I first met Kyary at the 2010 HaraCol (Harajuku Collection). It was at a time when I was thinking up a new event and was looking for a teen DJ, and the one I was introduced to by people who said, “Even though this girl is a high school student, she loves capsule” was Kyary.
I’d heard rumors about her and sort of knew her. But as the one person I’d met out of all the reader’s choice models out there, to be honest my first impression of her didn’t have that much of an impact on me. She had that “Harajuku-ish” image about her, but I think the fun of the true Kyary was difficult for her to really convey upon our first meeting. She just felt like a talkative, funny girl to me. When I met Kyary, I just happened to have quit being blonde and had black hair. She then scared me by saying, “What’s up with your head?” and “Nakata-san, is it real?” (laughs)
I don’t mean to give the impression that deciding to produce that Kyary’s music was something sudden like “Let’s make music together!”; it got that way slowly and amusingly, and before I knew it I felt like we had decided to [work] together. I’m always searching for new potential, and when it came to Kyary I started to think about how we’d be able to do fun things together. Likewise, Kyary had also gathered people around herself who wanted to help, including me. In my case, my job would be to produce Kyary’s music, but I also feel like each of us who were involved enjoyed Kyary.
Kyary’s charm is her power to draw you in
I think it’s because everyone who gathers around Kyary feels like, “If I were with Kyary, I’d be able to express things that are new to me.” That is, of course, how I feel too. So it’s different from a collaboration, and - to tell the truth - even saying that I produce her has a different meaning. The closest I can get is saying, “I’m doing it just for the fun of it.” I feel like Kyary has this power in her to involve people that way.
Anyway, I think she’s a girl who’s incredibly confident in her own style, so I have no hesitation in doing so. I’ve never doubted myself, thinking things like “I wonder how this will turn out?” It’s like, “I love it!”. (laughs) I think it feels nice to do things together and take it so lightly.
It feels like she’s been watching the various things I’ve done with [other artists] and experiencing it since before we made music, too, so she has good intuition. Even when we’re working on music, she has a great capacity for grasping what she wants. In music there are things that are difficult to put into words so there’s a lot of back and forth using vague, ambiguous terms, but she can easily convey [those things]. And she delivers these lines amazingly well, so she can even sing incantation-like lyrics smoothly. (laughs) Above all, this is the charm in her songs. When you listen to Kyary’s songs, you steadily feel like you want to make songs like that, with lyrics that sound like spells. (laughs) I feel like she’s a girl with a voice that can do all sorts of new things.
Kyary as a vocalist
Thinking hard about recording in the studio together, Kyary truly is ‘free’. (laughs) Since I want to concentrate on my own work when I’m in the studio I pretty much ignore Kyary, but it surprised me when I casually noticed she was dead to the world on my sofa once. And that was the first time we were in the recording studio. (laughs) But it’s not like she’s always sleeping: there are times when she stares at the monitor screen next to me as if she’s deeply interested, and times when she strolls around inside the studio. She really is a free spirit, isn’t she? (laughs)
When making music, most people use the method of finishing in the sound room first and recording the song in the end, so the way the vocalist sings has to match the finished version which is still in the process of being finished up. But I, on the other hand, have them sing for me at a stage when the backing track hasn’t been finished that much, and make the song to match their singing voices. This time, Kyary sang the song for me at a stage where only the piano and the drum sounds had been put in, then I built the instrumental from there. Particularly on her mini-album “Moshimoshi Harajuku”, there are a lot of parts where the track was lead by Kyary’s voice. If it weren’t for her voice, I might not have added those sounds, and conversely, I might have given up the sounds I was about to put in. If it weren’t for her singing voice, I don’t think it would have ended up sounding the way it does. Since Kyary’s voice is so distinctive I thought it would be fundamentally better not to put in a lot of sounds into the instrumental, so rather than music with sounds going on all over, I think it’d be nice if it could convey things like the lyrics or the fun resonating in her voice.
Even though “Moshimoshi Harajuku” is her debut album, it’s not as if I particularly think she’s making her debut with this work. Music is merely one part of Kyary’s output. Of course, I think that even if she continues with music, she’ll express herself in various other ways. I’m participating in her activities through music, but she’s fun because you can see parts other than her music. For example, the staff in charge of her videos are truly extravagant, so I really look forward to completing her promotional videos. In addition to her videos, there are some other really talented people who’ve gathered around Kyary and express themselves alongside her. That also, I think, is becoming Kyary’s charm.
The “spirit bomb” of Harajuku culture
Overall, I’ve loved things born in Harajuku from the very start. I myself often commuted there when I was 20 years old. In those days, my room was bright red. (laughs)
I don’t think you can express Harajuku-ness just with some specific sound. Harajuku isn’t something you can look at objectively - I feel that Harajuku is the interesting things that are born from within it, and I think that Kyary is something like the “spirit bomb” of that Harajuku culture. (laughs) It’s like she’s a girl who was naturally extracted from that town.
In our current world, I think there are a lot of people who do business thinking about whether they’ll be a hit among the kids who commute to Harajuku or if they’ll set fads, but people like that don’t eat meals in Fudanjuku, or go shopping. Kyary is the complete opposite of that kind of people. She really is someone whose existence seems like it was born out of Harajuku. I think Kyary exists to give Harajuku appeal; I feel as if Kyary, as she is, embodies the charm of the town of Harajuku.
Kyary is a girl who seems like a big lump of positivity. It’s not hard to say “it’s nice” to someone, or saying “good” to get the ball rolling, but Kyary is able to say “This is good” or “This is so cool” more than anybody. I think the whole town of Harajuku is a place where people who have their own individual likes gather. The power to be able to say you can like things about someone without even seeing their faces drives Harajuku.
Although I think that Japanese people are fundamentally conservative, Harajuku might be the symbol of the part that isn’t, so I feel that it’s becoming a town that dispatches a culture which is even noticed from abroad.
Things I’d like to tell Kyary
I don’t think it’s hard to choose things that everyone else says is good. Being the first to say something is nice even though everyone else doesn’t think it is and admitting that to everyone, I think, is much harder and more creative. Along with music, I feel like that’s one of of the most enjoyable things you can do. To be honest, I don’t think there is “pop” genre in music: I think that it becomes “pop” after someone makes it popular. I feel that Kyary has the power to produce those kinds of new things, and it’s because of that that I want to make music with her.
If I were to give Kyary some advice, well… first off, I’d like to tell her to eat her vegetables. (laughs) She detests vegetables. Recently she said, “I’m gonna do my best to eat vegetables” and was eating salad, but when she’s eating it her face looks like a little elementary student’s. (laughs) “Oh, there was a guy who made faces like that during school lunch,” I thought, and it made me feel nostalgic. (laughs)
Kyary, I’d love it if you could try your hardest doing things at your own pace for me. Going at your own pace isn’t really about doing your best. Actually, that’s the worst thing. After all, if you’d like to make it so that you’ll be noticed by a lot of people, it’s going to become difficult to do things your way. As [someone] in a similar position to express things, I want for her to do only the things she likes. I feel as if that is Kyary’s number one charm.
* “Spirit bomb” refers to an attack in the classic anime “Dragon Ball”, which channels the energy of surrounding life forms into a powerful sphere.
source, translated by kyarychan