Translated by: Erin Grace
“From a girl to a woman with something to protect.”
Q: The new album, “LOVE LIFE 2,” seems to be a sequel to the popular album “LOVE LIFE.” Why did you choose this title?
hitomi (from here “h”): I released the album “LOVE LIFE” in 2000, and at that time I was single, going through life as the woman “hitomi,” but coming across as more of a girl than a woman. Now that the title is “LOVE LIFE 2,” I feel as if I've transformed from a girl to a woman with something to protect.
Q: The theme of the album is of course “love,” wouldn't you say?
h: Oh, of course. Though it sounds a bit vague when you say “love,” there was a strong feeling in “LOVE LIFE” that was somewhat individual, like “for my own happiness.” But this time the work was more “thinking of someone,” “feeling for someone,” showing that love’s form has changed over time.
Q: The first single, “WORLD! WIDE! LOVE!”was released on May 20th. Could you tell us a little about the song?
h: When I'm asked about “WORLD! WIDE! LOVE!” the image of a big love comes to mind. But I think “world peace” is too vague and unrealistic. I mean, we hear on the news “The earth is experiencing global warming, and the ice at the North Pole is melting,” but we don’t really feel it. Even if we think “The summers are getting warmer, huh?” it’s still vague.
Q: It certainly is.
h: Well, when thinking of what “WORLD! WIDE! LOVE!” meant for me, I wondered “Aren’t things that seem big, but are actually small, important?” For example, when I learned that I would have a baby, I wanted to protect it, and draw closer to those closest to me. Rather than flowing through our speeding society, I have to do what I can for myself, and that’s “WORLD! WIDE! LOVE!” isn’t it? Those are the thoughts that I put into the lyrics.
Q: So I take it you wrote this song while you were pregnant?
h: I did. When the baby is born into this world, what kind of world do I want it to be? What am I hoping for? Those are the points that I wanted to focus on when I wrote the lyrics.
“I’m in the process of breaking down the thoughts that I’ve been nurturing for a long time.”
Q: The first song on the album, “Sagashi Tsuzuketeta Mono” is an emotional ballad. What were your impressions upon first hearing the song?
h: While I was listening to the songs competing to be on the album, I thought, “This isn’t enough.” Then I thought, “I want a ballad,” so I spoke with the director and he was kind enough to listen to this warm song, “Sagashi Tsuzuketeta Mono.” It’s a really good song, and I personally immediately loved it. I was afraid that I’d want to re-write the lyrics, but the lyrics were good, too, so I was able to use them as they were.
Q: I think you’re singing about the love between a man and a woman, but because you sing it, it seems that you could also be singing about your love toward your child.
h: Yeah. Compared to ten years ago, there have been some really big changes, and there have even been changes in men’s and women’s relationships. I mean, when there weren’t any cell phones, if you even just called a boy, maybe ran to the pay phone at night to talk to him, you’d make the call with this nervous feeling, like “I hope his parents are out...” It wasn’t like now when you just convey your feelings right away, do whatever right away. There was something good about conveying your feelings to someone who had a barrier.
Q: Looking back, that was pretty great. (Laugh)
h: Anymore, you can see his answer instantly, and you can answer back instantly, so even in terms of men’s and women’s relationships, I’m in the process of breaking down the thoughts that I’ve been nurturing for a long time. For this reason, I think a child is a symbol of the person that you think is really important to you. I want to get across the feeling of wanting to make someone important. These days, I think what really rings true are people who turn their love into a child. Speaking for myself, of course I love my husband, but I think I’ll probably love my child even more. (Laugh)
“What I need is a black marker...”
Q: Was the CD jacket your own idea?
h: Yes, it was. The PV director was a woman this time, and she wanted a really “visual” aspect to it all, as I did, so when I had ideas we pushed to make them reality.
Q: You asked for the “LOVE LIFE” jacket at that time, and I can really feel your determination in it.
h:Well, I’m a human being, and I want what I want. With “LOVE LIFE” I really felt that I was able to do what I wanted, and with “LOVE LIFE 2” as well, I feel that I was able to make what I wanted a reality.
Q: We listen to the lyrics, but what’s the most important thing about writing them?
h: In my case I look for and write my personal truth, so the most important thing is “Don’t lie.” I don’t write fiction, so I want to realistically convey my experiences and feelings. So I take my feelings and think about them, get a piece of white paper ready, then I normally turn what I’m thinking about into words and write them down. From there I broaden them little by little.
Q: Is there anything you don’t do when you write lyrics?
h: For me, I always start with a handwritten draft, but I don’t use a pencil. For whatever reason, I use a black marker. (Laugh) I use a marker and fax paper for writing and revising.
Q: Is there a reason you use a marker?
h: It’s easy to write with, and the words are easy to see. You can’t erase anything, so it reflects my first initial intuition. If you can just erase it, it’s easy to write something that ignores your intuition. For that reason, a black marker is the best. (Laugh)
Q: So you don’t use a computer?
h: I use a computer at the very end to make a clean copy. Just like pencil, you tend to erase what you write. Erasing your first inspiration hides your true heart, so I write it by hand first.
Q: Finally, do you have a message for people who look at Uta-Net?
h: Good luck!
Q: Thank you so much!