Translator: Erin Grace
Her newest album, in which she makes her resolution to keep singing!
“I can freely say that the place I’m at now is an endless heaven!” That’s Miliyah Kato’s 5th album, “HEAVEN.” This is a serious album, in which she asks herself, “Why do I sing?” and makes her resolution to keep singing.
I'm always facing music passionately
--[With this album] you’ve been able to free yourself, haven’t you?
Miliyah: Precisely. I feel like I’ve been able to truly express myself.
--As your music has moved away from a particular genre, have your values been changing?
M: As I am right now, I have the sensation of wanting to see myself as the “coolest.” I can’t explain it well in words, but when I take a long view of my life as an artist, I think that I need to spend time pursuing cooler music and a cooler “me,” right? To that end, I’m closely pursuing a finer sound, and moving away from a genre. That is to say, I have the confidence that no matter what kind of sound I create, Miliyah Kato is Miliyah Kato. I’m always facing music passionately.
--There seemed to be quite a number of sad songs on your last album, “Ring.” Your work seems to have transformed quite a bit, including the lyrics.
M: Yeah. This time I feel the work is strong.
--You mean emotionally stronger?
M: That’s what I think. When I put together “Ring,” I wrote songs that completely displayed my weakness. The resulting album was something all kinds of people listened to, but inside I had become stronger. I gained more confidence in my emotions. When that happened, all kinds of music began to float into my mind little by little. Because of that, even my words became stronger. I became accepting of the sad things, and I felt that even this was connected to strength.
--Outside of your singles, you’ve also produced quite a lot of music.
M: I have. There are a lot of things on this album that I’ve only just tried for the first time, but the more genres I try, the more unshakeable my confidence. Because of this, even when I try something new I have no hesitation. When you produce there are many different characters of music, so “the kind of music” I want to try becomes much more clear.
--You mentioned a “strong feeling;” I wonder if “Don’t wanna let go” paints a picture of the real, everyday Miliyah Kato, who’s trying her best.
M: It is – that’s me. I wrote out my feelings. My motivations, and the desires that constantly cause me to advance. The emotions surrounding the things I want to do and the person I want to become allow me to grow, and that “you have to grow for the sake of the endlessly fascinating mankind,” as my mother would say. I wrote about the time when I lost my way and suddenly began to consider what made me happy, and what of all the things that I possessed were the most important.
This album asks the question “Why do I sing?”
--And the title song, “HEAVEN,” is about how you would ideally live your life?
M: Yes. It’s the place where I want to always have my heart. I wondered if there weren’t people who associate “Heaven” with death, and when I thought this I began to think “What if tomorrow never comes?” and “If this was my last day on Earth?” and I wrote those thoughts out. And I thought that I needed to live each day seriously, in the moment. Doing this, I’ve become kinder to those around me, and have more courage, and if everyone could go about their lives with this kind of awareness, “heaven” would spread on earth. That’s what I wanted to convey with this song.
--“If today were your last day,” as it says in the lyrics, what would you want to do?
M: …A live, I think. The stage is the number one place I should be. Essentially, there’s no place where I can really stand before the people I want to send my message to, so I think I’d want to be stand on stage in front of my fans.
--Another thing I noticed was that the album ends on a sad note. “Silent Ocean” is a love ballad, so why did you continue beyond it with the sad song “Owarinaki Kanashimi?”
M: After I listened to the album, I made “Silent Ocean” the second song from the end because I wanted the album to stick with my listeners.
--So then, why did you decide to tie it up with “Owarinaki Kanshimi?”
M: I didn’t want the very last song to be a love song. When I thought about what message I wanted to close the album with, I chose this song because it’s the one that I wrote about why I sing. When I think back to the very beginning, I recall that I seem to write more sad songs than any other kind.
--Which is what you were trying to say.
M: Even now, before I write a song, or even a poem, I’ve always written a “sad” feeling from the very start. And so that’s the number one reason I write lyrics. Although sadness is a negative emotion, I can accept it when I make it into lyrics. Accepting it lets me move on, and I can change the sadness into strength, which is what I write about. At the end of this song I sing “Won’t you come with me?” and that’s how I conclude the 16-song album, by saying, “I’m still singing. Won’t you come with me?”
--So that’s the meaning. Taking a glance at the line “Owarinaki kanashimi ha / Watashi no ai subeki unmei no koibito” (Unending sorrow is / The person I am fated to love), it seems almost too sad.
M: It’s true. I think my words are sometimes weak, sometimes strong.
--So it seems that you’re resolved to go on living with the one you’re fated to love.
M: It’s like I feel it all over again. So I write out the words, and keep on singing.
(Interviewer: Misawa Chiaki)