Press Conference Interview with Kalafina in Mexico (2016.02.19) English Translation

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Kalafina is a famous Japanese vocal trio created by composer Yuki Kajiura and comprised singers by Wakana, Keiko and Hikaru. They conquered Mexico with their stunning voices accompanied by its symphonic band on February 20, 2016 at El Plaza Condesa at 6:00 pm.

A day of its first performance in the city of Mexico, the vocal trio Kalafina met with various media to talk of their career and their expectations about the Mexican public. Wakana, Keiko and Hikaru came amidst with a round of applause and with a radiant smile on their faces, as they began to answer our questions.

Welcome! What is the feeling you have for showing up in another country like Mexico?
Wakana: We are very happy for the first time in Mexico. And we are excited to listen to a whole new audience. These days, we met very friendly people here.

What was it that made you accept the invitation from LoveJapan Entertainment to come to our country?
Keiko: What made us realize that there were fans here is through that one day, a fax came to a Japanese TV program from a Mexican fan and said “I want you to come to Mexico”, and that gave us a desire  to know about the fans who had been on the other side of the world.

What are your musical influences with respect to each of the members of Kalafina?
Hikaru: Beyonce, I like general pop, it has always been an inspiration to me.
Wakana: Since I was young, I had the opportunity to be in institutional areas involved with classical music and gospel, but my influences include MISIA, Celine Dion and Christina Aguilera.
Keiko: I woke up in the music, thanks to a male artist named Yutaka Ozaki.

What do you expect from the Mexican public on the day of the concert?
Keiko: We had the opportunity to talk with Eir Aoi (who was present in Mexico last year) and told us  that Mexicans are very passionate and inspiring, so we’d like to see that passion.

What has been the most memorable/honorable moment with Yuki Kajiura?
Wakana: I’m not as close to her outside the context of recordings or production but Kajiura-san is a very kind person; she treats us very well as artists. When I’m looking for guidance on how to interpret a song, I asked Kajiura-san, and she replied “Sing as you want, with freedom”. It may sound strange to receive such freedom, however it is very important for me to receive that kind of address.

The Japanese media is very demanding and heavy in terms of artistic training. Can you share a little bit about all the preparations prior to currently being part of Kalafina?
Keiko: I don’t feel that it is difficult and hard as you think. For Kalafina, the only training we’ve had is by listening to the other two voices (Hikaru and Wakana ) and gradually better harmonize. At the same time it has become a good way to refine the relationship between the three of us.
Hikaru: Creating harmony is somewhat difficult, but I think it is interesting and fun to have the opportunity to create something like this. By means of training, following which entered Kalafina, I’ve started listening genres and artists I haven’t heard before.
Wakana: It has been a great opportunity to study and learn to harmonize with the other two members. I started in gospel where I had to do this with many people, but in terms of harmony, in every song, it is important that each one may sound good with the other two.

What would you recommend to a Mexican when they go to visit Japan?
Wakana: Go to Fukuoka,where I grew up. The fish there is very fresh and there were various in nature.
Keiko: Experience the “Omotenashi” , which is basically the feeling of being treated as a guest in Japan, I think it’s a unique aspect of being Japanese, wanting to show the best of our country, either in treatment or kindness way of speaking.
Hikaru: First if they like the anime go to Akibahara , and second is the food, Japanese food varies greatly depending on the region so you might want to visit all regions to eat.

What we people can experience who has not yet experienced a Kalafina concert?
Keiko: For someone who will be a hard fan, I recommend them to enter the field with the heart empty, without any expectation of what they will hear, as it is something unique. Kalafina is a unique genre.

Any interesting or funny anecdote you had during concerts?
Wakana: As we are always working together, I think it’s the most fun and learn things we didn’t know from each other.

What song or project considered more significant in your career?
Keiko: There is something in particular, since everything is important and has led us to where we are now. Everything we’ve been through has been valuable to us.

Will there be an anime to contribute next?
Hikaru: There is none at the moment, but expect something interesting.

What other genre would you like to try?
Keiko: Kalafina has participated in different genres; we believe that instead of worrying about genres, we prefer to do different things. But it also depends on what Kajiura-san has proposed to us.

Do you have knowledge about Mexico?
Keiko: Tacos, burritos and guacamole (laughs). Also the pyramids of Teotihuacan, we thought that we were further from here.

We have an outside perspective of what is the “Cool Japan” project.  How does Cool Japan supports artists from Japan and Kalafina directly?
Keiko: While it is a support, it’s not direct, because the Cool Japan project seeks to expand Japanese culture beyond the borders.

With which band / artist would you like to collaborate in the future?
Wakana: With the group SPEED , because I quite like the voice quality, however anyone who likes to work with us is welcome.
Keiko: With the band ALFEE , they are three and there’s three of us (laughs).
Hikaru: I don’t have an artist or group in particular. But I’d like to do a collaboration with some rock artist.

Tomorrow is your first concert in Mexico, do you have some surprise to your fans?
Hikaru: If we tell them, it would be not a surprise. (Laughs)

Do you know Mexican artists?
Keiko: Not really, could you recommend us some?
Press: Jeans, Pandora.
Keiko: Thank you!

Remember some time with the fans that you can treasure?
Wakana: There is a language barrier with them, yet despite this the fans sing with us in Japanese though they don’t know it. That’s where it makes us think that music is something really incredible.

What word describes Kalafina, in one word?
Keiko: It’s difficult! (Laughs). There’s one in Japanese “Sanmiittai”, which means: three bodies, a single entity.

How do you take care for your voice?
Hikaru: I personally do not eat foods that may irritate my throat, and in group nothing special, the same routine as other singers do to avoid damage to the voice, such as maintained some level of humidity, eating sweets before singing, etc.

What’s your inspiration to interpret your songs??
Wakana: The most important thing is what Kajiura gives, and understand which conveys the song as we begin to create the harmony of voices.

Do you have any message to your Mexican fans who were waiting for the concert tomorrow?
Keiko: On one hand we brought musicians we chose well as well as with those who are going to participate and thus we have worked hard for the concert tomorrow. We hope to create with them a unique treasure for life.

Thank you!

JaME would like to thank to Kalafina, LoveJapan Entertainment, and their interpreter for making this press conference possible.

TL disclaimer: Please take this translation with a grain of salt.
I know a little bit Spanish but I can’t fully understand some phrases so please feel free to correct me if there’s some mistakes lmao XD

Original Interview via Xiahpop and JaME (media partners with CoolJapan); photo source

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