When the announcement came that Eir Aoi is one of the music headliner at J-Pop Summit 2015, we had to act fast. Really honored to interview her shortly before she performed on stage as part of the J-Pop mini-concerts on Day One! Photos by Christian Hadidjaja.
If my memory serves me correctly, Eir Aoi is the first guest of honor announced for J-Pop Summit 2015. Anime fans undoubtedly have heard her music, such as “Memoria” (for TV anime series Fate/Zero) or “Innocence” (for TV anime series Sword Art Online). Moreover, her latest single “Lapis Lazuli” is featured on TV anime series Arslan Senki. She has a wide global fan base that spans across Asia, America, and Europe, and she’s growing to be an even bigger J-Pop rockstar day by day, as she is currently in the middle of a world tour that started in July.
On the first day of J-Pop Summit 2015, we got to interview her less than an hour before she took the Fort Mason main stage to perform in a line up of mini-concerts, which includes Gacharic Spin and JAM Project. Calm and gracious in her manners during the interview, her stage presence later that night provided a big contrast to what she really looked like when she’s lost in herself performing to her fans. It was fascinating to see her transformation that day.
Eir Aoi Interview
Our time was limited, but we got to talk to Eir Aoi about her love of anime, perception of her own music career, fashion sense, and next ambitions! I really love that we got to interview a fellow gamer girl :)
Fafafoom: Your first album in 2012 was a tribute to “Fate / Zero” anime and now you just recently released your 3rd album D’Azur, from which “Ignite” is used for Sword Art Online Season 2 and “Lapis Lazuli” is used for Arsland Senki TV series. What is it about anime that you love so much?
Eir Aoi: Since I was little, I have always loved anime and I have felt special connections to some of them.
Fafafoom: When you’re growing up, what is your no. 1 favorite anime series / movie?
Eir Aoi: Definitely, my favorite anime is Sailor Moon (the original arc). And when I little and played with my friends, I always played as Sailor Jupiter or Tuxedo Mask.
Fafafoom: Japan culture has a really close relationship between real life and anime. Because of that, some Japanese artists are worried that they would only be known as anime artist. on having such close relationship with anime. Do you have similar worry or sentiment?
Eir Aoi: I have always loved anime since I was little anyway, so being labeled as an anime artist is something I’m proud of.
Fafafoom: Since many of your songs are being featured in anime, do your fans usually discover your songs first, or do they discover your songs through anime first?
Eir Aoi: My fans find my music either way, but perhaps more fans first heard my music via anime series since many of my songs are being used for anime theme songs.
Fafafoom: In terms of personal style or fashion sense, which anime character has a good representation of your own style?
Eir Aoi: FASHION, hmm….Can I use video game character, instead?
Fafafoom: Sure thing!
Eir Aoi: Komaeda Nagito from Dangan Ronpa 2. (This guy’s signature style consists of a white graphic tee, dark fitted pants, and hooded coat.)
Fafafoom: Any anime character you can relate to?
Eir Aoi: For anime, it’s not necessarily fashion, but more like personality. It’s Ryūko Matoi from Kill La Kill.
Fafafoom: What is the one fashion item that is part of your style signature?
Eir Aoi: Definitely short pants! Short hair and short pants are part of my signature style. Plus, I’m always moving around when I’m performing on stage, and short pants make that easy.
Fafafoom: You’re currently in the middle of doing a world tour, something that’s been a part of your ambition. What’s your next ambition?
Eir Aoi: It’s definitely a whole different experience doing a world tour. It’s my first time going to different countries and meet so many new people and learn their cultures. Next, I’d like to incorporate them to my performance at Nippon Budoukan on November.
Fafafoom: Aoi-san, you have been doing this for a while. Is there any particular challenge for being a singer that most people don’t know about?
Eir Aoi: Hmm…when I’m writing songs, it’s not easy to translate the image I envisioned into the right lyrics.
Fafafoom: Is there any chance that you’d record English songs to reach more global audience?
Eir Aoi: Ah, right now I’m still learning to get better in English. But one day, it’d be great if I can.
Fafafoom: Last question: what do you want to have achieved three years from now?
Eir Aoi: I’d like to do a one-man live show in America. It’s my first time here and next time, it’d be great if I can do a solo concert.
(By this time, it seemed that we still had some time left. So we asked a couple of more casual questions.)
Fafafoom: How do you like San Francisco so far?
Eir Aoi: I like it very much; I especially love the clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf. Also, San Francisco people are very friendly. Really, I want to eat clam chowder again tomorrow! (We all laughed.)
Fafafoom: Which game are you playing right now?
Eir Aoi: Ah, currently I’m playing Battlefield 4.
Fafafoom: Wow, that’s amazing!
It’s amazing for me since I pretty much suck at those types of game. I’m more of a role playing gamer type of person, after all. Aoi-san was really gracious to pose for some pictures afterwards, even though she only had such limited time to get ready for the J-Pop mini-concert later that night.
Eir Aoi Mini Concert
Eir Aoi changed from an almost all-black ensemble during the interview to an all-white rockstar outfit for the mini-concert. The almost 30-minute session included her biggest hits “Aurora,” “Innocence,” “Cynthia no Hikari,” “Lapis Lazuli,” “Sirius,” and my absolute favorite “Ignite.”
She really enjoyed herself up there on the stage, singing her heart out, moving around from one wing to the other, knocking her own bottled water, twirling around – which gave me a great view of her hooded cardigan’s pattern pieces at the back, and bobbing her head like a true rockstar she is.
Eir Aoi looked like an angel on her parting shot there! We’re really grateful to be able to interview Eir Aoi and see her perform during J-Pop Summit 2015! Special thanks to Erik Jansen for making the interview possible, and we’re really honored to have the opportunity.
Thanks for reading; until next time,
Fafafoom team for J-Pop Summit 2015:
Interviewer & Editor: Mira Musank
Photographer: Christian Hadidjaja
Translator: Kuni Natsuki