Amuro Namie "Uncontrolled" Exclusive Interview Translation

Source: Oricon Style


I chose songs that I like, and that I wanted to sing


--Your new album is called “Uncontrolled,” a beautiful title that expresses freedom and acts as a symbol for your progress as a singer.


Amuro Namie: Everyone on my team puts forward ideas for the title each time, and I really like this one, too. (laugh)


--This year is the 20th anniversary of your debut. Did you create this album for that purpose?


A: No, I didn’t. This time my theme was to choose songs that I like, and that I wanted to sing. This year I can do whatever I want, so I wanted an album that would raise the bar.


-- Songs like “Hot Girls” and “ONLY YOU” - the soccer theme song on WOWOW Europe [a Japanese pay-per-view channel] - are loaded with electropop sound.


A: I had to use a lower singing voice for “Hot Girls” and “ONLY YOU,” and since that’s the first time I’ve done that kind of composition, I was really thinking about the listeners as I wrote them. But I obviously thought that it would be good to take on that kind of challenge.


Komuro [Tetsuya] was wonderful


--On this album you have ballads, like your big hit “Love Story,” alongside more dancable tracks like “Go Round” and “In The Spotlight (TOKYO),” so the listeners get to know the feelings of a strong, cool woman.


A: There are weak parts to everyone, but I think it’s cool when people walk forward with strength. I think I’ve been able to convey the image of that kind of woman during my singing career. By expressing strength, I’m showing various things that are inside myself. I’m always happy when people who see me and my lives say that it’s refreshing. So even if my listeners aren’t as strong as the women I portray, I think it’s good that they can clearly understand those feelings through my songs.


--In that case, your live shows should be great fun: your one-night-only special 20th anniversary live to be held in Okinawa (“namie amuro 20th ANNIVERSARY LIVE in OKINAWA”), as well as your 5-dome tour starting in November (“namie amuro 5-Dome TOUR 2012 ~20TH Anniversary Best~”).


A: While I was thinking about the songs for my September Okinawa live, I of course wanted to have a lineup that includes my older songs, but Komuro [Tetsuya] has been so awesome that I wanted to get a good mix [that also includes my newer songs]. That’s the kind of sound that I’ve liked from the start. For the Dome Tour, people will be able to go on the official site and vote. The top ranked 20-30 songs will form the heart of the live.


--That’s very interesting. Over 20 years you’ve tried all kinds of different things, and this tour is no different! Is that how you think of it?


A: Yes. I want to be like the artists that influenced me - Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul and En Vogue. And this time people will see me, and my desire to have people to see me and know that I’m influenced by those artists hasn’t changed after 20 years. The lines have blurred, though, so I don’t take anything directly from them anymore. Of course I still love Janet even now. I mean, I know that Michael Jackson is great, but I saw Janet first so... (laugh) Fundamentally, I like female artists better than male artists.


(Interviewer: Hakakawa Kanako)