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TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE Introduction


VKEIOS: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Would each of you please introduce yourselves along with one fun fact about yourselves?

Ayano Konishi: Born in Osaka/16 years old. I would describe myself as laid-back and easy going.I like taking a walk for myself, shopping and having a tea in café. Becausehometown, Osaka is famous for having great comedians, I grow up to love comedian shows and am actually good at mimicking thefamous Japanese comedians.

Miyu Yamabe: Born in Chiba/18yeas old (the oldest in this group). I am very cheerful and entertaining. For example, I often dance “Gangnam Style” on the road to make everyone laugh.

Hitomi Arai: Born in Miyagi/16years old. Many people have told me that I am so different in real life compared with the time I am on stage. I go withmy own pace and can be sometimes clumsy. For example, I wore friend’s loafers and went back home by mistake, also there was another incident where I cried when being lost.

Yuri Nakae: Born in Osaka/16yeas old. Many people say that I am friendly and energetic. I like observing others, and often imitate their characteristics.

Mei Shoji: Born in Yamagata/16years old/leader of this group. I tend to go with a flow and barely say no to others.In our 2nd concert in Budokan, one staff asked me to perform with stars on my head and Iended up wearing a showy hairband with 3 stars on it.

VKEIOS: Forming in 2010, it was in 2012 you became the youngest female group to perform at Budokan – in your fast rise in popularity and many successes, what are some of the things that you’ve learned about yourselves as artists?

Miyu Yamabe: Every time, we learn a lot on the stages. Especially at Budokan, we have learned that being aware of the visitors’needs and their responses play the key role to maintain the performance level and the sense of unity when performing in the big venue. It was such a great lesson for us. We imaged about visitors’ actions at rehearsal, and discussed so many times to create better experience for them.Our concept is “let’s pass on the enjoyment of music by dancing and singing!” so we will continue to work on our craft to give out the happiness to the fans at concerts.

VKEIOS: What are some of the hopes that each of you have for the future of TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE?

Hitomi Arai: Since our debut, our long-term dream has been tobecome an internationally beloved girl band group. We are working towards to be a sensational group that inspires Asia and the global audiences by sharing how awesome Japanese pop music and dance can be.


Killing Me Softly


VKEIOS: On June 4th you released your 4th album “Killing Me Softly” – could you tell us the overall theme and concept behind the album?

Mei Shoji: “Killing me softly” is the main song of this album. This song actually was made before our debut, and has been saved for about 4 years because of its difficulty. We have had songs with lyrics that are a little more mature than we actually are, but in this album, many songs have lyrics thatkind of reflect our age.It meansthat finally we got the Tokyo Girls’ Style we have been trying to be since our debut. Our growth can be seen in this album when it delivers the songs we put extra feelings in.

VKEIOS: Would each of you please recommend a song from the album that really speaks to you? (And please share with us why the song speaks to you.)

Ayano Konishi: I like “Partition Love”. I think this song can make your heart beat because it reflects the good times of a high schooler’s youth. Especially Ilove thefirst verse singing where it is sang in whisper.

Miyu Yamabe: I like “I will never forget”! This song empowering with the message; let’s do our best again and face forward even if painful things happen. I listen to this song when I want to do my best. I would like many people to listen to this song because I sing it with extraeffort.

Hitomi Arai: We have had songs which are a little more mature than we actually are, but many songs in this album reflect our actual age. In addition to our usual stylish sounds, we were able to incorporate our feelings more into this album. In particular, I really like the cute high school student like lyrics of the song “love Etude”

Yuri Nakae:The song “ZuttoWasurenai”s lyrics is very sympathizing and I have strong feelings for it. This song is made in response to “KittoWasurenai” from the first album. I really love “KittoWasurenai” as well so I would love all of you to take this opportunity to listen both songs.

Mei Shoji:“Killing me softly” is actually the first song we started to work on since we got together as Tokyo Girls’ Style, and we have been saving this song for about four years now. This is a very memorable song for all of us so we hope that many people will love this song as much as we do.

VKEIOS: Type A and B of “Killing Me Softly” include a second disk containing a number of music videos. Among these videos, which has some of your favorite choreography?

Mei Shoji: I like choreography when we sing“Stop the time”in chorus.The lyrics matches choreography well.


JPOP SUMMIT Festival 2014


VKEIOS: Next month you will be performing at JPOP SUMMIT Festival 2014, how does it feel to make your U.S. debut at this event?

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE: We are super glad to be in the United States because we have been dreaming of this for a long time! We want to convey our charm as Tokyo Girls’ Style to many people, making the best of this opportunity.

VKEIOS: What kind of impression do you expect or hope to leave on your San Francisco audience during your U.S. debut?

Hitomi Arai: We want to convey the enjoyment of music through our performance. Also, we want to tell the originality of Japanese and uniqueness of Tokyo Girls’ Style music. We would like to give the performances that everyone will look forward to the next stage.

VKEIOS: Two films that TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE has starred in will be screened as part of the JFFSF; “Count Five to Dream of You” and the horror film “Gakkou No Kaidan – Noroi no Kotonoha” – can you tell us a bit more about the film and your experiences in the production of it?

Ayano Konishi: It was our first time to play leading roles in the movie. We had hard time making “COUNT FIVE TO DREAM OF YOU”because of the amount of lines to remember, moreover,a lot of lines were added on top of that on the day of shooting and we struggle with that a lot.

Thanks to the director who directly taught us how to act. Through his help, we could complete the scenes at last.

“Gakkou No Kaidan – Noroi no Kotonoha” is a horror movie, so it was hard to get varieties of reactions for fear. There were many co-stars with great experiences, and we learnt a lot from theiradvices. Both of the movies show the different qualities of each members, so you can see the members with different charms from the stage.


Closing


VKEIOS: Thank you again for your time, could you please leave a closing statement for the fans and readers at Visual KEIOS?

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE: Thank you for your continuing support. Our goal is to be a beloved group which performs in Asia-wide and all over the world. We will keep working on our crafts with this five of us together.

We will keep challenging what it takes to get“Advancement overseas” and do our best to have as much opportunities as possible to perform abroad. Thank you, and see you soon!


TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE Official Home Page


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This interview written by Alicia R. Thomas (arthomas), and edited by CMT. Many thanks to TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE , their management,  J-POP SUMMIT Festival and Medialab PR for making this interview possible!
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