AKINA, member of Japanese Girl Group FAKY, has released a new single “FUTURE”. She is a Half American and half Japanese singer-songwriter who stands out in the J-POP world because she has cultivated a unique musical sense that touches various cultures due to her experience moving around the world ever since her childhood. Her singing voice, which is both delicate and powerful was highly praised and her cover of “Amazing Grace” was also used as a special song for the movie “A Morning of Farewell” starring Sayuri Yoshinaga. As a newcomer, she has achieved an exceptional achievement.
AKINA is attracting attention in the alternative scene as a singer-songwriter while working globally as FAKY at the same time and today the song “FUTURE” produced by Kai Takahashi, who is a member of LUCKY TAPES and has worked on iri and Taichi Mukai has been released.
This work is AKINA’s first all-Japanese lyrics, and her sweet singing voice and the chill sound created by Kai Takahashi match perfectly that makes the listeners feel more positive.
Congrats on the release of your latest track “FUTURE”! Would you like to tell us about the song?
Thank you! This is a song that I collaborated with another Japanese artist named Kai Takahashi. The message I wanted to convey with this song was to reassure everyone who listened that it is perfectly fine to be in a rough spot now if you can find the strength eventually to be a better version of yourself. These past couple of years have been tough for me, personally, and many other people too so I know the feeling of wanted to give up, but I wanted everyone to know that you are the one to make or break your future. I hope this song will be able to help anyone who needs that extra push during these hard times.
“FUTURE” has a lot of Pop-R&B feel compared to your previous releases! What was your favorite part when recording this track?
My favorite part of recording this song was playing around with the verses! The second verse especially. The flow changes a couple times so we decided it would be interesting to change the tone of my voice too to make it almost sound like different people. I had a lot of fun challenging myself to rap the quick Japanese verses!
The music video overall is very chill and laid back, what was your favorite part to film?
The music video shoot honestly felt like a daylong shoot with friends! The scenes where I’m riding in the passenger seat were the most fun to film. We drove around Tokyo for about an hour, and I got to sit and relax and make conversation so it was a really comfortable scene to shoot.
I’ve noticed that you’ve been writing lyrics in recent releases like “Stupid, Careless, Dumb”? Do you sometimes find it difficult to convey what you want to say in a song?
I find that it’s easier for me to convey how I’m feeling through songs and lyrics! I’m not that great at expressing how I feel with conversation and sometimes it’s a lot easier for me to think clearly when I’m alone and in my own head space. So, when I’m writing down my thoughts and making melodies/lyrics my mind feels clear.
Late October, you performed on “Rolling Stone on Twitch” as the first Japanese artist to
make an appearance! How was the experience?
It was such an honor to perform for Rolling Stone Twitch! I am so grateful to have been able to share myself as an artist working in Japan for a global audience. It was actually my first livestreamed interview as a solo artist so I was extremely nervous, but I was so happy to be able to speak English!
You’ve said that your music style is more emotional and dark compared to FAKY. Can
you go into detail about your musical tastes?
Yeah, I would say it has a lot darker undertones than what you would expect from FAKY. I find that I gravitate more towards emotional songs because I love the rawness of the lyrics behind those types of songs generally. I really fell in love with music because of artists such as Ed Sheeran, Jhene Aiko, and Banks so I try my best to be as honest and heartfelt in my lyrics as well.
What’s your favorite thing about being part of a girl group and your favorite part about
being a solo artist?
My favorite part of being in a girl group is hands down just being with the girls! Knowing that I have them to lean on when things are rough, or to go to for a laugh feels like a second home to me. And my favorite thing about being solo is how I can share all my thoughts and ideas on spot without feeling any weight from my surroundings. It pushes me to work harder to know that my own visions drive my solo career, so I find myself
thinking a lot more in depth of who I am, my character and what it is that I want to express. That ultimately ties in with the career I have as FAKY so I feel like I am becoming a better artist day by day!
Do you know how to play any instruments and if so, which?
I’m not very good at it but I do play the piano and guitar. Because when I write melodies, I always start with my instruments haha.
What advice would you give someone who wishes to pursue a career in music?
The advice I would give is to just never give up and take risks even if it scares you. I moved to Japan from America at 15 in hopes of pursuing a career in music and never gave up, as challenging as it was at some points. As long as you believe in yourself, you will naturally attract people with the same motivations so if you have your own back you will never be alone!
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years as an artist?
That is honestly a question I don’t know how to answer quite yet. I know that will never stop making music, so I want to challenge myself to venture into different sounds and concepts. I don’t think I will ever settle into one area because that’s what makes music so exciting to me.
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