MMN Interview (Part 2): Yunomi Reveals the Story Behind His Inspiration For Writing ‘Shironeko Kaizokusen feat. Hinami Yuri’
Yunomi and YUC’e will release their first compilation album Miraicha vol.0 under their label Miraicha Records on January 12. The album will also be available via download card as well as on major streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music and LINE MUSIC. It features a collection of up-and-coming artists that tie together Japan and the rest of the world.
Yunomi’s new song Shironeko Kaizokusen (feat. Hinami Yuri) has a next generation sound that doesn’t get caught up in the music of future bass, a genre synonymous with Miraicha Records. I spoke with both of them to find out about Hinami Yuri’s professional career as a voice actor and singer and Yunomi’s creative wheel as she continue to challenge herself in new territories.
Text: Fukuryuu (Music Concierge)
Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
This is Part 2 of the interview. Click here for Part 1.
■”I pictured going close to the source of the fountain of creation as much as possible”
——The depth of the lyrics with their story-like quality is strong. Of course, there are liberating elements that will stimulate the imagination of listeners too.
Hinami Yuri: When I received the lyrics I was given a direction sheet. It had written on it how the lyrics should be sung and an explanation of them. At the end it said how they arrived at these lyrics. I asked Yunomi about it.
——Why was all of it written?
Yunomi: It was more of an entrusting to Hinami than strict instructions.
Hinami Yuri: One part said, “I want you to sing this part with a degree of rough pitch.” I’m usually the kind of person who has to be precise when it comes to recording. A lot of the time I’ll look at the music sheet when singing. But this was a song where I had to do that.
——That’s the kind of production work only Yunomi would do, isn’t it?
Hinami Yuri: We spoke about various things the first day we met. On that day I discovered how I was able to feel as my self, as a human. It was a good opportunity to take a look at myself again.
——And that image of yourself ties into the direction sheet. Incidentally, when I read the lyrics of Shironeko Kaizokusen (feat. Hinami Yuri), I can see both old and new tastes from Yunomi.
Hinami Yuri: That’s true.
Yunomi: I was particular about how I should write and bring forth the lyrics. I wondered to myself where to draw inspiration from. I pictured going close to the source of the fountain of creation as much as possible as I slept. And when I woke up I wrote them [laughs].
■”Hinami’s vocals on I could see the character’s face in the song”
Yunomi: Don’t you have those times in the early morning where you’re half asleep? I believe that’s when your mind opens. Even if you have A and B which you can’t usually put together it still makes sense in your head. It’s hard to explain.
——Yeah, I understand that.
Yunomi: If thinking of it like one way traffic, you have a line of all these different thoughts that all link together. I wondered what kind of lyrics would come from that in that state. So I wrote a short short story in the morning of what I saw in my dream. I was a pirate. I was on an island with lots of cats. It was a world where nobody took notice of the cats. I then faced towards the cats and said, “Do you want to go with me?” and freely went on my own story. I wrote the story down and made them into lyrics. But remembering a dream after the fact is pretty tough, you know? [laughs]
——That way of thinking is very you. It’s dreamy. I’m getting excited just listening to your story. Having an original idea and making it into a song must have been an interesting element for Hinami who works as a voice actress too.
Hinami Yuri: I normally get to sing in character as a voice actress so I set out to sing so I can get close to that character. I was asked to sing how I thought it should sound so there’s a gentleness in there, and I read the lyrics as the cats having run away. It was different from what I usually do. I was given the chance to do as I like. Putting it into the song went smoothly too.
Yunomi: It went really quickly, didn’t it? The main vocals took about 30 minutes. I wrote the lyrics having not yet completely decided on the picture of the protagonist, so when we put Hinami’s vocals on I could see the character’s face in the song.
■The story that begins in Shironeko Kaizokusen (feat. Hinami Yuri) continues
Hinami Yuri: The recording alone was fun, but the truth is my heart ached. I took the negative elements from Shironeko Kaizokusen. I wondered to myself if these cats would be able to find happiness. I wanted the listeners to enjoy the story as with me singing while feeling pained. So I said to myself, “Right, let’s get sadder!”
——It certainly is a song that takes place in the middle of a story where you can’t see the end. Even with that implication it’s a song that indicates your future creative course of action.
Yunomi: That’s right. I had picked an element from a number of experiments I had inside me but thanks to Hinami it went really well. I’m really satisfied. The entire image has truly changed with just one voice. It made me think that she’s a person who would probably fit with any song I make. Her expressive power was wonderful.
Hinami Yuri: Generally when I record I have my own recording booth with an engineer next door in his own booth. We’re separated and talk through the window. But in this case Yunomi was actually right behind me. He watched over me warmly. He’s like a kind older brother, saying things like “That’s really good!” It was really easy for me to sing. I actually wanted to ask him, does the story that begins in Shironeko Kaizokusen continue?
Yunomi: It probably does, doesn’t it. Lots of things happen. Maybe they will return back to the first place?
——That’s why we want a music video, anime or live action.
Yunomi & Hinami Yuri: [Looking at the staff] Please!!!
■Miraichaya vol.0 is a record that will symbolise the scene at the start of 2019
——I’m looking forward to the possibility. Your compilation album Miraichaya vol.0 features various artists including YUC’e, Aire, KOTONOHOUSE and Neko Hacker. It will also be released digitally and via download card. Everyone will also perform at DOWNLOAD CARD SUMMIT 2019 SPECIAL LIVE which is taking place at CUTUP STUDIO on floor B1F of Tower Records Shibuya on January 19, 2019.
Hinami Yuri: Everybody is close when it comes to the content side of things. YUC’e in particular wrote the song I opened with at my performance in summer.
——Miraichaya vol.0 is a record looking to symbolise the scene at the start of 2019. I’m looking forward to it. How do you feel having collaborated with TORIENA on the second track Game Over.
Yunomi: I was really surprised. It’s been about 2 years since she first featured on my song Oedo Controller.
——Oedo Controller is one of your famous and representative songs.
Yunomi: The way TORIENA puts in spirit and fires herself up now has become something incredible compared to that time. Game Over is an angry song. The gentleness and and grief of Shironeko Kaizokusen might be at the other end of the spectrum. Incidentally, I’m thinking of having Game Over as the first track on my next album. They both have the same theme. People search for freedom in a place that isn’t here but somewhere else, don’t they? Pursuing the true meaning of “freedom” is the recent theme of my work. Where did we come from, and where are we going? That kind of thing.
——I’m impatient in asking, but when can we expect the release of your second album?
Yunomi: It will be released once it’s complete [laughs]. I’m not sure yet.
——That’s what I thought. I’ll first check out Miraicha Records’s first compilation album Miraichaya vol.0 and prepare myself with that while anticipating the release!
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