Koda Kumi Excite Interview – TRICK

by sljinu on March 15, 2009 · 6 comments · AddThis

TRICK Album Cover

This article is translated from an interview done with Koda Kumi by Excite.
Translation by sljinu

Excite: (a sweet aroma wafts into the room as Koda Kumi enters) Wow, that’s a really nice scent you’re wearing.

Koda: Thank you very much.

 

Excite: (laughs) Ok, so your 7th album, Trick has just been released and it has a very Koda-like catchy title.

Koda: The album title is usually the last thing that’s decided but this time, we styled the album playlist in a concert-like way. We purposely designed the track-list to be like a concert where you cannot predict what the next song is going to be. Concerts are just a series of acts, one after the other, each with a different emotion all the way up until the encore. Since there are so many types of songs, we thought “What word would describe this really neatly?” and that’s what troubled us.

 

Excite: So you actually had this idea to attract people from the very beginning then.

Koda: I quite like surprises so ever since last year, I’ve been thinking about the different ways we could produce this album. From that, the expression “Trick” came up. By doing this, you could have a wide selection of songs and people would be surprised and be like “Oh wow! She has this type of song on this album too!” That’s why I thought the word “Trick” was a perfect title to the album.

 

Excite: That’s quite a colourful and vivid outlook of the world you have but that’s also shown through the CD+DVD album jacket too, isn’t it?

Koda: That’s right (laughs). On first glimpse of it, you’d probably not know who it is so I was wondering whether it was alright. That’s because you can always tell it’s me on previous covers. However, this photo was also the one that displayed the concept of the album. That’s why we selected this strange photo.

 

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TRICK Promo Photo

Excite: I see. So the song show girl was a bit of a key this time?

Koda: Yes. This was the first song where the concept and the story was really clearly represented. show girl has that alluring, Moulin Rouge atmosphere to it. This is not a love song is about praying to God for help, but at the same time, it’s also about how life isn’t all that easy. It’s the first time I’ve sung such a song that deals with reality. I’ve never encountered such lyrics before but it’s definitely the first time I’ve began to feel this way. However, it also expresses that feeling of wanting to walk ahead using your own strength. Then we have the complete opposite in Bling Bling Bling feat.AK-69 where like, the lyrics run something along the lines of “If you want to date me, you have to be able to buy me designer handbags,” (laughs). I don’t normally say those kinds of things but I did for this song. All these songs basically came straight from the heart.

 

Excite: It’s been awhile since you last sung a song with lyrics written by somebody else but you did so with the song, Your Love.

Koda: I wrote the lyrics with Hiro, who also co-wrote the lyrics for TABOO. I still sang the song naturally though. We both shared the same ideas for what we wanted from this song so the entire process of recording this song was like a walk in the park. So even if the lyrics were a little masculine, I thought I would be able still make this song my own if I sung it.

 

Excite: Up until now, you’ve often projected your life experiences through your lyrics so what you’re writing now is quite new.

Koda: Yep. That’s why it’s called TRICK! My number one priority was to make an album that wouldn’t be boring. With the bonus track, there are fifteen songs in total. I sang all fifteen songs myself and with each one, I consciously tried to express it uniquely. It would bring me great joy if you could listen to every song on this album endlessly.

 

Excite: By the way, what would be the difference between a live and your latest album?

Koda: Hmm…there are a lot of ‘aggressive’ songs. I sang a lot of catchy songs like Koi no Tsubomi and WIND but I also sang songs like FREAKY and BUT. Then releasing both extremes in the one single, it’s possible to use either as the final climax. So generally, half the tracks on the album are the type that you can enjoy a lot more in karaoke while the other half is the type you enjoy more by listening to it. That way, at live gigs, I can make a really gaudy performance. It’s just that this time I selected a lot of songs that are like the latter type so I’m a little worried there aren’t enough karaoke type songs.

 

Excite: So basically, you’re always thinking about the listener.

Koda: Having been doing this for almost nine years, it’s kind of become a part of me. It’s probably because I also really love going to karaoke. Also, I recall my earlier self having a part-time job and saving that money so I could go and buy the CD’s. Because of that, I also really want others to feel as though their purchase was worth it by adding the DVD with it (laughs).

 

Excite: After all these questions, what did you feel sounds very “Koda Kumi-like”?

Koda: Koda Kumi-like huh…hmmm. It’s probably something that “Kuu-chan” cannot do. For example, when I released Taboo, it felt like I destroyed the “Kuu-chan”image. I’ve also been told a lot that I always sing looking like ‘that’. But it’s only because I thought it looked cool that I was able to make it my conviction. That’s why I now have lots of fans who have come to accept and support me. To have the patience and determination to continue on…I believe that’s what is really important. After reading lots of fan letters, I noticed there were a lot of people who were really self-concious and were afraid to expose their true selves. But if I was like that, I feel it would restrain my potential. That’s why I want to be able to do things that only a singer can do. For example, even though I’m a singer, I can come out of the water* (laughs). Basically, I wish to do things that nobody has ever tried before.

*This is with reference to the opening act of the 2007 Black Cherry tour

 

TRICK Promo Photo

Excite: So did you have any insecurities or confusion before you came to this conclusion?

Koda: I guess in the end, the principles of “Kuu-chan” still kept on coming out. Like, if I wrote a lot of cute lyrics then I’d think “Oh, I think I’m in love,” or something like that (laughs). So even though I can’t really hide that alter ego, they do tend to balance each other out. If it was just “Koda Kumi” alone then she’d probably wear a lot of clothes that people wouldn’t even contemplate considering as an article of clothing.

 

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Excite: The music video for show girl certainly did exemplify the world of Koda Kumi.

Koda: Like the spangles and bodysuits (laughs)? I actually wanted to make a music video for every song on the album. However, instead of thinking of the balance, I wanted to make the impression of the album really clear so we only made two music videos. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE resembles my former self while showgirl represents my performance side. As for the other songs, I will focus on those in the upcoming concert.

 

Excite: Expressing this album in a three-dimensional way makes it seem even more amazing than before.

Koda: But the album title is TRICK! Geez, with expectations so high, I tried to raise the hurdle even more (laughs). However, I never made an estimate as to how much was expected of me. I’m going to do my best to betray your expectations in a good way, in my upcoming concert.

 

Excite: Well now I’m excited! It seems that you encountered a lot of challenges regarding both the melody and lyrics in this album. What do you think would be the best way to enjoy your latest work?

Koda: Hmm…I thought there were quite a lot of ‘aggressive’ melodies so I thought it’d be good if you could listen to this while you focusing on something. I was actually listening to this album while I was rearranging my closet. Then suddenly, I noticed that the album had repeated three times already. It never really felt like three hours.

 

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Excite: Oh, I also know that feeling where you’re in a trance and then suddenly, you kind of ‘wake up’.

Koda: Yeah! That’s also why you should be careful when driving. Like, if you listen to my song, Driving which has a feeling of speed then it allows you to feel as though you finished your task so much faster (laughs). Anyway, I would suggest listening to it whenever you’re concentrating on something.

 

Excite: And finally, a message to all your fans.

Koda: Last year, the theme to all the concerts and events etcetera was to attend as many different venues as possible and meet you guys as a way of saying thank you. I also plan on continuing that this year but I also want to announce the release of new projects in as many different ways as possible and express myself in a variety of ways. There’ll be a lot of transformations throughout this year for example, I may seem girlish at one point and then suddenly seem more tomboyish instead so be prepared to expect the unexpected.

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About the author

sljinu is a hybrid Asian. He is currently employed by the geekmaster eyn, working as a translator. He has time management issues but still finds precious minutes to listen to his beloved Utada Hikaru and Otsuka Ai as well as watch J-drama (among other things) on the train.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Arieve October 15, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Thank you so much for posting this!

I love Koda Kumi with a passion and even though I rarely understand any of her songs, or bother to find translations, it is always nice to get to read her translated words. She is such a hard working, fantastic, unique and grounded person and I really respect her no matter what!
:) Thanks again!

Reply

xenobi4 April 18, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Awe!

Thanks so much for this! I love reading Kuu-Interviews, but finding them translated is so difficult!!

Thank you again!!

Reply

sljinu AUSTRALIA April 18, 2009 at 9:41 pm

No problem, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I may do some more of hers in the future so stay tuned (though it probably won’t be for quite awhile yet =P)

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remblue UNITED STATES March 20, 2009 at 12:48 am

Oh WOW your super sweet <3 O_O !! I promise I’ll only request interviews that are important to me & you can always take your time, there’s never a rush when it comes to me :P I’m always here or there so I’m not going anywhere lol

Anyhow Thanks ^_^ soooo much

Reply

remblue UNITED STATES March 17, 2009 at 1:16 am

Thanks alot for the interview ^_^ I think this will be my first Koda Kumi interview to read ^O^ So Thanks so much <3

Reply

sljinu AUSTRALIA March 17, 2009 at 1:46 am

Haha no worries…I was a bit slow in getting a new one out this year…I lost a bit of motivation after suffering some set backs with Remioromen and Flow but I’ll try and conquer at least one of them hahaha
Thanks for always reading and commenting!! ^^ Btw, since you’ve pretty much been following everything I’ve translated so far, I’m just wondering if you have any particular interviews you’d like to see. I don’t plan on taking requests from many readers but I’d be glad to do so for you since you’ve always been reading my stuff!

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