Interview – March 26, 2012
What people or artists are some of your biggest influences?
May’n: Namie Amuro. I saw her on TV when I was 3 yrs old. I thought, “I want to be someone like her who can sing and dance.” This was the spark that made me aspire to become a singer.
For your new album, HEAT, what was your biggest challenge? Is there a new side of May’n that you want fans to see?
May’n: This time, I created the album with the theme of the heat I feel at the live shows, the heat I want to create when I’m performing, and the heat I receive from everyone in the audience.
So this album became the hottest and most “live-feeling” ever.
What was it like to work with Yoko Kanno and Megumi Nakajima on the Macross Frontier soundtrack?
May’n: When I’m with Megumi Nakajima, my Sheryl switch is turned on. I think she always looks so cute just like Ranka, even though she’s my age. Youko Kanno brought out my voice that I didn’t know. The current May’n is really thanks to Youko Kanno. She always gave me hard directions like, “You should be able to do more, you should be able to push more!” (*laughs)
You have performed at AFA in Singapore, Anime Expo in America, and twice at Japan’s Budokan. What’s the next world venue you’d like to perform at?
May’n: Since I became May’n, I’ve been fortunate to have live shows at many locations including the Asian tour.
But there still are many places I haven’t been to in Japan, and even more overseas. If there are people who are waiting for me, I’ll go there for sure, wherever that may be!!
How do you prepare yourself before a live performance?
May’n: I do stretches until right before the show starts. I usually go so close to show time that my stylist and make-up artist are always super-rushed. (*laughs)
Also, I receive the microphone early and hold it in my hands. That way, it feels like it becomes a part of my body. This is one of the pre-show things I always do.
Since you just recorded many new songs for HEAT, how much time does it take you to recharge and start new projects? Do you start writing down new ideas when you’re touring, or do you wait until the tour is over to start fresh?
May’n: So far, I’ve never thought “I need to recharge!” I like to be surrounded by music every day. I go on spontaneous trips by myself, and I think that refreshes me.
During tours, I get so much inspiration. “WE ARE” from “HEAT”, “YOU ROCK” and “Phonic Nation” were all inspired during tours. Even if it’s not songs I write by myself, I ask to include thoughts and emotions that I felt at live shows, and I put those feelings into my performance when I’m recording. At my live shows, my fans are helping me create new music, even if they don’t know it.
You had your start with HoriPro’s Talent Scout Caravan, so many young singers look up to you. What advice do you have for young people who dream of becoming professional singers?
May’n: I believe that dreams come true as long as you put effort into it. Keep practicing! Let’s work hard towards our dreams together!
— originally published by Inside Anime Expo by arrangement with Resonance Media