Wednesday, 25 December 2013

AFA 2013: I ♥ ANISONG ELISA (Interview)

Photo Credits:  Project Harata

ELISA is a singer and model from Kanagawa Prefecture. She entered the music industry through a modelling contest in high school. Known for her wide vocal range, she has performed in Japan's largest anisong festival, Animelo Summer Live for four consecutive years since 2008.

Valvrave the Liberator 2nd Season ED: REALISM
Image Credits: SUNRISE/VVV Committee, MBS

This year, after a 16-month-hiatus, ELISA is back, singing the ending theme songs for Valvrave the Liberator. Like angela, ELISA performed in I ♥ ANISONG: Valvrave Night, with this concert being her first in Singapore.

Read on to find out more about her in Project Harata's interview!

Note: As this was a round robin interview,  we would like to credit the various media entities who were in the same group as us!


Image Credits: ELISA's Facebook Page

Q: I understand this is your first time in Singapore, how do you find it so far?

Elisa: The town is very developed and modern, I was very surprised. I have been to other places in Asia before, but coincidentally, this is my first time in Singapore. I have been wondering how is Singapore like, but once I arrived, I thought that everything was very high-tech and developed. Although the scenery is quite similar to Tokyo, some parts are quite foreign and it’s very beautiful, so I’m actually quite envious of Singapore.

Q: So the one thing that I was very intrigued about, was how you made your artiste debut at 18 years old. From what I understand, you went to take part in a modelling contest, and you made it into the top 10 finalists. When one of the judges asked “Why do you want to be a model”, you replied that you actually wanted to be a singer, and then someone from the music industry happened to be in and you sang a pop song and an opera song, so can you tell us-

Elisa: You know me! Everything! You know me very well!

Q: That was really interesting to me, because everything just happened, like fate. So can you tell us what things were going through your head when you replied to that question?

Elisa: It’s a really touching story. I was a high school student at that time. From young, my mother and father were very nice, they gave me a lot of freedom and allowed me to do as I liked. I was quite active, playing in the mountains. I began to like singing due to the influence from my father, but I didn’t tell them about the audition when I decided to apply for it. After school, I went there straight. In any case, I wanted to explore all the possibilities. I can only say that it was a miracle. Although I really wanted to be a singer, I didn’t know to go about it except for auditions. If you think about it, a lot of high school students want to be singers, and even if I sent a sample CD to an agency, they probably wouldn’t listen to it. So I thought, “How should I stand out from the rest” and I came up with another idea. I felt that standing out from the crowd was very important, and I had to be different, so in the modelling contest, I said that I wanted to become a singer. It’s just like how a vegetable seller, when he instead sells meat, very delicious meat, you would be very surprised *laugh*.

Q: You released two singles, By Your Side and Realism this year, could you tell us more about them?

Elisa: Both of them are ending songs for Valvrave the Liberator. I was on hiatus for quite a while, and I felt quite empty. After that, I had the chance to sing the ending songs for Valvrave and I thought it was like a kind of fate too. When I heard the title of the anime, “Kakumeiki Valvrave”, I myself wanted to start my own revolution after coming back from hiatus. As a singer, while writing the lyrics, I wanted to express myself, I wanted to get closer to my fans through these songs.

Photo Credits: AFA'13

Q: You mentioned you were on hiatus, how does it feel to be back in the industry again?

Elisa: EHHHHHHHH, being able to sing again, I was really happy *laugh*. It was a really sudden hiatus for me, and I felt really sorry for my fans who had been supporting me. When I came back, I wanted to let everyone know, “I’m fine now!” Through my songs, I wanted to show that I was back. Then, I had the chance to sing for KakumeikiValvrave, and I thought, “Oh Kakumei (revolution in Japanese)! I had to start a revolution, so I started composing lyrics again!

Q: This will be your concert for Valvrave Night, coming together with other artistes like T.M. Revolution, Mizuki Nana and Angela. How does it feel to have a stage like this?

Elisa: Hmm, I think it’s really amazing! I feel very honoured to stand on the stage with such superstars. Amongst those superstars, what I can do is to do my best, and I really want my voice to reach out to all the audience. And I hope my voice will be powerful yet healing at the same time and leave a different impression on the audience compared to the other powerful singers. If I can make the audience realize the difference, that would be the success for tonight’s show.

Photo Credits: ELISA Official Website

Q: Among all the different songs you have sang, is there any particular one that you hold very deep to yourself?

Elisa: It’s very hard to decide on one song. Every time I get the demo from the composer, I thought I wouldn’t be able to sing it at first, but when I was recording the songs, I realized I’ve grown and developed through creating the song in my own style. Now, I’m singing for the Valvrave ending songs, which has contributed to my growth. So currently, that’s the one. But besides Valvrave, I think the song I sung for The World God Only Knows would be the one that I hold deep. That’s my new song, and it’s a very long song. Yeah, I like it.

Q: Could you share with us your plans for the future?

Elisa: I will be having a live concert next year in January. I really like performing live and I treasure each chance I get. Every concert, it’s different, and the audience is different too. There’s only one chance per show, and I want to give it my best for each performance! I would also like to try many new things, like playing the piano on stage, but that’s not confirmed yet though. I want to challenge myself and do a lot more things apart from producing CDs.

Q: This is sort of related to the second question. At that audition, you were asked to sing two songs. The first song you sang was a pop song, and the second was an opera song. Was that suggestion from you or the judges?

Elisa: I chose the songs.

Q: Why the different genres?

Elisa: I was not sure which one would be better for the competition. For my voice, I can sing both types of songs, like karaoke, and school songs. I like both types and my voice suits both of them, so I really couldn’t choose. In the end, I decided to sing both to show that I have a wide range of vocal expression.

Q: Do you have any other plans to hold concerts outside of japan?

Elisa: I’m planning to come back to Singapore to perform, hopefully *laugh*.

Image Credits: ELISA's Facebook Page

Q:  You started your career at a very young age, so have you ever felt like you’ve missed out on adolescence?

Elisa: Hmm, I felt like “Eh, I’ve become an adult while I’m still a child”. Because I made my debut while I was in high school, I feel like I’m still like a student, but I’m growing up now. But I still feel like a child inside, so I’m having mixed feelings about it, I’m wondering whether it’s really ok to be an adult with this mindset *laugh*.

Q: There’s one part in the song, Realism that is really similar to opera. Do you like opera, and are there any works that you favour?

Elisa: I like the Marriage of Figaro. It’s the song I sung at the audition.

Q: What do you think of the anime festivals in South East Asia?

Elisa: It’s really quite wonderful to be at the stage of anime festivals. I’m really touched by the sight of people all over the world gathering at one place, sharing the moment and having passion about the same thing. It’s like Japanese people gathering in summer to watch fireworks *laugh*.

-Transcription/Translation/Commentary by Cheryl

-Layout/Pictures/Posting by Cheryl

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