Interview Translation: Koda Kumi "3 Splash"

Koda Kumi "3 Splash"
New Disc Special
WHAT’s IN? July 2009
Translation: Erin Grace

This summer, we’ll be getting a single from Koda Kumi that’s packed with charm. From these types of fun songs, the impression of Kumi as a heroine has completely changed, making for an interesting work. Which you’ll like the best is something you should definitely figure out for yourself.

Interviewer: Akira Okumoto

“I’m changing, and I think this these possibilities are something that’s good to convey.”

—There’s three really fun songs here, aren’t there?

Koda Kumi (From here, “K”): Thank you. Every time I have a release there are all sorts of songs coming out, but I tried lining up these three songs because they’re completely different varieties.

—Your individuality comes out strong, and any of the songs could be the “lead,” but it doesn’t feel strange.

K: Yeah, if a music show made me sing all three songs, I think that would be fine. And this time, I get to wear a jacket, and real clothes on the PV. It’s been awhile since I had to work out for a PV, but we finished the single song by song, with individuality and a leading role. “Lick me” is catchy and a good song for karaoke, “ECSTASY” is a strong and sexy song like “TABOO,” and the last song has a band sound. Pop, R&B, rock – whatever the song, it’s worth it, and it was fun.

—It looks like you’re finishing the PV in which you exercised and were quite absorbed.

K: It’s a “spirit of the times” piece, but I made it by putting a lot of myself into it. (Laugh) Clothes are an important part of making a song better overall, and in order to realize a situation that will allow the PV to convey the song’s world view, we created many competing layers. In “Lick me,” there is a girl whose appearance changes to “Strawberry Girl,” “Mango Girl,” or “Bitter Chocolate Girl,” depending on what ice cream she eats. But at the end she goes back to “Vanilla Girl.” In the end, she’s just a regular girl, the kind that can really seize a man’s heart. That’s the message I wanted to convey.

—“ECSTASY” has a cool and sexy image.

K: The PV has a very high-art feeling, so I wore clothes that you can’t normally wear. I was dancing, wrapped in enamel tape. It was bold and cool, novel and interesting. It was really “near-futuristic.”

—Wow, enamel tape! (Laugh) And “Hashire!” is kind of funky rock, with a sort of sprinting feeling?

K: I’m singing right to the excitement of the awakening of love. We filmed the PV in Guam, and I’m running and dancing in the ocean. My lover’s heart is like a basketball hoop, and I really want to make a dunk shot! Is what I’m going for.

—That’s a story that’s easy to understand, and makes you feel good, doesn’t it?

K: I was reborn in that PV. I feel like the impression you get of the song from hearing it and from seeing the images are different.

—It must have been the same when you were doing an album, but you have to change for every song; can you sink into that world?

K: Yes. Song by song, I get the right quality of voice, and sing in the way that I’ve chosen for it. I’m alone, but I’m not alone. Even though I’m Koda Kumi, I’m also Kuu-chan. In the heart of me, there are so many characters, so I change my voice and facial expressions, and I feel like I want to sing. I alone perform as all these girls, and to the people who listen to me: I change like this! I think these possibilities are something that’s good to convey.”

—Are these endless possibilities that you show us?

K: Yes, yes, the truth is there are so many faces. I tend to think that clothes and make-up alone won’t give me the right look, and I was thinking that even black wouldn’t make me look right, but even if I wore “Cutie Honey” pink, the fans would still say it was good. Only by changing the components can you get a good chemical reaction. Music is the same way. I want to say that a good song is that way because the voice suits the melody.

—That’s an important point.

K: It makes it easy to listen to, and catchy. So I try to choose songs where I can get that good chemical reaction. This time there were only songs I had fun with, so if you can listen to them in the car, please do. You can take them to the sea, and listen to the roar of the sea too. Whatever the situation, please color these with your own thoughts.