“For the lyrics of these songs, I wrote them with a desire to write honestly”
Fans were shocked when Utada Hikaru announced a suspension of artist activity beginning next year. Certainly there are pros and cons to her decision but the halting of her musical activity should not be seen as retirement.
“I still have my contract with EMI, so there’s no way this break is indefinite. (laugh) I love making music; it’s very natural for me. I think it would be impossible for me to live a life without music. I’m a musician at heart. I think I’m nothing if not a musician.”
“Besides, there are many people who will be waiting for my songs.” She has great gratitude for all the fans who have supported her and who love her music. So, before the hiatus, she announced a best album, and thought “I want to add new songs that I’ve poured my heart into.”
“I have things I want to say. I sincerely thought about what it’s like that first time. For the lyrics of these new songs, I didn’t write them mechanically, as an artist; I wrote them with a desire to write very honestly. I feel like the second disc on the album (with the newly recorded songs) has a similar significance to ‘First Love.’”
“I’ve finally conveyed everything that I wanted to”
It has been about 12 years since her debut. She can’t go back to her debut or erase the road she’s travelled. Perhaps she feels that she must face the pain and conflict of her past and look forward to her future. She carved these thoughts into the new songs she’s written.
“Truly, the most important thing was putting all I could into thinking about the song lyrics. The four songs other than ‘Can’t Wait ‘Til Christmas’ (‘Arashi no Megami,’ ‘Show Me Love (Not A Dream),’ ‘Goodbye Happiness,’ and ‘Hymne a’amour ~Ai no Anthem~’) are tied together with the theme of me reconciling with myself and reconciling with my past – really facing myself and my fears. This is the first time I’ve tied songs together with a theme like this, and by writing through what I want to say in these four songs, it’s become the most story-like set I’ve written. Because I put all of myself into the lyrics, I’ve finally conveyed everything that I wanted to.”
When you listen to all the hits gathered on Disc 1, you’ll be struck again by Utada’s amazing talents as an artist. And, listening to the new songs on Disc 2, you’ll learn what this amazing artist is thinking, and where she’s going.
“The Hikaru on Disc 2 is telling the Hikaru on Disc 1 that everything is okay, and that it’s alright to think the way she thinks, and giving her a hug.”
Photos: Tamotsu Fujii
Interview: Matsuura Yasue