credits : tokyohive for the translation
Chris [C]: “When did you start thinking about being an artist?”
Utada [U]: “I’ve always loved music, but I didn’t want to be an artist because both of my parents are artists, and they put so much passion into it, like selling a car to pay for the studio fee. They didn’t hesitate to spend money on music, even when they didn’t have an income. They could not rent a house because their income was unstable.
Witnessing those things as a child, I wanted a job with more stable income; I didn’t want to have an unstable life, in which you go up and down with your emotions, passions, and overall living. Therefore, I believed that I would provably go to school and get a job.
However, when I was around 12 or 13 years old, my parents suggested that I create my own song. Since I always loved to sing and I loved music, I started composing songs, playing my piano, and writing lyrics. Thanks to my parents, composing songs led to releasing CDs. When I think about my childhood, I used to hold the ‘Hikaru Show’ at home, sending invitations to my parents, and it was always my parents, me, and music together. So I think I was in the flow (to be an artist).”
[C]: “Let’s talk about your declaration for ‘human activity‘.”
[U]: “I believe that everyone only knows how you live your life, and you can only imagine how others live theirs. These past 2 years, I started noticing that I’ve been protected, and that I lived in such a small society. Although I’ve learned a lot, had many experiences, and gained some confidence as a professional artist over these 12 years, other things – such as living ability, being considerate of others’ feelings, knowing about people who are in different environment – those kind of things are what people experience naturally. But I was in an environment in which I did not have to experience things like that; it was like ‘ growing in a hothouse’.
I noticed that I might be an adult who would not be able to live without the agency or the manager.”
[C]: “What was the trigger to make you think this way?”
[U]: “I started visiting the countryside recently and felt the greatness of nature, how refreshing and important it is to go outside. I’ve developed an inclination to go outside more; I noticed that there was a potential for a new experience whenever I went outside, and that nothing would happen if I stayed inside of my house. So I tried to go outside at least once a day for something that wasn’t work-related, such as going for a short walk with my own legs.”
[C]: “Why did you choose live concerts as your last activity before you went on hiatus?”
[U]: “I held a tour in North America and in London during January and February of 2010. A tour at small live houses was something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I debuted.
Compared to other singers, I have less experience with live concerts. I feel that an artist should hold live concerts at smaller venues first, and then go on to bigger places; but in my case, it was the other way around. It was my first overseas tour, so a lot of people came over to my concerts, and I felt such a strong passion and love from them. It also made me feel that having live concerts are great, and that I want to sing more lives in Japan. I was the artist who spent more time at home on making music and singing at the studio, than holding live concerts. However, this feeling of wanting to sing in front of fans started growing on me. That’s how I decided to hold the live concerts.”
[C]: “How did you feel when you left the microphone on the stage, and walked the runway?”
[U]: “It felt refreshing at the live, and I was told by many people that the concert was filled with a mysterious and warm love. I was happy to hear that, because that feeling was in my heart. I was happy my heart was able to reach out to the audience through my songs and through my body.
These past 2 years, I’ve started thinking about ‘love’ for the first time. I never considered seriously what it meant to cherish or love something before, or maybe I just tried not to think about it on purpose because it’s scary. But this time, I was finally able to face it. I think before, I couldn’t afford to ‘tuck up’ others with my love, but at the concert, my fans were able to feel my love and how much I wanted to cherish them. I was also able to receive love in return from the audience. It was a very warm time, and the concert became very precious to me.”
[C]: ”How was to produce your own PV?” (talking about the PV for “Goodbye Happiness”)
[U]: “At first, I was going to have someone else do it, like I usually did, but there were some things I felt like ‘That’s not the same as my feeling now’, and it didn’t work out well even though I tried to explain it. Then I noticed that I’m the only person who could understand my current feelings, and that I won’t be able to make any music videos for a while [because of my hiatus]. Therefore, I decided to do everything I wanted to do. I also wanted to make myself do things which other directors wouldn’t ask me to do.
People tend to think that celebrities do or possess special things, but that’s not true. I wanted to show people that I’m just a regular woman, and I thought it would be meaningless if I make a video with myself merely acting the role of ‘Utada Hikaru’.”
[C]: “You are about to stop your activities as an artist for a while. What are you planning to do?”
[U]: “I think it does not matter what I will do, it’s more important on how I do things. The thing I want to do the most is to study with other people, and I want to volunteer overseas if I get the chance. I’m currently searching for that chance. I hope there would be something I could do, at a place where I can meet people in different environments, like in a nursing institution.
I will probably be making music and singing freely at home, because music is not all about business to me. But I will focus on the point of being a ‘Utada Hikaru’ who can take care of herself, and now have people there to support me. I think, in order for me to do so, I will finally understand how much people have done for me, and I also want to cherish time, myself, and the people around me.”
[U]: “Yes, that’s it.”