Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song- Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-



Singer Interview
Kairi Yagi

— My first question is: Why did you want to become a singer?
I've been singing since I was a child, but at the time I never thought about actually becoming a professional singer. There was an audition where I sang in front of an audience, which became a turning point for me. Until then, I’d always get too nervous, and my attention would be on the audience’s reactions as I sang. But during that audition, I was able to relax and enjoy myself, and not worry about a thing. It was that experience that made me want to seriously pursue a career as a singer.
— Currently, you have your own YouTube channel, and you post videos of yourself playing the guitar and singing. When did you first pick up the guitar?
I started playing guitar for that audition I just mentioned. I wanted to try something new, so I started playing guitar on a whim. I practiced and practiced for about six months, and then I performed with the guitar at that audition for the first time. That’s when I started, so I guess I've been playing for about four years now.
— And now you've been chosen to sing the vocal tracks for the character Vivy in the original TV anime, Vivy -Flourite Eye's Song-, but how did you feel when you were offered the part?
Well, I really love anime, so when I heard that I was being given the chance to sing the opening theme for an anime, I was thrilled.
— Do you watch a lot of anime?
Oh, I watch all types of anime including anything from recent isekai-themed shows to shonen shows. Personally, I also like shows that deal with heavier themes. (Laughs) I watch most of them on the streaming services I'm subscribed to, and if there's anything else on TV that catches my eye, I'll record it. So I'm always watching tons of shows. No wonder I was so thrilled to get this offer! (Laughs)
— I'm sure you learned about the details of Vivy after you received the offer, but can you describe your first impressions of the show for us?
Of course, I knew about him. When I heard his name mentioned in the first meeting, the first thing that popped into my mind was “Renai Circulation” (the theme song for Episode 10 of the animated TV series, Bakemonogatari), and once I got home after the meeting, I started looking him up like crazy. And I was like, “Wow, Mr. Kosaki worked on all these anime shows that I've watched!” That was pretty astounding. And then I got emotional all over again, knowing that I was going to get to sing Mr. Kosaki's songs.
— You've sung numerous songs as Vivy's singing voice, but which song did you first work on?
That would be “My Code” (insert song for Episode 1). I had so many things to consider, since I would be singing it, but it was also a song that would be performed by Vivy in the show, who is an AI. On the other hand, it would also be the first time that the audience would get to hear Vivy singing, so I made up my mind to take a straightforward approach to singing the song, without overthinking it.
— So just like Vivy in Episode 1, you were singing from the perspective of being a newcomer. There's a sense of innocence to the song, but what it was like actually recording it?
Well, I was beyond nervous. I'm actually pretty nervous even now during this interview, and recently it seems like I'm feeling nervous all the time! (Laughs). I'm sure I’m going to be nervous the next time I record as well, but the first time I was so nervous that my voice was trembling, and I didn't know what to do. But then I sang the song once or twice, and after listening back to it, I thought, “Well, it can't get any worse.” After that, I was able to relax a little when I sang.
— In other words, you were sure that you'd improve after that first take.
That's right. I was able to start singing better by telling myself, “This is no time to be nervous.” And so from that point on, I made sure to listen back to each take after singing it.
— So what kind of instructions did Mr. Kosaki and Masaharu Yamanouchi, the music producer, give you?
When we recorded “My Code,” they didn't really give me any instructions about singing the song in a certain way. But after that song, they taught me different ways that I can express myself, and how to make each line sound new. So that was a real learning experience for me.
— “My Code” was played during Episode 1, but what did you think when you saw the show?
They first showed me the episode, but you can only hear a few seconds of the song in Episode 1, so I had my eyes glued to the screen, thinking, “No way am I going to miss it!” (Laughs) And it was just a few short seconds, but I was still thrilled to hear it.
— Next, you sang “A Tender Moon Tempo,” the insert song from Episode 3, which was a ballad with a gentle melody.
I was really moved by this song's lyrics, especially the part that goes, “From the days of being given, to becoming a giver.” Singing phrases like that made me want to evolve as a human being. By reflecting on the meaning of those lyrics while I sang, my approach to singing started to change.
— The lyrics written by Natsumi Tadano seemed to express Vivy's personal emotions rather than the overall story of the series. That's why the lyrics probably must have linked with your emotions.
That's true. It's like the lyrics perfectly expressed the emotions I was feeling as I was watching the anime, so they really resonated with me.
— Did you feel that you were evolving during the recording session, like Vivy did in the series?
Absolutely. By the time we recorded the final song, I was able to really have fun with it, which made me very happy.
— Aside from the insert songs we mentioned, you also sang the opening theme, “Sing My Pleasure.” Can you tell us how you felt when you first heard this epic song?
First I thought, “Wow, this song is cool!” The next thought that crossed my mind was, “This song is going to be so difficult so sing.” (Laughs) So I rehearsed like crazy. But it was still hard.
— The song has so many dramatic changes and the vocals are very emotional, but what was the recording session like?
While we were recording this song, Mr. Kosaki and Mr. Yamanouchi pointed out some of the patterns I have as a singer. I tend to sing in an emotionally intense way, and when we were trying to determine whether I should keep that or drop it from my singing style, I just couldn't sing without being intense, no matter what. So that's one significant thing that I had to work on personally. I did a lot of practicing at home. That was pretty tough for me.
— So by working on this song, it helped to you to evolve your approach as a vocalist. What was it like hearing the final version?
The song sounded so good that I thought it wasn't me who was singing. The chorus at the end turned out great, so I can't wait for everyone to hear the full version.
— Yes the buildup at the end of the song gave me goosebumps. The hook where you sing the lyrics, “As you like my pleasure” in the beginning and middle sections was also magical. What was it like recording that chorus?
I got a lot of compliments for that…which made me so happy.

YAMANOUCHI: The way Mr. Kosaki builds his choruses is very unconventional, and they would be difficult to harmonize on the spot if you were singing karaoke. He writes melodies that normal people wouldn't think of, so it's difficult to harmonize them. But she nailed it, like it was nothing. Mr. Kosaki and I were like, “She’s amazing!”

I'm so glad it worked out… (Laughs)
— When I interviewed Mr. Kosaki and Mr. Yamanouchi earlier, they had nothing but good things to say about you.
Really? Wow… (laughs) Mr. Kosaki praised me once in a while, and he really complimented me a lot when we recorded the last song. But I'm the type of person that doesn't handle praise well. After someone compliments my work, I tend to mess up on the next take, so I asked them not to praise me too much. (Laughs)
— You mean, you can't do a good job when someone praises you?
Yes… (Laughs) It's like I end up basking in the praise and feeling good, and then I start messing up.
— Before the show aired, “Sing My Pleasure” was featured in the first trailer, and you’ve been getting a lot of attention from that. Have you heard any of those comments?
Yes I have. When I post something about Vivy on social media, I can't stop my hands from trembling, and even after I hit post, I'm still shaking like crazy. But afterwards, people send me the nicest messages, and I'm like, “Thank goodness…” That's when I can finally relax.
— I think that as the Vivy story continues to unfold, you'll be getting even more attention. By the way, as a singer, what are your thoughts on performing live in front of an audience?
Performing live is what I want to do more than anything else. Last year, I did an online live concert without an audience, but since everyone could see me but I couldn't them, I was twice as nervous as usual. It made me realize once again how important it is to be able to look at your audience and make eye contact with them.
— I'm sure you'll be getting much busier from now on in your career, and we're looking forward to seeing you perform the songs from Vivy on stage.
That's something that I'd definitely love to do someday. I'm already practicing the Vivy songs at home and imagining how I'd like to perform them in front of an audience.
— Is there anything you have learned from this project that will help you in your career as a singer, and has it influenced your songwriting in any way?
I'm still writing music and lyrics. So working on Vivy has been one big learning experience for me. For example, after I recorded harmonies or layered my vocals for the show, I would go home and try it out on my own.
— So you've taken your first steps as a singer now, but what kind of singer would you like to be in the future?
I know that my goals and ambitions will constantly change, but I always want to be a singer who will bring joy to my fans.
— Finally, can you give a message to the fans who are all looking forward to finding out what’s going to happen next in Vivy?
Obviously I hope everyone enjoys the music, and I hope everyone watches Vivy and Matsumoto's hundred-year journey to the end.