fan club、 so I often listen to him thanks to my mother's influence。 It's a spring song that everyone knows、 and since I love the sakura season、 the first thing that comes to mind is this song。

On their new single 「Stay with me」

── Tokyo Girls' Style's new single 「Stay with me」 also has a theme of “Setting off on a journey”、 which is just right for this season。 It's your first single since your “Artiste Tokyo Girls' Style” declaration at the beginning of the year、 and it's like the first step on a huge journey for you。

Yamabe Thinking about the turning point of the season for this spring、 we appeared at all the various idol festivals that we were invited to up until March、 and we conveyed our feelings of gratitude to everyone that we'd worked with。 I got to compose the lyrics of our new song 「Stay with me」 as a representative of the members、 but I definitely was uneasy about it at because it was a first for me。 Even if I thought it was fine、 it had to be something that would be acknowledged by the fans。 The female fans who got to hear the lyrics and the music video that's just been made public have said 「There are lots of things that we can sympathise with」、 and I got a lot of comments like 「I really understand how it feels as I'm graduating this year as well」from people of the same age、 it now makes me feel a bit relieved (laughs

──Yamabe-san, this turning point for TGS coincided with your senior high graduation、 so did it make it easier to express your emotions?

Yamabe That's right。 I wrote it while keeping my best friends in mind、 and I'd like everyone to listen to it with your own special people in mind。

── It was done by Yamabe-san this time around、 but what do the other 4 of you think about this experiment to engage the members in the crafting of a musical composition?

Arai The discussion suddenly came up, 「This time Miyu will be the lyricist」、 we were all like 「Eh?」。

Konishi I couldn't catch what was going on around us。 We had a really good look at Miyu's uneasiness at being chose as the lyricist、 so I had mixed feelings of concern and excitement to see the final thing。

──Like why was it Yamabe-san this time around?

 She's the number one oneesan among us、 so I think she was the most appropriate person to write about this theme as she was graduating from senior high。

Arai The first time I listened to this song、 I was on the Shinaknsen from my hometown of Miyagi, heading back to Tokyo、 but it made me feel sad and I started to sob (laughs)。 But、 I never imagined that I'd be singing this song as the main vocals、 I was really uneasy。 Miyu-chan was also there, giving detailed instructions as we were getting into the song、 so I had to do my best to fully respond to that。

── What sort of guidance, as an example?

Arai There were lots…… One that was difficult was、 where it built up at the D melody,  she told me「Gently, like Aachan (Konishi) 」 (laughs)。 I could imagine it、 but it was a tough, difficult fight。

── The coupling song 「A New Departure」 was a song born from 「HARDBOILED NIGHT」(Monthly performances held at Akasaka BLITZ in Tokyo from July~November 2014。Reference:Tokyo Girls' Style、a multi-hued “Tsuubangai” Live & shocking Hard-boiled last chapter (Japanese))、 it was only released on analogue disc、 but here it is again as a CD。 With the appropriate concept of “setting off on a trip”、 it's a song that's got Philadelphia soul。

Konishi We'd announce new songs for each 「HARDBOILED NIGHT」 、 but we didn't expect that this song would be the last。 Only the last song was cheerful (laughs)。 However, the story of 「HARDBOILED NIGHT」 itself ended positively. looking forward、 so I think this refreshing song is appropriate。

 TGS has a lot of dark songs (laughs)、 so it'll become a new standard song to brighten up and pump up the venue at the final stages of concerts。 But it was only released in analogue disc form、 so I think there are a lot of people who are unfamiliar with the song、 and I'm really glad that it's come in CD form。 I think it's a song that shows a new part of us、 so it'd be nice if it gradually got spread。

── The other coupling song 「Kasokudo」 is a TGS standard、 a bassy dance tune。

Arai That's right。 It's pretty swift。

── Swift (laughs)。

Nakae The lyrics and the melody definitely do feel like「This is TGS」。 I think that it's a song that's packed with TGS' charms、 so I'd like everyone to listen to it as soon as possible。

Yamabe The chorus is in a high key、 so it'll probably be pretty tough to perform live while we're dancing。

── For this compilation especially、 it includes an a capella recording of your single that was released in December last year 「Say long goodbye」。This is essentially a remixed track、 but being able to just listen to the 5 of you harmonising was interesting。

Nakae It was a song that presented us with the new challenge, where the 5 of us had to layer the chorus、 so it would make us glad if you listened to it carefully。 It was a remix from all of us、 so please look forward to the arrangement of that ballade。

Tokyo Girls' Style from now on

── Once your artiste declaration has lapsed、 I believe that Tokyo Joshiryu will change a little from now on、 but what are your mental states right now?

 While we definitely still have feelings of anxiety、 I think it would be great if we could move forward with certainty、 while the members think about all sorts of things。

Shoji I still haven't thought concretely in what way we'd change 。 But just like how Miyu challenged herself as a lyricist、 I'd like to gradually increase the things we can do。 I think that firstly, raising the level of performance of each and every one of us is important、 so we'll do our best with the goal of fortifying our basics。

Nakae  Ayano is currently practising the piano、 Miyu's started with the guitar。 I think it would be nice if each of us learned to play an instrument。

Yamabe  The guitar is tough……。 Currently、 the skin of my fingers have hardened。 I think that there's still some ways ahead to go for me to pull off a proper musical performance、 but learning an instrument might deepen my understanding of music、 so I'd like to continue working hard at it。

Konishi  There are times when I've noticed the good points of songs at times when I just try playing them out on the piano。 I'm currently practising 「Stay with me」 as well…… But it's really nice (laughs)。 It's really fun to play。
Stay with me / TOKYO GIRLS' STYLEReflection / TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE

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