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[Interview Translation] BiSH~ Episode 6, Aina The End's first interview "I wanted to find some music that wouldn't be complete without my voice"

Posted by Lurkette, in Interview, Translations 02 September 2015 · 3283 views

Episode 6: Aina The End's first interview

During the auditions, there was a girl who was insanely good at singing. That same girl was also good at dancing. That was Aina The End. Maybe that's why she gravitated towards BiSH? Or no, maybe she's gravitating towards being an idol? That was the question. Listening to the second song posted for free download, "Saraba Ka Na," it confirms that her position in BiSH is absolutely indispensable. In this interview, I asked her what keeps her going. I want to see them live. The more I listen to these songs, the more I think that.

Interview and text: Iida Shinichirou

For the first time I thought, "Maybe BiSH's music is okay with me in it"

ーーWhat sort of group is BiSH turning into?

Aina The End (Henceforth, Aina): It's going to be really interesting. We have a group of capable people, but it all ends if we just say, "We can't do that," so I hope that different people will look at us and not get tired of us.

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ーーHow are the other members?

Aina: Everyone's so delicate, but Momoko is the kindest, I think. She really empathizes with people, like she thinks, "What would I do if I were this person?" You can see how funny she is but I think she might also be the most sensitive.

ーーWhat about Hug Me?

Aina: She's such a good person. She's like a mother or an older sister. She's reliable and dotes on me, she probably dotes on me the most of anybody.

ーーAnd Chicchi?

Aina: She's like THE idol. She's probably the most serious. She seems to know how to live, and I respect her.

ーーYou were all told to think of the dances by April, correct?

Aina: Yes.

ーーDo you feel any pressure?

Aina: Nah, it's fun. At first I didn't have any idea what the environment was like so I didn't know what to do for the choreography, but I ended up doing something that let each person stand out. I don't think up choreo at home. It's about the energy in the room, and ideas come to me when someone looks like they're having fun and that energy comes out, like, "Then let's give you a solo here!" I listen to the songs a lot every day, I think about how they're organized. Tons of things strike me at once, like, "Let's make everyone face each other here," or, "Let's do a tug-of-war," it's fun.

ーーYou were a dancer before BiSH, and you sang solo. Now you're an idol, so do you have any resistance to idol culture or being restricted?

Aina: I'm just excited. Up until now, I'd announce that I'd made a new song and it wouldn't even get 100 retweets, so I'm just happy people will listen now.

ーー4 songs have already been announced, but when I listen to them I really get how much of a force your voice is. What is it like singing on Matsukuma's songs?

Aina: It's refreshing. After recording, everyone else went home but me, and then Matsukuma showed me some Fall Out Boy videos and said, "You should sing like this!" When he said that, for the first time I thought, "Maybe BiSH's music is okay with me in it." I was worried up to that point that I wasn't "idol" enough, but just like that, I thought, "I'm overjoyed to be singing his songs so I will work even harder!"

ーーOkay then. He seems to have a vision to make the most of your voice.

Aina: I feel like my voice is in demand, which makes me happy.

I don't know why, but I thought I was invincible

ーーThese are individual interviews, so I want to touch on things that happened in your past, so what was your life like when you were younger? What were you like in middle school?

Aina: I was bullied like crazy.

ーーYou, too?!

Aina: (laughs). Momoko was thrown in pools, Aina was chased up trees. We're bullied children.

ーーWhen was this?

Aina: In middle school, the whole time. I was picked on every day. It was seriously quite difficult, but at that time I didn't care.

ーーWhere are you from?

Aina: Osaka.

ーーWhat kind of child were you in elementary school?

Aina: At the end of school every day, I'd ask, "Who will play with me today?!" But no one ever came to play. I've always thought I was some sort of genius.

ーーOh, really?

Aina: Like, in elementary school, I'd draw a picture and tell the art teacher, "This is to put on the wall!" and I'd force her to put it up around the school, and I'd climb trees and sing, things like that. I'd write in my diary, "The tulips were watching me," I was an insane narcissist. Looking back on it now, I was crazy, so it's no wonder I was bullied in middle school (laughs). I don't know why, though, but I thought I was invincible.

ーーThe reaction to the invincible elementary schooler was bullying in middle school.

Aina: They chased me up a tree, and like the top, boss-like kid stuffed grass into the hood of my jacket and told me to walk home like that. I don't know what the point of that was (laughs). Also, when boys would pass by the hall, these 4 girls would surround me and try to strip me. For some reason, I just laughed at that at the time. Thinking about it later, though, I was like, "What, that was awful." I think that's why I'm so insecure about taking my clothes off. So when the question was asked, "Will you take your clothes off for BiSH?" I ended up saying, "I won't." But then, strangely, I also said, "It's fine if it's just my nipples" (laughs).

ーーThis was every day?

Aina: Yes. Also, some people from a different middle school would be outside the front gate, yelling, "Die!" at me.

ーーWas it because they were jealous of you?

Aina: I don't know, but people at other schools hated me. Still, even though I was bullied, the people who liked me like me a whole lot, so I had both extremes of love and hate, which meant I didn't really have any acquaintances, on the surface. I was either a friend or an enemy.

ーーDid your friends help you out when you were bullied?

Aina: They did. When the bullies would like try to squish my fingers in the door, they'd come and protect me by pushing them.

Dance was the one way I could show people why I thought I was a genius

ーーWere you doing dance by that point?

Aina: Yes. I've been dancing since I was 4. I went to a performing arts school in middle school, but I didn't get much praise so I only ever got background roles.

ーーBut you were working hard at it, right?

Aina: I was working so hard. The other people there were in their 20s, and I was the youngest at 13, so I was completely treated like the youngest sister. I was doted on, but in that environment I had to become better at dance, so I was happy with it.

ーーYou learned a lot there, didn't you?

Aina: Yes.

ーーWhat was the most important thing you learned?

Aina: Pecking order.

ーーWhat?! Not dance? (laughs)

Aina: That's it (laughs). After lessons were over I'd be the first to clean up, and when that was done I would clean out the broom I used to sweep up, going, "Look how much I cleaned!" It was a small victory.

ーーYou weren't bullied?

Aina: I might have been (laughs). At the time, I ended up getting nerve pain and going into anaphylactic shock.

ーーAs the result of being bullied?

Aina: No, I just made people too mad at school. Getting picked on wasn't that bad to me. I didn't cry, and I didn't care when I got chased up the tree. I didn't care, just like, "I'm just happy they're paying this much attention to me."

ーーYou don't have health problems now, right?

Aina: I'm all better.

ーーWhat was high school like for you?

Aina: My school was strict, with 10 hour days full of classes, but around my sophomore year I cut out around the 7th hour to go home, and I was dancing all the while.

ーーAnd your studies?

Aina: I was diligent, but I would still be like 286th out of 286. I quit the performing arts school in my third year of middle school and starting going to jazz dance classes in high school.

ーーWhy did you devote yourself to dance?

Aina: I wonder why? I don't know because I've never lived a life without dance, but it was the one way I could show people why I thought I was a genius. I have some strength of expression now, so there are still times when I think, "I just might be a prodigy!" but at the time all I was doing was dance. I couldn't dance at all then, and now I still kind of suck.

ーーDo you not think you're a genius anymore?

Aina: I do sometimes. I dance naked when I'm at home so that I can see my body line better, and I love Oomori Seiko so I'll put her songs on and just dance the whole time. It feels less like dancing and more just expressing things with my whole body, pulling my hair back. I'll think, "If I were a backup dancer for Oomori Seiko then I would think up more interesting choreo than anyone!" And that's when I think I might be a genius.

ーーOkay then. So is it like, thinking you're genius = trancelike state?

Aina: About like that, yes.

I was living in a park for about 2 days

ーーHow is your life normally?

Aina: It depends on the day, but today my face is super swollen so I feel like crap. I was out last night until 2 in the morning eating salt ramen.

ーーAn idol can't be out until 2 in the morning eating salt ramen.

Aina: That's true. I'll have tonkotsu next time!

ーーSpoken like a true Osakan (laughs). Have you felt like an idol?

Aina: No, maybe when I stop eating ramen I will?

ーーHug Me seems to have felt it with her "orders to lose weight."

Aina: I still don't feel like an idol, but it will probably happen soon. I don't have any money so I'm not eating properly every day, and that's probably why I'm not fat, but otherwise I probably might be. When I first came to Tokyo, I was living in a park.


Aina: I was all on my own then, and I had already paid lesson fees and recording fees so I didn't have any money. I got behind on my rent, and when I came home one day my landlord was there and said, "Please start working, because if you can't pay, I can't give you a place to live." A few people let me stay with them, but since I had just gotten to Tokyo I didn't really have any friends, so for about 2 days I lived in a park. It's not that bad anymore so it's fine.

ーーWhen did you move to Tokyo?

Aina: When I was 18. After I graduated high school.

ーーYou didn't think about going to college?

Aina: My mom was pushing it, and I even applied, but I just thought, "Tokyo looks like fun," so I went there instead. I had some vague idea of doing dance there, but aside from that, I didn't have any plans in particular.

ーーBut it sounds like you went to a college prep high school, didn't most of your classmates go on to college?

Aina: That's right. Including me, there were only 2 people that didn't go on to college in my class.

ーーAnd that's when you jumped ship?

Aina: When I was 17 I was in a play, and I got a leading role. I had always been in background parts, so that was my first time singing in front of people. Even when I had gone to karaoke I mostly just played the tambourine instead of singing, but people told we I was good, surprisingly, when I sang, so I thought, "Maybe I can be a singer!" and that's when I started thinking Tokyo would be better for me. I guess that's where the idea came from.

ーーYou say it looked like fun, was that all you were going off of?

Aina: Yeah, I think so now, but at the time I simply felt like I wanted to do something. Singing and dancing were so pleasant to me. I assumed there would be hard times, but I left thinking that I could still sing a lot.

ーーWhat did your parents say when you suddenly told them you were going to Tokyo?

Aina: At first there was some resistance, but it ended up like, "Do whatever you like." I hadn't decided pretty much anything, but I told them I was going to be a singer so that they wouldn't worry about me. When I moved, both my parents and my sister brought my furniture up in their care, and it was fun. They gave me lots of support.

I wanted to find some music that wouldn't be complete without my voice

ーーWhat did you do after you got to Tokyo?

Aina: That's when things got hard. I didn't have any money but I needed to record songs and I needed to perform live. I had my first live show at club asia in Shibuya, but only one person came. But I had a quota to fill, and so I paid them 18,000 yen and performed there every month. At that time I would sing and have backup dancers.

ーーHow did you find the dancers?

Aina: I had a friend who did dance who moved to Tokyo around the same time I did, so I called her up, and she found them and brought them to me. They were awful. But among them was someone who had always been dancing, and they said that yucat, under Tsubasa Records, needed backup dancers. All those dancers and I got together under the unit PARALLEL, and from there I started singing and playing the guitar.

ーーAnd then came BiSH?

Aina: Yes. I didn't really know BiS, but I kept looking for auditions and I found BiSH. I looked up a lot about them after that and started to really like them, and that's when I decided that I would try to do BiSH.

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ーーHearing your story, it seems you're the kind of person who can work solo, but why did you go from that to being an idol, to being in a group?

Aina: I did want to do a unit, but I wanted to meet someone who wanted me. I wanted to find some music that wouldn't be complete without my voice. When I started getting into BiS, I started liking Matsukuma's music, and a big reason why I joined was because I wanted to sing so that he would want to work with me.

ーーWhat are you aiming for?

Aina: My ultimate goal is to release my own songs, but I also want to have my own family and raise some kids.

ーーSo you want to get married?

Aina: I guess so (laughs). But I also think I want to have my own dance school or music school, or even just reading picture books to students. Like, "Aina Family." Doing choreography is fun and I like it a lot and I have fun teaching kids how to dance, so I want to tell them everything I know. In my head I'm a kid, too, so I might not be able to make them understand, though (laughs). I have confidence that I will get bigger, and I want to meet people while thinking that I'm a genius every day.

ーーWhat's your goal as BiSH?

Aina: I definitely want to perform at Budokan. I can't think of anything but that right now.

ーーAfter Budokan?

Aina: I can't think of anything. What's the next big place after Budokan?!

ーーMaybe Tokyo Dome?

Aina: Then let's go to Tokyo Dome!