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Interview with May’n – AFASG 2016 As the year drew to a close, one more prestigious event left: Anime Festival Asia Singapore 2016! This was their 9th year running and growing stronger each year. May’n who was one of their 1st artist, have been returning every year to grace this event since the first AFA in 2008. We managed to catch up with her to find out what she has been doing in 2016. Here is an extract of our interview with the Galaxy Fairy :- Q : Can you tell us the concept for 20 for 7? And your upcoming Asia tour ‘Over & Easy’? May’n : ‘Twenty for Seven’ is a concert to celebrate my 27th birthday, to show that I’m no longer a teenager and becoming an adult and more mature. It incorporated a full orchestra, so that you can enjoy the sound of the music as well as the song. For Over Easy, it’s like when you order an egg, it’s sunny side up and like every part of the concert, I like to go all out – like an explosion of music and hoped that, it’s an event that everyone can enjoy it with me! Q : What can we expect for your concert here at AFASG 2016 tonight? May’n : I’m very grateful to be able to participate in the AFA concerts and last year I was able to include dancers and a band. My motivation is to do one step better than last year and hopefully you can experience it too this year when I perform tonight. Q : In a talk show, you had Minori Suzuki san (Freya Wion – Macross Delta) as your guest. So how do you feel talking to the cast of the next generation of the Macross franchise. May’n : When she came on the show, we talked about it too. Macross Frontier was like eight years ago, and Minori Suzuki san was saying ‘I was still in elementary school!’ and I was thinking that it was like so long ago and could feel that generation/age gap, but was happy that I inspired her to pursue this career. In one episode of Macross Delta, you get to see snipets of Macross Frontier and I felt really happy and honored to be a part of this large franchise. Q : Can you tell us about ‘Hikari Aru Basho e’ – the Ending song for Shuumatsu no Izetta ? May’n : Most of the anime, I do the opening song but for Shuumatsu no Izetta, I’m doing the ending song. It a ballad, so you feel it’s a little slow. The anime is slightly more on the serious side and on a darker note. You can see that it’s a war between two countries, and there are times when you wish that you want to make a change but you feel powerless or helpless, but despite all that, there a glimmer of hope by trusting and believing in yourself and the people who are important to you. I’m hoping you could sense that emotion being portrait in the song. Q : In your album cover for the same song, May’n san seems to be floating. May’n : Ah yes! They were going for an anti-gravity concept. It looked very effortless but behind the scene, it was difficult, as I have to lie backwards and lift my legs up. And I would have to hold that position for like..1….2….3….4….5! while they get that shot. That put quite some stress on my stomach abs and leg muscles and I couldn’t do it for too long . Q : Have you watched Macross Delta? Which character appealed to you and is there any particular song that you liked? May’n : In terms of characters, I particularly liked Mikumo san the most, as she has some similarities with Sherly Nome (Macross Frontier) – she’s mature and sexy in appearance and I’m drawn to her as you can see she enjoys singing with everyone. The song I liked is ‘Giraffe Blues’. There are different versions of it but I like Mikumo’s version, as it was amazing but I also liked Freya version too. Q: Now that you’ve celebrated your 27th Birthday. What do you look forward to in the future? May’n : Sometimes, it can be a sensitive topic, I’m actually excited about my age. When I was in my teens, I was really looking forward to grow up quickly, so that people can see me as an adult and there this word called ‘ARASA’ which means around ‘thirty’ – a Japanese terminology. I am hoping people would see me as an adult. But then I realized that after awhile, I felt that I don’t really have to try to make people think that I’m mature and that’s something that I’m quite happy about. Q : Can you tell us a little about your new song Belief for the OP of Taboo Tattoo? May’n : I really like the song ‘Belief’ as it combines two things that I really liked into one, which defines me as an artiste – having rock music and having a dance number with my dancers. So there’s both of this in the song and I’m very happy about this piece. You can tell that this song has a fast tempo and at the same time it can act cool and see me for who I am – like, jumping around and see the raw side of me. I’m hoping it’s something new for all my fans in Singapore to see and hopefully like – “Wow – this is another side of May’n’ and hope everybody will enjoy it. “ Then the translator whispered – ‘She will perform this song tonight’! Everyone in the room was surprised and laughed, including May’n. Q : If I’m travelling to Tokyo in the near future, where can we find good ‘Taiyaki’? May’n : ‘HIIRAGI’ (near Ebisu station, Shibuya) would be the No. 1 recommendation, another place would be ‘YANAGIYA’ in Ningyo Cho, Nihon bashi. This one has a little more tradition & history than the 1st store. So if anyone who wants to experience taiyaki, please check these 2 stores. If you wants to know why taiyaki was made then you must go to Azabu-juban, Minatoku (NANIWAYA SOUHONTEN), over 100 years of history. Q : Recently we heard about a Taiyaki with wings! Where can you find that? May’n : Hane suki (not sure of the spelling) Taiyaki – a Taiyaki with ‘wings’ and you can find it in Kanda Jimbucho, Chiyoda and there’s one near Akihabara. Look up ‘KANDA DARUMA’. We have to stop here, if we were to continue, there’s at least 3 hours’ worth of Taiyaki information (hinted May’n). And there you have it, the best places to get a Taiyaki from the ‘Ambassador of Taiyaki herself! With that, the interview ended with a ‘sweet’ note. Special appearances At 4.00 pm, May’n made an appearance at AKIBA Stage. However no photography or video recording was allowed and as such, the event can only be felt by those who were present at the moment. After a few questions, she proceeded to sing a song for us. She choose ‘Iteza Gogo Kuji – Don’t be late’ Just as the music began to play, something goes wrong. May’n looked surprised and stopped singing but her voice kept going! She smiled and looked at the MC who immediately ran to the sound controller. They played the right song but the wrong track (should be the instrumental/minus one track). Seconds later the right track was played and she sang LIVE. To me, it sounded exactly the same! A tribute to her singing ability. An hour later, she made an appearance at the Animax booth to give away her latest single to 10 lucky winners. We got there a little late and found it difficult to find a place to capture the event as the place was packed with fans. Another fan – Richie Kam helped us out with some photos taken from the front as we could only capture from the side. Concert This year too, she brought her 4 piece band. Just as the lights came on. Kimi Shinitamou Koto Nakare burst on the stage and the concert was well underway. One thing about live bands was the loudness of the instruments can drown out the concert. So when ‘Towards where the Light is – ED for Shuumatsu no Izetta’ and followed by the awesome ‘Diamond Crevasse’. You can clearly hear her and the emotions in her voice. As she was announcing the song ‘Diamond Crevasse’, the fans in the VIP section let out an excited cheer, a second or two later, someone in the back let out a very loud cheer. The fans in the front laughed, as if the reaction from the back were a little off. A short break and May’n called out to her fans. ‘Are you ready to enjoy to the Max?’ In the Front? In the Back? Singapore?!!’ A resounding ‘Yes!’ came the reply. This is the part of the concert that goes light speed! ‘Number 1’ came on and two dancers jumped in to boost the performance. Soon she got everyone jumping up and shouted ‘Goooo fight!’. Before we can catch our breath, ‘Chase the World’ came on and everyone started to move with the song. The mighty ‘Lion’ made a debut and the crowd goes wild! And finally, the last song for the evening – Belief (OP from Taboo Tattoo). When the concert has concluded, she introduced her band and the 2 dancers. Then they came forward to the front of the stage and hold hands. Some of the fans in front made an excited ‘cheer’. May’n smiled and reacted by putting a finger against her lips – a sign of silence. This is the part where she would shout at the top of her voice without the mike – ‘Thank you very much!’ like she has numerous times at the end of her concerts in Japan. The whole hall went silent but before she could do what she wanted, the back part of the hall made another excited cheer! Again she has to do the silence sign. But we guess fans here, have not experienced that (This would be the 2nd time we witnessed it in Singapore). The hall fell silence again and she shouted ‘Arigato Gozaimashita!’ and her crew lifted their hands together into the air! Cheers and applause followed as May’n and her band waved to everyone. Lastly May’n announced ‘Vocal wa – May’n deshita!’ Bye-bye! As usual May’n was the last to leave and the applause continued till she disappeared behind the curtains. With that, AFASG 2016 drew to a satisfying conclusion. Song List 1. Kimi Shinitamou Koto Nakare 2. Scarlet Ballet 3. Towards the Light 4. Diamond Crevasse 5. No. 1 6. Chase the World 7. Lion 8. Belief We would like to thank May’n san for taking time off her busy schedule to speak to us and Wee Ling, with her crew from Asia PR Werkz Pte Ltd and SOZO Pte. Ltd for arranging the interview. Special thanks to Ms. Kyoko Yasuda for her excellent translations during the interview.