Feature | MusiCube Interview with J-Pop Star, Yun*chi

By Adam Riley 26.12.2013

Readers may not have heard about Yun*chi yet - the Japanese singer signed to Asobisystem and most recently acclaimed for providing a track called Your Song* for the credits to anime show Log Horizon. Whilst partner show K-Pop Korner has featured many of her songs over the last six months, Cubed3 actually kicked things off after getting the chance earlier this year at Hyper Japan to interview the rising star. After featuring a snippet of information from the interview on K-Pop Korner, followed by the full audio session on Glass to the Wall, finally the chat has been completely transcribed for reading leisure. Read on and enjoy…

Glass to the Wall - From the Industry's Mouth to Your Ears! Ep.16: Pikmin 3, Hyper Japan & Yun*chi by Cubed3 on Mixcloud
Question from another media outlet: How did you enjoy your performance today? Did you have a certain highlight?

Yun*chi: The things I really liked and really enjoyed about today - well, first of all, it was the first time I've worn this outfit I've got on today. Obviously it's designed to show off a traditional cultural kimono style and it was very good to be able to show this one. And then also, the song today that I shared - there's a song from an anime programme, and it was very good to be able to represent Japanese culture abroad and show the kind of anime culture. And then, finally, one of the other songs I did was one that we created using words given by girls from all around the world - a very international type of thing - so it was really great to use those in a song.

Cubed3's Adam Riley: Okay, so, following on from that, one of the songs was from an anime show, but how about video games? Have you ever considered doing a song for a soundtrack?

Yun*chi: Obviously I do a lot of anime songs in my repertoire. In my leisure I love playing videogames as well, myself, so if someone came with an idea like that I'd love to do that, yeah.

Cubed3: As a follow-up, is there any particular gaming franchise you would like?

Yun*chi: I really like the old Japanese games - like Nintendo's really old games - but if I was to say something more modern, I'd have to say Monster Hunter…and Animal Crossing!

Image for Feature | MusiCube Interview with J-Pop Star, Yun*chi

Other Media Outlet: In terms of your fashion, why do you think it appeals to girls in the UK?

Yun*chi: Since I came to Britain this time, I've had an opportunity to talk to some British girls and what they said to me I was really happy about. And they basically said they really like when you've got all the traditional things - that have been passed down over many years - and mix that with something new; more modern, contemporary style stuff, and I think that's similar to what I'm wearing today.

The design's based on the traditional kimono, obviously. But it's got a very Western, sort of more modern, or maybe actually retro design to it. Also mixing that with the acrylic earrings, accessories and stuff…so I think it's that mixing and collaboration and coming together of quite disparate styles. They say they really like that and I found that really amazing - that was really great. I think that's why they appreciate the style.

Other Media Outlet: Do you have a favourite Japanese fashion sub-culture style?

Yun*chi: I really like the trend there is for mixing a sort of very geek fashion type of thing. So you've got the very stylish stuff mixed with nerd/geek culture, imagery, and that kind of stuff there. There are a lot of people out there today [ at Hyper Japan ] wearing that - I love to see that.

Other Media Outlet: How does your fashion represent you and the music you're creating? How does it tie in?

Yun*chi: As you can probably see, I often get mistaken for a child sometimes - the way I dress and the way I look - so what I've been trying to do with my look is to have a mixture of cute stuff, also with a bit more of an adult, sexy thing. I don't know if you've heard of the anime in Japan - a very long running series - called Sazae-san - it's a very, very  long running series - but there's a young girl character in that called Wakame-chan. Basically, what I'm trying to do…what the image I always have in my head is that of if the character had become a little more sexy, a little bit more adult, and there's all sorts of little touches there, with the bob cut haircut I have - that's very much thinking of that idea. That sort of the image I try and portray for myself.

Image for Feature | MusiCube Interview with J-Pop Star, Yun*chi

Other Media Outlet: Can I just ask about the choice of the theme tune for Kare Kano as the opening theme - what led to that - as the opening to today's show?

Yun*chi: The basic reason I chose to do that as the first song was, first of all, because of all the songs in my repertoire it's probably the one that represents Japanese culture the best - with the most cultural input in there - and also very much because all the people that came to see me today, I think that's probably the one that most of them would know best. Those are basically the two reasons I chose to make that the first song.

Cubed3: Are you actively trying to push your music within the European market, or specifically in the UK? Do you have any plans to release songs over here?

Yun*chi: Yeah, I'd really like to be able to get them out here, but we haven't any plans at the moment.

Cubed3: Okay, how about maybe collaborating with other artists?

Yun*chi: Yeah, I'd really like to do that, that would be great!

Cubed3: I suppose the follow-up to that is: Anyone in mind? *laughs*

Yun*chi: There are so, so, so, SO many to choose from! *laughs*

Cubed3: *laughs*

Yun*chi: There are too many to just name one *laughs*

Other Media Outlet: Can you tell us more about the track you did in collaboration with the 27 girls from all around the world?

Yun*chi: What kind of thing would you like to know about it?


Other Media Outlet: Where did the idea come from? What was it that made you want to do it? How did you go about approaching it?

Yun*chi: It all started when basically one of my songs was put up on YouTube and it was picked up on by a group called the Irokokoro Project - it's a group of girls across the world - and they basically I saw them singing my song to my music and looked into that. And then we came together and discussed about how we'd like to make a song together. So, from that, how we created the lyrics - we basically asked people to submit their favourite Japanese words, and we used those to create the lyrics for the song itself. We really got a huge number of people sending in their favourite words, and we picked out a selection of the most popular from those and then turned them into the lyrics. And then, to say thank you to the Irokokoro Project girls, we had them sing the chorus in-between my lines. That's basically how it came together.

Other Media Outlet: How do the UK fans differ from you?

Yun*chi: It's quite hard to say - I don't really see that many differences. If I were to say one thing, my fans in Britain are maybe a bit more shy and embarrassed. Maybe that's the personality of some of them.

Other Media Outlet: Do you have any advice for girls who are very new to this sort of fashion or culture? Those that think it's interesting and want to get into it but don't really know how and are intimidated because it can be quite 'out there.' Do you have any advice for girls wanting to get into it and how best to do it?

Yun*chi: Obviously I don't think I'm there to give great advice to everyone as I'm not that high a person! A lot of Japanese people really, really like England and English people and want to learn more about England, so just get to talk to them and get to know them - that's the perfect way - don't be so shy about it. Japanese people really want to learn about you as well!

Cubed3: Is this your first time in the UK, and if so, what are your thoughts, and are you going to come back again?

Yun*chi: Yes, this is my first time in the UK and, yeah, I really would like to come back. Yesterday I had a bit of a chance to do some tourism - go around and see the sights, see Big Ben and stuff. And I was just really excited about everything. It was great! I think I had too much fun…I ended up buying one of those caps with London written across the top of it!

Cubed3: You need to visit Manchester as well!

Image for Feature | MusiCube Interview with J-Pop Star, Yun*chi

Other Media Outlet: An event like HyperJapan is a brilliant platform to introduce you and your music to the British scene. What are the three things do you hope that a British audience that have seen you perform this week would take away from this in terms of knowing more about you and your music?

Yun*chi: Three? You want three? *laughs* I really want everyone to sing together! If I come again, I definitely want everyone to be able to sing along. I think that's all I can think of, really… *laughs*

Cubed3: On the radio station that I work on, I also do a K-Pop show, and I've noticed that a lot of K-Pop is kind of creeping into the Japanese charts, and they even do their own Japanese songs. I was just wondering what your thoughts are on K-Pop artists.

Yun*chi: I think that's really great! It's really good that they'll sing in Japanese, it makes me feel very happy and proud that they want to do that. But I also think that when they sing in their native Korean that sounds really great and really cool and excellent to me. Personally, when I go to karaoke I sing Korean songs as well.

Cubed3: Would you ever consider doing a Korean song yourself?

Yun*chi: *growls*

Cubed3: I think that's a no!! *laughs*

Yun*chi: I think Japanese is probably best… *laughs*

Image for Feature | MusiCube Interview with J-Pop Star, Yun*chi

Other Media Outlet: We know that your mum played a big part in your music as you were growing up, because she sang to you a lot when you were a child, but what else influences you to do what you do?

Yun*chi: I've always liked music since I was really young, so it's quite hard to pick out an individual bit. But I remember very clearly from the first time I did recording, listening back to my own voice on my headphones and hearing all the subtle things, like the way you breathe and stuff like that, thinking about how some really small changes will change how everything is expressed, so I really, really felt great about that. There was a great appeal to that and how I could express things - so I remember that very clearly as a moment of inspiration.

Cubed3: What sorts of things do you like doing in your spare time?

Yun*chi: Playing videogames, drawing - I love drawing - watching films, cooking, going for walks…and watching Manga!

Cubed3: Thank you very much.

Box art for Monster Hunter 4








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