Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone! This is Risa. Today, I'm with Coma-chi. For the very first time, we are collaborating with an artist who appeared on our music video series. I'm going to have an interview with Coma-chi.
Coma-chi, can you please introduce yourself?
Ok! I'm Coma-chi. It's spelled C-O-M-A-C-H-I. I rap, sing, and produce music tracks. I have a career in music.
Thank you for your time today.
Thank you. Where does your name, Coma-chi come from?
In the old Japanese language, "Komachi" means a little girl. There was a poet named Ono no Komachi. She is a well known historical figure in Japan. She was a very famous poet in the 5-7-5 Japanese Waka poetry world. She was one of the best in the field and her work is very famous. When I write my own lyrics, I often get inspiration from her work. So I took her name as my stage name.
How old were you when you started writing original lyrics? I think I was in high school.
In high school?
Did anything trigger you to start writing lyrics?
I developed a taste in Hip Hop music first. Then started writing lyrics. In Hip Hop, you create lyrics based on what you want to convey. I got great influence from various Japanese rappers. That's how I started.
Who was the first artist you listened to the most or got the most influence from?
I got hooked on Hip Hop when I was in high school. Lauryn Hill is the first one. Lauryn Hill. Yes. I listened to her a lot. Before that, I was into Rock and other mixed-genre music. Yes. I even played many kinds of music in a band. Umm. When you were in a band, what kind of music did you play? At the beginning, I played 60's music, 70's music, and Oldie Rock. I used to play Janis Joplin's songs. So you liked Western music all along. Yes, Western music. I liked it a lot. From there, I started listening to cross-genre music between Rock and Hip Hop, like Rage Against the Machine. Cross-genre. After that, I put my focus on Hip Hop. So, not much influence from Japanese music, but you were mostly influenced by Western music? Yes, 80% is from Western music.
I see.
I think the Western music sounds and the associated cultures appeared cool and new to me. Yes. So I understand you create your own lyrics and music.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Mostly from ordinary life events and my thoughts. But for my newest album...
Oh, yes. Your newly released album Jomon Green was released recently.
The song I performed for you "The voice of Kamuy" is included in this album. Anyway, the inspiration for this album was the Jomon era. Jomon era was more than 10,000 years ago. I got inspiration from the period. I draw inspiration from various topics for my work.
Why the Jomon era?
Well... According to scholars, the Jomon era was a period in which there was no war for over 10,000 years.
During the Jomon era, humans existed as a part of nature. Nature allowed humans to coexist. That's how scholars think the people in that era lived. I thought such a concept was an important message to our current time. Also, like the gods in "The voices of Kamuy" which I will talk about later... Gods exist in various things. I'm not taking about one mighty god who tells what is right or wrong. There are gods in trees, stones, water, fire, etc. In every little thing, a god resides. That is the idea of Japanese Multitudinous Gods and according to scholars, the thought was developed during the Jomon era. That's a message hidden in this album.
I see. That is a powerful message.
Yes. In our current society, humans control nature so that we can live comfortably.
Yes, yes...
But in the Jomon era, there was a consensus in which the people believed that they could live peacefully only by coexisting with nature.
Yes, yes...
You performed a song called "The voices of Kamuy" for us. What is Kamuy?
In Hokkaido, there are indigenous people called Ainu. In the Ainu language, Kamuy means gods. When people hear the word "god," many people might have an image of the one and only, "God." But Kamuy could reside in almost anything, for example, in this table. The Ainu belief is that Kamuy's spirits dwell in everything and everywhere. This belief has been inherited from the Jomon era among the Ainu people. The Ainu people believe it even now. I got inspired by their spirit and culture.
Has having your first child changed anything regarding your music?
The other day, a person told me that the theme of my music has become grand. That comment made me think. The person said my songs make him/her become more aware of peace and other grand concepts. When I was single, I had this mentality "if things are okay now, everything will be okay." But after having the child, I often wish the world would remain the same when my child or my child's child becomes an adult. That's why... I now often think of the way that the Jomon people believed. I've become aware that my music has changed to more grand-scale themes after being told by others. You realized it when you were told...
Yes. So, you have many live performances. What is the most important thing for you when you do a live performance?
I pay attention to being earnest with my music. I want to get excited with the audience. I want to share my passion with the audience. I want to come together as one with my audience through my performance. Those are things that I keep in mind during my performance.
When you are performing, can you sense the excitement among the audience?
Yes, I can sense it very well. When my audience is quiet, my performance tends to be calm. But if the audience is very excited, with high tension, and they are all dancing, my performance gets loud and exciting. It's quite interesting.
Do you have a most memorable live performance?
Well... Like a live performance you were able to come together as one with your audience? Well, let me think... I've had so many performances by now... It's really hard for me to name one particular performance... But I'd say my 10th anniversary live after becoming a pro was the most memorable one for me. It was 2 hours long and I sang the whole time... So that's the one I remember the most. That performance is also on DVD.
Where can I buy the DVD?
The DVD is available at my official website, Queen's Room. I'd appreciate if you visit the site and check things out. That's a really nice cover. I agree. My past albums were named after colors. Day Before Blue, Red Naked, Golden Source, etc. So for the new one, I thought it's gotta be Jomon Green! Green. Yes! The new album will be available on May 16, nationwide. Before that, you can get it through my official web shop.
Today, we talked to Coma-chi who recently released her new album, Jomon Green. This album is filled with her passion. Please check it out, everyone!
Ok, Coma-chi, please send a message to our viewers.
Ok! Thank you very much for watching my performance and this interview today. I'd say this new album, Jomon Green, is a masterpiece in my career. Even if you don't get all the meaning of the lyrics, I hope my music will bring the passion, thoughts, and messages from ancient Japan and they will resonate with you. Please listen to this album. If you have a chance, please come see my live performance!
Thank you very much for your time today, Coma-chi.
Thank you very much.