Translator: Erin Grace
I want to convey that all being “one” = “oneness…”
2nd Album “Beauty or the Beast?”
Knife Edge/PONY CANYON
“This is girls’ hip hop!”
COMA-CHI: the artist who earned the 4th RecoCoku Newcomer’s Cup Grand Prix with her limited distribution single “TIME 2 PARTY feat. AK-69,” released in November 2009. Now her second album, “Beauty or the Beast?” has finally been completed!
Following her first single, “STEP UP!” this will be a cute and wild disc, like her limited release singles such as “TIME 2 PARTY feat. AK-69,” “Heaven,” and “Gyutto Dakishimete!” There’s no doubt you’ll admire the broad sweep of her expressive power and musicianship!
Listen to the COMA-CHI Interview!
“I’m named for Ono Komachi…”
--First of all, what’s the origin of your name?
CC: The name “COMA-CHI” comes from [9th century poetess] “Ono Komachi”. She was a great poet in a time when many men were composing poetry, and I keep thinking that I want to be a great rapper in a time when many men are rapping.
--What was the reason you embraced your interest in music?
CC: I was raised in an environment where my father was a guitarist and my mother a vocalist, so I’ve been familiar with music since I was small. I first became serious when I formed a rock band in middle school.
--Were you the vocalist of the band?
CC: Yes. I also played guitar.
--From there, what lead you to hip hop?
CC: At first I liked rock by Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix, and from there I started listening to “mixture rock” like Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit. After that, I learned about hip hop and just fell for it.
--What do you feel is the charm of hip hop?
CC: The grooves and the unknown feeling associated with music that I hadn’t heard up to that point were very fresh.
--How long have you wanted to write your own music?
CC: I wrote my first lyrics in the rock band. After that, ever since I went into high school and got into hip hop, I’ve been writing my own solo music.
--And when did you start singing in public?
CC: In terms of rap, I started singing in clubs when I was 19.
“All my thoughts are contained in the final song, ‘oneness…’”
--Tell us how you thought of the album title, “Beauty or the Beast?”
CC: I wanted to express the manliness and womanliness that make up the two facets of humanity through song and rap.
--The title song, “Beauty or the Beast?” was written based on reactions you requested from your blog about on theme of “the two facets of humanity.” What kinds of opinions did you get?
CC: This is also in the lyrics, but things like “Although I’m a joker at school, when I go home I’m silent and introverted,” and “I’m a girl that wears a lot of flashy make-up, but that’s because I don’t have anything of my own.”
--And what do you personally feel are the two facets?
CC: My number one feeling is that the manly “desire to be self-reliant” and the womanly “liking things that are girly” are the two facets.
--You won the RecoChoku Newcomer’s Cup Grand Prix with “TIME 2 PARTY feat. AK-69.” How did you feel when you heard “Grand Prix?”
CC: I was really happy. From among the other entries, most of which were ballads, hip hop emerged at the forefront and challenged the others, and it was good that hip hop’s coolness was able to be accepted.
--It seems that “Gyutto Dakishimete” has become a topic of discussion on Twitter.
CC: It has. There was an “urban legend” hashtag, and a legend popped up that “if you send ‘Gyutto Dakishimete’ to the person you like on Valentine’s Day, your love will be returned.” (Laugh)
--The phrase at the end of the hook, “ginga tetsudou milky way,” really gets stuck in your head.
CC: I finished this song on September 9th, the 19th year of Heisei . I realized there was that “999,” and the “ginga testsudou” phrase just floated into my mind.
--“STEP UP!” is a really catchy song, but did you intend something in particular when you wrote it?
CC: It was to be released in the spring, so I intended it as a “Let’s do our best!” song that could become the energy source for new life, the new school year, and people who were listening to it as they started new things for themselves.
--There’s a lot of rhyming in the lyrics, but because this is normal for you, did you write the rhymes down in a notebook?
CC: If occasionally a rhyming phrase floats into my mind I’ll write it down, but other than that I don’t really write them out.
--What have fans said about this song?
CC: Awhile ago on Twitter, people were said it was “energetic” and gave them “a positive feeling.” Even the ronin [those who hadn’t made it into a university right after high school] said “I’m going to do my best at my studies!” because of it. (Laugh)
--What are the parts of this album that you particularly want people to notice?
CC: I worked really hard on the lyrics, so I’d like people to read and listen to the lyrics carefully. Also, all my thoughts are contained in the final song, “oneness,” and I want them to feel that.
“I’ve gotten many lyrics the moments I’ve awoken from a dream…”
--When writing lyrics, what’s the most important thing to you?
CC: The most important is imagination. First, create an image, step into it and turn what you see and feel into words. Then stand in the shoes of the people that will be listening, and think about how you want to convey your words. I think it’s important to consider how people other than yourself will feel.
--When do lyrics usually come to you?
CC: I’ve gotten many lyrics the moment I’ve awoken from a dream. With “STEP UP!” the melody and lyrics both came to me in a dream. (Laugh)
--That’s awesome. (Laugh)
CC: I had the track first, and while I was listening I fell asleep. When I woke up, I had them. (Laugh)
--In terms of lyrics, what artists are you influenced by?
CC: There are lot, but I’ve looked really deeply into “THE BLUE HERB.” I also like to read the translations of Western lyrics.
--You’ve also written love songs, but what type of man best fits your ideal philosophy of love?
CC: A man who firmly holds his world view, objectives, and dreams and changes his behavior for them, who is humble and gentle. Ideally we would respect one another, and have a connection where we help one another.
--Are the lyrics for your love songs written from experience?
CC: Up to this point, about 80% has been real, but recently I’ve been thinking that the things that I’ve created in my mind and things beyond it are also “real.”
--And what’s the impetus for the change?
CC: I decided “I don’t want just this!” and I’ve been thinking that it would be fun to choose to do other things. Of course, there are also times when I write 100% real, but I think I’ve become more flexible.
--Up until now you’ve gone many different directions and participated in several collaborations, but who was the artist that left the biggest impression on you?
CC: When I was collaborating with KREVA, the “dispute song” was still an experiment and so it was fresh. After this, I want to try a rock collaboration.
--You receive a lot of support from girls in your same generation; please give us a message for them.
CC: There are strong points and weak points, there are places that the people around you like and hate, there are sunny days and rainy days, but none is made the same as the other; I live balancing these two things. I want to convey that all being “one” = “oneness.”