[Interview] Get into the Hip-Hop Groove with Sudannayuzuyully


Sudannayuzuyully is one of LDH’s newest units, consisting of YURINO and Suda Anna from Happiness and Takebe Yuzuna from E-girls. Sudannayuzuyully (スダンナユズユリー) is a Japanese dance-pop and hip-hop trio under avex trax. The unit’s name is a portmanteau of the girls’ nicknames Sudanna (スダンナ), Yuzu (ユズ) and Yully (ユリー). They are one of several units that make up E.G. Family.

On November 9, 2016, a new unit formed by Suda Anna, YURINO and Takebe Yuzuna was announced at the first concert of Happiness’ first tour “Happiness LIVE TOUR 2016 GIRLZ N’ EFFECT.” In the unit, Yuzuna is a vocalist and Anna and YURINO are rappers. This is the first time both members will be featured vocally in any E-girls related group, as they are usually dancers.

On November 26, 2016, the unit announced they would debut with the single “OH BOY” on March 1st, 2017 under the avex trax sub-label rhythm zone.

Congrats on releasing your second single “CALL ME NOW” as well as Happiness getting their first #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts with “GOLD.” What was your favorite track from the single?

YURINO: Thank you! Releasing our 2nd single as Sudannayuzuyully is really a dream come true. When we decided to create this group I never imagined that we would find such success and continued interest! For Happiness this was our first #1 on the Oricon charts and it really hit home. We are so grateful and thankful for our fans who continue to show us support. About the song, I really like “JUMP,” it’s a cover of Kris Kross and the lyrics really fit with Happiness, it’s great to dance to. When I perform with Happiness I usually am only performing and focus on my dancing; however, for this song only I hold a mic and dance at the same time.

Anna: Thank you!! I am so happy because in general what interests me and what I like happen to be exactly what Happiness and Sudannayuzuyully are doing right now! I don’t have anything to say other than I really hope things continue to move forward as they are! There’s a lot of different songs that I like but I would have to say that right now my favorite is “CALL ME NOW”! The lyrics are just fun and as a girl it really suits us especially since we wrote it ourselves. In particular the raps fit really well with us when we drop our voices and do some up-tempo flows. It was a cool experience to express myself and also create this unique character and sound. Every time we perform this song I just think, “Yup, I like this song!” It’s always entertaining. But still I want to keep on creating more unique and fun songs.

Yuzuna: I like a song called “Lover”, which is a track coupling with “CALL ME NOW!”. This is a sequel to our first single “OH BOY”, and the lyrics are so cute, charming, which is very much like us!

Do you have any dreams or goals as a singer? For example, performing at a certain music venue or collaborating with another artist?

YURINO: I want to do Arena tours! Then I guess if we are able to accomplish that I would at some point like to do a Dome Tour!!

Anna: My personal goal is to perform at all 5 domes in Japan! No matter how or what it is part of I am truly looking forward to performing across Japan on a Dome Tour. We are always supporting other artists at LDH on their tours so when I just think about a Dome Tour I get so excited. It would be incredible.

Yuzuna: I have always liked BoA and aspired to be like her. Her performance was a catalyst that caused me to follow this path as an artist. I want to be bigger and bigger and collaborate with her someday! Also, one of my dreams is to release a cover album of her songs as a solo artist.

If you could perform internationally, where would you want to perform?

YURINO: I think that MTV is really cool so I want to one day take the stage on there. I also want to go to China, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and Asia. I often hear that in France they like Japanese culture so it would be interesting to see the reaction we would receive there. 

Anna: Of course Madison Square Garden! So many artists have performed there and we have been dreaming of it since Middle School.
However, performing overseas would be a wonderful opportunity so anywhere is okay! I am really interested in seeing how fans react to our performance and the response we receive. I think anywhere overseas would be a cool experience but since I am half Filipino, I am really looking forward to performing in the Philippines!

Yuzuna: Definitely the U.S.! I’d love to be on the stage for Billboard or an MTV Award!! Only the top notch stars of the world can be there, and I want to be one of few who ever stood there, especially as a Japanese person! I think it’s a big dream but I really want to be a part of it.

What is a genre of music/concept that you would like to try?

YURINO: Even more so than now I would like to see the project go in an even more Hip-Hop direction! Specifically, I think it would be cool to do things themed around Pizza.

Anna: I feel like right now we have our own unique Japanese style. In the future I really want to go in a Hip-Hop direction. Tokyo Represent!! It’s unique to keep our own Japanese personality but also create something new. If we could film at some touristy spots in Japan and insert some Sou (a Japanese instrument) sounds into the song to create this new sound Hip-Hop sound. Hip-Hop from Japan! I really want to create a song and music video like this.

Yuzuna: We’ve been singing many Hip-Hop songs and I believe we can do great rapping and dancing in some Asian-like or Rock-ish music. We can also definitely try a ballad/slow tempo song in which we can pass on some stronger messages or meaning!

I’ve discovered that you all have written the lyrics to all the songs on “CALL ME NOW,” can you explain how the process was?

YURINO: The lyrics centered on the theme of “Calling up the boy we liked! Quickly!” We each thought about that individually and the lyrics just took shape based on how we felt.

Anna: For “CALL ME NOW” it started out as YURINO just taking photos like she was on the phone. But it was funny, and we all started making jokes and after we released “OH BOY” we starting thinking about ideas for the next song; we thought why not a song about making a phone call! We thought it would be fun to play with the sounds a phone makes and do this really cute video. We all got really excited about the idea and got behind it together and created “CALL ME NOW!”

Yuzuna: It all started when we were taking photos of YURINO posing like she was making a call, which looked so cool and we wanted the world to see it! We are all mobile-addicted and always hold onto them. They are essential to our daily life, and we were like, “Why not make a song about them? It would be fun!” After that, we started writing lyrics which depict a girl’s feeling who is waiting for a call from a boy she likes!

Who is an influence to your style? Many have noticed a 90s vibe to your music videos.

YURINO: I started learning Hip-Hop dance when I was 12. Because of this I think I was really influenced by Hip-Hop culture. I am always watching video of dancers from Japan, overseas, and music videos as well. I used to also really be into Street Style dancing and was heavily influenced by Harajuku and street culture as well.

Anna: Since I was a child, I have always listened to Def Tech and I love Rap and Hip-Hop music. Being able to express myself through Rap is a point of pride for me and something that I really enjoy. DOBERMAN INFINITY, another group at LDH, expresses themselves so effortlessly through Rap and is a real source of inspiration for us! Being a girl and rapping is also really cool to me. When I first watched 2NE1 I immediately thought that I wanted to rap. DARA, a member of 2NE1, is super famous in the Philippines as well and an inspiration to me. I first saw her on YouTube and I really was amazed at the impact and image that she created. DARA reminded me of TLC with a unique sound and Hip-Hop style. I used to watch her with my mother and do my best to perform and imitate her.

Yuzuna: Sudannayuzuyully was inspired by TLC. I have always liked them before we formed the group, but I now listen to their songs and watch their music videos more, and all of them were so inspiring! Their unique style of fashion and music are so cool!!

What do you think is the biggest difference between American pop/Hip-Hop music and Japanese pop/Hip-Hop music?

YURINO: I think that American style pop/Hip-Hop is more sync’d with the dance! I think that Japanese pop/Hip-Hop is more fresh and youthful.

Anna: Compared to the US, Hip-Hop in Japan still doesn’t have the same recognition that is does overseas. It isn’t heard in every street and rap isn’t nearly as popular however, I think we do a really great job of mixing Hip-Hop and pop together. Lately I’ve noticed that more TV programs which feature Rap have started to appear and there is more Hip-Hop in the media. Also, in terms of sales and rankings Hip-Hop has started to move up in the charts and more people are becoming interested in it. I really feel that this new sound and combination is starting to be created in Japan.

Yuzuna: I don’t think Japanese Hip-Hop music is as widely known as American Hip-Hop music in the U. S. The Hip-Hop culture, fashion and music, is so edgy and deep in the U.S. but we are very much still in progress. In Japan, Hip-Hop is related to only rap or dance in most cases, but I want them to know more aspects of Hip-Hop culture.

What do you like to do for fun on your days off?

YURINO: I like to meet my friends and get my nails done! I also visit Shibuya or Harajuku. I also like to rest (nap) a bit! LOL.

Anna: I always try to make time to reflect and grow from my experiences. I meet with friends, watch dramas and movies, and reflect on things – taking in inspiration from all around. I also make sure my look is on point; I do my hair, nails, or try new looks. I like to go to Theme Parks as well especially to watch the performers and shows. I feel like I am constantly putting forward many things so I like to take my off time to reflect and input things as well.

Yuzuna: I just hang around in my house, fiddling with my mobile, watching Netflix. I feel like going out whenever the sun starts setting, so I take a stroll, or shop around Shibuya or Harajuku. Most of the time I spend time on my own!! I’d rather spend time alone or with my best friend!

How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage between work/jobs, especially for Anna and YURINO since you belong to three groups now?

YURINO: I just really make sure I get the perfect amount of sleep! I do my best to enjoy each day and smile. It’s really important to not let any stress get to you and just keep your spirits up!

Anna: Whenever I am tired or feel down I make time to meet with a friend or someone to talk with. If you’re alone you just kind of get trapped in your own unhappiness, but if you’re with someone else they can really help you out and for me my stress slips away. Also, getting enough sleep is really important. I make sure that I always get enough sleep and to be honest, I think that sleep also has a huge impact on your look and overall beauty.

Yuzuna: I mix Aojiru and soy milk and drink it every morning! Beauty comes from inside!

What is your favorite part about singing and performing?

YURINO: I want to share the feeling and emotions that we experience on stage with those who are watching us perform.

Anna: I am so happy that I am able to express myself through music, the lyrics, and all the sounds. I love to express myself and song and dance is the best way that I can share what I am feeling and thinking. Listening to music I can align myself with the sound and it really makes me happy to express myself. Also, when I perform or express myself if I can make someone else happy or able to experience or share emotions I would be so pleased. Being able to do this brings me happiness and contentment with my job.

Yuzuna: My favorite part is the part I can feel unity with the audience, laughing, dancing, or singing! I love it because I feel it’s so special and a privilege to us as artists that people get excited by our songs or performances and enjoy the moment together with us.

What is your favorite song to perform?

YURINO: Happiness, “Sexy Young Beautiful” and Sudannayuzuyully, “Konnichiwa, What’s Up!”

Anna: With Sudannayuzuyully, I like to perform “OH BOY” and “Lover.” I also love the song “Konnichiwa, What’s Up!” With Happiness, I like the songs “SYB” and “Ordinary Girls.” The sound and the performance is just fun to be a part of and has its own unique character.

Yuzuna: “Konnichiwa, What’s up!” In the song, there’s a part where we go like, “Konnichiwa What’s up!!!!” with a very particular move, like a high five. We always do it with our fans and whenever I see all the audience doing the same move, I always feel so united with them and hyped up!

Where do you see the E.G. family in the next 5 years?

YURINO: I hope we can become the new standards in the Japanese girls entertainment scene.

Anna: I see that each person will be doing their own thing and moving towards achieving their own goals. It’s fun to see kids and everyone working towards their goals. We want to keep E.G. family together but we also want everyone to be able to achieve their own goals!

Yuzuna: E.G. family members range widely in terms of age, and I hope each member can fulfill their dreams in 5 years, that’s one of my goals. I also hope new, younger members can flourish as members of E-girls or other groups in E.G. family in the future.

A few fans have submitted their own questions for Sudannayuzuyully.

If you could have any LDH artist featured on your song, who would it be?

YURINO: I want to collaborate with Happiness! It would be interesting to perform the same song as a member of both groups at the same time!

Anna: ELLY! DOBERMAN INFINITY! Someone who raps from LDH would be perfect and I think that we could really create something unique with that! I really respect them all as artists and I want to create something with them.

Yuzuna: I want it to be Doberman Infinity! They are a pioneer as a Hip-Hop group in LDH and our mentor! Collaboration with D. I. is definitely one of my goals as I like their music so much!

What were some of the challenges when first recording “OH BOY” that you have overcome with “CALL ME NOW?”

YURINO: We had pressure on us to create something better than what we had made before. I also felt the pressure to have my voice show stronger emotions, and really emphasize my character. I wanted to make sure that my flow (rapping) was interesting and refreshing as well. I really thought about that.

Anna: More than “OH BOY” the rap parts are longer and have more going on. We get to work on the lyrics, the song, and create our own unique tempo and rhythm. I worked with YURINO to create this full sound and polished song.

Yuzuna: The tempo is much faster than “OH BOY”, so I always concentrated so I don’t drag! I had some difficulty with the verses as it doesn’t have many sounds and tended to sound a bit dark. I focused so much not to sound dark.

I see you guys modeled for NYLON magazine quite a lot now, so do you have any plans to make your own fashion brand? Because SYY already had their own distinguished fashion style and music that is close to Hip-Hop and Street Style.

YURINO: I personally really like fashion and I think that this would be something very interesting for us to do. It’s always been a dream of mine to create an item in collaboration with a fashion brand!

Anna: Lately I have been interested in different fashion styles and accessories. I will wear something and then think “Oh I want to wear more of these.” As there are 3 of us, we each have a different taste and even if we were to make our own brand we might all think differently. I think the first step is if we can create a brand or collaboration with an already established brand.

Yuzuna: I have some dreams I envision on that! But for now, I want to release some collaboration goods from Sudannayuzuyully in the near future!

Is it fun having a sub unit together?

YURINO: It’s fun! This group is the smallest I am a part of and the smallest in EG Family. When we travel for work, we are able to go eat together, do some sightseeing and it’s fun to do things as a group!

Anna: If all three of us aren’t having a good time – we’re tired or we aren’t positive – then this is going to show through in the music. Therefore we have to do something together and create our own fun as a group. If we don’t communicate openly as a group and continue to talk or laugh then there may be some problems. When we make music as well we will come together on the lyrics and we can understand what each other is thinking as well. That’s fun! What we want to do as artists, we are gradually able to do so that is very exciting and fun!

Yuzuna: It’s fun! When we only are 3 people, we can be so nimble. For example, we go out to eat when we are in other cities for shows! Also, Sudannayuzuyully’s style and music are very different to that of E-girls, so I enjoy expressing another side of myself! Its songs are more about getting hyped up rather than giving a clean-cut performance, so I enjoy that!

Was it hard filming the music video for “OH BOY?” Those were very big coats and it looked like it was spring or summer outside haha! Was it fun?

YURINO: It was honestly difficult to film in the coat, it was hot! This was the first time I’ve done a video as part of Sudannayuzuyully so I did my best to dance and sync properly to the music! There was this big red baby which was fun to film with. I had a great time!

Anna: It was hard because rather than just dance it was the first time that both me and YURINO had to lip sync to match the video as well. That was difficult! There was a bunch of mistakes in the NG (No Good) takes. We both would watch the monitor and just laugh thinking about it.

Yuzuna: It was December when we filmed the music video for “OH BOY,” and it was freezing cold! I was so glad I got to pick the coat!!! I was a bit timid because there were many eccentric people in our band, but I was so happy and they helped us to make a good music video in such cold weather!

Who suggested you guys get together to form Sudannayuzuyully? Did you always know you wanted to do something together?

YURINO: Anna and myself are very interested in Hip-Hop style and so we just were very interested in forming the group! EXILE HIRO knew about that so he came up with the idea for our group! I really just had no image or idea for the group before we were put together so it was a wonderful realization.

Anna: We all just love Hip-Hop and its style. Therefore, it was perfect that EXILE HIRO was in agreement with that. He really wanted to make our dreams come true and the group was formed. YURINO always rapped at Karaoke and was always like, “One day I will rap.” And so it’s cool that she was able to debut as a pro rapper. Before we only did dance so it’s cool to be able to do many things and move forward with our careers. LDH allows us to do this and we feel very lucky to be a part of it.

Yuzuna: HIRO-san gave me this offer in the beginning of 2016. It was a surprise out of blue, but I’ve never been anxious about it as I always liked YURINO and Anna! We all like the same kind of stuff, same music. I think that was one of the reasons HIRO-san came up with the formation of Sudannayuzuyully!!! After we formed the group, more and more ideas kept coming to us, and I am excited to keep trying them all.

I’d like to thank Sudannayuzuyully for taking the time to answer all of these questions in detail. Was there something awesome or new that you found out about them and what was your favorite track from their latest single “CALL ME NOW?” Leave your comments down below!

Social Media

E.G. family Official Site

Sudannayuzuyully Official Site

Happiness Twitter

Sudannayuzuyully Instagram

YURINO Instagram

Sakura Harano
Japanese entertainment centered 🌹 a フェアリーズ and Camila Cabello fangirl

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