Suzuki Airi X Okai Chisato
With their distinctive singing prowess, Suzuki and Okai lead ℃-ute in singing.
They each talk about what they keep in mind and how they motivate one another when it comes to singing.
I believe that ℃-ute currently are led by Airi-chan and Chisato-chan in the singing aspect. We would like to ask for a discussion about singing from the 2 of you.
Okai: I think I gained my love of singing thanks to Airi.
Suzuki: Wha, What!? That's a big surprise!!
Okai: No, I'm serious (laughs). In the past, I just wanted to talk rather than work on my singing (laughs). Even in ℃-ute, I didn't have much singing parts at first, but I never thought of that as something to be frustrated over. But watching Airi sing in various groups, I thought that I'd like to work hard at singing, just like Airi.
Suzuki: But I get really motivated by Chisato. Something that made an impact on me was when we were at the studio, and they played the completed version of 'JUMP', the coupling track to 'Sakura Chirari'. It was the first time for us to find out how our lines would be distributed. That was also the first time that I heard Chisato's vibrato, and I was stunned. While I got to sing as the main for 'Sakura Chirari', I felt like I couldn't do that, I couldn't pull off a vibrato like Chisato, so I felt that I should become able to do that. Even now, Chisato is the member whose singing I pay attention to.
Okai: Now it's my turn to go, wha, what~ (laughs)?
Suzuki: But recently we've been singing increasing more together, like in 'Kimi ha Jitensha Watashi ha Densha de Kitaku'. Even when the 2 of us did the event '℃ Fes 2011 Aki ~ ℃ nacchau no yo Yume ☆ Collabo~', we naturally ended up with singing-focused things as we thought about what to do for the event.
Even with singing, I feel that the 2 of you have completely different characteristics, but what impression do you have about one another's singing?
Okai: Airi's really stable. I respect her. My singing is on the sloppy side (laughs), and my singing will change depending on how I feel at the time. So I've always wanted to have stability. When we did the 'Yume ☆ Collabo' together, I felt that singing with Airi made my weak points stand out excessively. Also, I'm good at singing songs for men, so perhaps because I used to just sing those sorts of songs, the way I sing isn't like an idol. It comes out weakly, and it doesn't come out nicely. I always think that Airi's good at that when I listen to her sing.
I think I gained my love of singing thanks to Airi by Chisato
Suzuki: Chisato has everything that I don't have, or rather, there are often times when I think that she's really my opposite. Our vocal quality that we were born with differs as well, and I think it's nice how her voice doesn't get buried even if we're singing en masse. I admire her coquettish voice. Her singing range is really wide, and she's good at singing rock-ish songs! Your throat is strong, isn't it? I don't remember you not singing because your throat wasn't in good condition.
Okai: Ah, I do have a strong throat (laughs). My family all have strong throats, and our voices are loud. The only thing that can beat it is pollen (laughs).
Suzuki: It gets crazy for Chisato when it's pollen season. You swell up, and everything from your face changes (laughs).
Looking back on the songs
that they each performed at the auditions
What is the song brings to mind Chisato-chan's singing to Airi-chan, and what song brings to mind Airi-chan's singing to Chisato-chan?
Suzuki: Chisato shines when she singing songs that aren't idol-ish. At karaoke, she's really good when she sings songs by Boowy-san or Tohoshinki-san. As for a ℃-ute song, for me it's got to be 'JUMP', as it impacted me in a strong way.
Okai: Something recent that made me think that you were amazing was 'Bishoujo Shinri'. Airi had to sing this song by herself at a concert ('℃-ute concert tour 2012 Spring-Summer ~Utsukushikutte Gomen ne~'), and at first, she just sung it as per how we had been interpreting it. Then, Tsunku♂-san came to watch us, and there was a difference between ℃-ute's image of the song and the image that Tsunku♂-san had about the song. We thought that it was about a girl who was suffering in love, but according to Tsunku♂-san, the girl has a condescending view, with the guy being a pain in the neck. When I heard that, I wondered how we'd change it, but the next time I listened to it, Airi's style of singing that song had changed completely. The way your voiced it out, your facial expressions, they'd changed. If it was me, I wouldn't have been able to get so far. Among the members of ℃-ute, Airi's singing is the one I naturally listen to the most. I always unconsciously pay attention to it.
Suzuki: Yeah, I saw it (laughs). When I sang 'Bishoujo Shinri' in the morning rehearsal, Chisato was seated at the audience seats, in the direct middle, at the very front. Noticing that you were listening, it made me nervous (laughs). But I pay attention to how Chisato sings as well. Without a member of the group that I'm aware about, my development would have been quite different as well, and as we're mutually aware of one another, your presence is welcome.
A relationship where you mutually boost one another. On that note, what did you sing at the 'Hello! Pro Kids Audition'?
Okai: I sang 'Country Road'. Among the current BeriKyuu members, it's possible that the ones who didn't sing Hello! Project songs are just us here (laughs).
Suzuki: I sang BoA-san's 'Kimochi ha Tsutawaru'. Chisato, you sang with both hands holding the mike, didn't you? Last year, Chisato sang 'Country Road' at her solo live ('Okai Chisato (℃-ute) Solo Live 2011 Vol 2 ~Hanzomon de Odottemita!!~'), but the mood was completely different compared to back then.
Okai: That was difficult~ (laughs). I wondered how to sing it. At the auditions, I often picked that song.
When the 2 of you sang at the auditions, do you remember what you were thinking about"
Suzuki: At the time, I was an impertinent kid (laughs). Every day, I would practice until I was satisfied with my performance, so I was brimming over with confidence at the auditions. But if you were to ask me if there was something that I couldn't do, I actually preferred singing to dancing, yet I made an incomprehensible statement that I probably wouldn't lose if it came to dancing (laughs).
Okai: I only wanted to do impersonations. I remember my Mama going 'Rather than singing, please go and do an impersonation and come back'. I remember doing 'I'm Sanpei~'. Just a run of the mill fool (laughs).
Suzuki: That was super adorable!
Chisato possesses the things that I don't have by Airi
And now the 2 of you lead ℃-ute in singing. How do you think it'll be like 10 years in the future?
Suzuki: I feel like Chisato will become a mother. Seeing her cradle her little sister, I can imagine it. There's a sense of security.
Okai: I feel like Airi will be a drifter (laughs).
Suzuki: What!? Now that opinion's a first (laughs).
Okai: There's just too much things that you want to do, so I feel that you'd drift, wanting to do this and wanting to do that (laughs).
Suzuki: Ah, but I feel that what Chisato's saying hits the mark best (laughs). What a surprise!
The members of ℃-ute were stunned
At a fan's words to Okai
The 2 of you apparently make up the member that seems the most likely to get married first in ℃-ute, as well as the least likely (laughs).
Suzuki: When we did a talk event at a Hawaii fan club tour (Cutie Kankousha Fan Club Tour in Hawaii 2'), the person who got the most cheers for the question 'Person you'd like most as a bride' was Chisato. In contrast, there were hardly any for me!
Okai: That made me happy. For the question 'Person I don't want as my girlfriend', one of my fans put in a vote for me. When I asked why, they said 'I don't want Chisato as my girlfriend, but as my bride', it was so direct! (laughs). That was crazy.
Suzuki: That did happen! All the members went red, and floundered about (laughs).
Okai: For all of us, it felt like we completely weren't really prepared for that (laughs).
Suzuki: It was hanging in the air for about 3 seconds, then we all shrieked (laughs). For me, I've got to become able to cook. Chisato's said that she'd cook for me as my birthday present, so I look forward to that.
Okai: I still haven't give Maimi-chan and Mai-chan and Airi a birthday present~ The 4 of you have said that having a party at my place would be fine, but our breaks haven't matched up. That's why I took Nacky to a barbecue (laughs). But yeah, make sure that you can cook adequately!
Suzuki: That's what I'd like to say (laughs). That's fine, Chisato, you'll be a mother!
Okai: And while I keep aware of your singing, don't stop (laughs)!