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IBUKI confides before the release of her new album!

A few days before the release of her second album, the Japanese metal singer, IBUKI, gave us some of her time for her very first French interview.

KRM - Hello IBUKI! You've been evolving in the music industry since 2008. How and why did you choose to make a career there? And why in metal?

IBUKI - Hello! It's IBUKI! I started composing when I was in elementary school, out of the desire. Initially, I dreamed of becoming a composer. But when I was able to meet a composer and discuss with him, ho told me that as a composer, I will not able to compose my pieces freely. So I asked him how to make my own songs and show them to the world. He replied that I had no choice but to become an artist. So I decided to make it my job. To become an artist. I entered the world of metal when a band offered me to become a singer. It was a pure coincidence... At the time, I knew nothing about metal! And even now sometimes I wonder what led me to become a metal singer!

KRM - Before starting you solo career in 2017, you were part of several bands. What motivated you to go it alone. And what are the advantages and disadvantages of both situations?

IBUKI - Originally, I wanted to be solo. I wanted to make music freely without being bound by anything. I was finally able to go solo when after I left the band, my label A-Line Music, asked me why I would not go alone. Being in a band is something great, lively and fun! However, when 4 or 5 people work together, human relations can become difficult. And there may be differences in technical capabilities that no longer allow the desired quality to be achieved. Conversely, working alone depends solely on ourselves and our skills. Musicians with great qualities can be called in as a support, which allows you to improve even more. And there is no stress of human relations. Nevertheless, it's a fight that we lead alone because we bear all the responsibilities. I believe that working solo requires more qualities, both technical and mental.

KRM - Today, along with your own activities, you continue to support certain bands and also launched the NATSUMETAL project in 2019. You would think that you still need to do a lot of things. How do you manage all of your activities? If one was missing, would you feel incomplete?

IBUKI - As a solo singer, I had the chance to be invited to various projects and involved in different activities. I'm so grateful! Doing a lot of things can be daunting, but it doesn't require special management. The only thing I have to do is "be conscientious in every activity and sing properly". And, even if one of them were to miss, I wouldn't feel it. The accumulation of each of my experiences has made me who I'm today.

KRM - Your name, IBUKI, has succeeded over the years in making a name for itself in the world of Japanese metal. Your singing quality coupled with your 4 octaves gave you our own signature through powerful and bewitching songs. How did you know how to use this vocal ability?

IBUKI - Both when I was singing karaoke smaller, or when I was a student, I was always able to reach high notes. So I don't make any special effort to reach them. In a way, it comes naturally to me. It's so that, honestly, I didn't find it so special, so important. "I go up in the trebles because the song I create need it..." that's what I said to myself. But recently, this year, when I found myself facing my songs, I finally realized the importance of my voice. It was when I was composing “MUGENZOU”, and that's when I really learned to use my vocal skills.

KRM - You released your first album, "ExMyself" in 2017. Since then, two singles have been released: “HIGH TENSION” in 2018, and “MUGENZOU” in 2021. Today, you're preparing your second album. Three years have passed. Were these three years of "solo break" wanted or are they consequence of the health crisis? Or on the contrary, did they help you focus on something else?

IBUKI - Working in music isn't all joy and fun! "I love music!"... I started in this world with this phrase in mind. But negative and painful feelings took a toll on my love of music. Maybe I was tired of singing... In any case, I wasn't in a positive mentality. "I want to sing! I want to do a song"... That's not how I felt. However, looking back... I think there are still songs that I want to share with the world and music that I want to pass on. I want to share my music with everyone until my passion dies.

KRM - Now let's talk about your next release: "Storm of Emotions" which will be released on Japan on November 17th. It consists of seven songs, including your previous single, "MUGENZOU". How was the composition and the preparation of this album? Wasn't it complicated with the health crisis?

IBUKI - To be honest, the coronavirus has had no impact on me. My composition method only requires data exchanges. And that, I think, is the one of the strengths of working alone. If anything happens... It only took us two months to produce the album. The hardest part was writing the songs, arranging them and recording them. Usually, I write the songs by myself, but this time it was more complicated and I felt the need to ask someone for the first time.

KRM - When we listen carefully to your new album, we realize that you surf between purely metal influences and more symphonic influences. How would you describe this album? Does it represent you better than "ExMyself"?

IBUKI - This new album represents me much more than "ExMyself". The lyrics are well as the melodies exceeded all my expectations. A lot of fans think it's my best album, and I think it is! I often listen to music that is not metal, like J-Pop from the 90s or soundtracks. I love good music regardless of genre. So I believe my music is a hybrid sound and not pure metal. This represents IBUKI well. But I also have the desire to be able to make real metal. So there is a chance that I will do totally metal songs in the future. I can't wait to see my next evolution, to see how my musicality will change in the future and to see what my next album will look like.

KRM - Paradoxically, you decide to use the title "Mata Kimi no Koishiteru" which touches more on the register of Enka. Are you, yourself, a fan of this musical genre? Can you explain to us why perform this track in particular? Does it have a special meaning for you?

IBUKI - Yes, I like Enka. I love music beyond its genre, but for me Enka is special. It expresses unique emotions and singing in Japan. This track is the first cover I do as a solo artist. And I wanted to do something unexpected because it was a great challenge! That's why I decided to cover this song. But the Enka is difficult. Besides, "Mata Kimi no Koishiteru", by Fuyumi Sakamoto, is a well-known song. So I had to succeed in expressing something unique. It was a real personal challenge to succeed in going beyond musical genres.

KRM - Considering all of this new release, what would be the song for you that you should listen to to discover yourself and why?

IBUKI - Of course, I would like you to listen to all the new songs on the album, but I would like to recommend “MUGENZOU”, which was release as a single. Until now I had never included a single in an album. But this time I wanted many people to be able to discover “MUGENZOU”. So I added it to the album! This track is undeniably his masterpiece. When you listen to this song, you immediately understand who "IBUKI" is and you can feel the full potential of a metal singer. If you want to discover another song, listen to “Mata Kimi no Koishiteru”. I believe that we can easily identify the voice tone specific of IBUKI. Of course, using a high pitch is one technique among others, but this song requires, above all, a strong singing ability. And that allowed me to work in a totally different way. I think I recorded one of my best songs! It's a piece that goes beyond genre boundaries, and which, mixed with my universe and my feelings, demandes that we pay attention to it.

KRM - “Storm of Emotion” will be produced in European edition in December. After "ExMyself" in 2020, this will be your second opus produced in Europe. Do you have a special attachment for your European fans?

IBUKI - The first time I came to Europe was a few years ago as a support singer for the band FATE GEAT during METAL MATSURI. During the fan meeting, there were so many fans who asked me for autographs on the CDs I had already released. I was so happy to see that I had fans in a foreign country! Besides, the streets of Europe are really beautiful and pleasant. I was totally conquered by Europe. I even have the dream of being able to live there one day. Even for a short time. Europe is really a special place for me!

KRM - You've already had the chance to perform in Europe. Can you tell us the most striking memory of your performances here?

IBUKI - When I performed with FATE GEAR during METAL MATSURI, there were really a lot of people. And I was so surprised that I thought "there are so many Japanese metal fans!". I was there as a backing vocalist for the band. And all their songs require high notes and made me aware of my qualities. Since then, I think I would be able to perform alone in Europe.

KRM - If we understand correctly, performing solo on a European stage could be a next step?

IBUKI - Of course! I really want to perform in Europe! One day I will! And this time, I will meet my fans as IBUKI, solo singer, rather than as a support.

KRM - To conclude this interview, do you have a last word to address to your French fans, or to our readers who would like to discover you?

IBUKI - Japan and Europe are far apart places. But we can unite our hearts through music! I want to bring music to each of you, everywhere, until my passion dies. Until that day, I count on your support! Thanks!


Redaction : Cyrielle Pons

(c) Pictures : IBUKI & A-Line

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