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Kanon Wakeshima ~ interview at Otakon 2009

Kanon Wakeshima made her US debut at Otakon in Baltimore, MD. She took some time out of her hectic schedule to answer a few questions.

Can you please introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Kanon Wakeshima. I have been playing cello since I was 3 years old, and now I’m a cellist-vocalist.

This is your first time in America; how is it so far?

So far I’m very happy, and Baltimore is such a beautiful city. The ocean is beautiful, and the food is so good, and the people are so nice!

How do you feel about performing in front of such a large audience for your first performance in the US?

In America the audience gets so excited, so I had fun. The people were also in really cute costumes, and I really liked that.

Aside from playing your first concert in America, you’ve also played in Europe, and of course Japan. How are the audiences different?

In Japan, the audience tends to stay quiet, and tries to concentrate on the music, and to feel the music. But here, and also in France, the reaction is similar. The fans are trying to enjoy the music together, and they get very excited. That gives me energy on stage, and I really enjoy it. My songs are not really for making people getting excited, like rock is. So I was really surprised they got so excited, and it made me happy.

What kind of impression do you want your fans to have of your latest album, Shinshoku Dolce?

I want my fans to feel the mixture of classical and electro elements in it. Also, the title, Shinshoku Dolce. Dolce describes something sweet, and shinshoku means illusion, having a dark image. So it’s a mixture of those things. It would be good if fans feel those things.

Has your life changed since coming into the music industry?

Since my childhood, I’ve lived with music, so the environment is not really different from that.

Did you enjoy playing cello when you were younger?

When I was younger, I was just playing cello. I didn’t really think if I liked or not. I have always been playing cello.

When did you first start singing?

When I was in Junior High, I started listening to JPop. I wondered what kind of music I could create, so I started singing at that time.

Does playing cello come naturally to you?

Playing cello is something as natural as brushing my teeth.

Have you ever tried playing other instruments?

I’ve tried playing the piano and guitar, but…I realized that cello is maybe better.

Do you have any aspirations breaking into the music industry outside of Japan?

I want to have my break in Japan before I take on the world.

What influences your music?

Right now, I only write lyrics. Children’s stories and fairy tales… like the Brother’s Grimm and Mother Goose. I like that kind of thing because even though they are for children, they also have darkness to them. Those things give me inspiration.

Do you have a favorite musician or group?

In Japan, I like Mayumi Kojima, and in America, Lady Gaga. I like Lady Gaga’s costumes.

How would you categorize yourself musically?

I would say something between a little girl and a slightly more mature girl.

Many fans really like your clothing. Who makes them?

My producer, Mana-sama, designed the costume I wore today.

How did you feel when you found out you would be working with Mana?

Mana-sama is really sincere, and a gentleman choosing music and in music creation. He never gives up on what he wants to express, and I am learning a lot of things from his attitude.

Do you think any of Mana’s projects have influenced your current music?

I feel that the songs composed by Mana for my music have a similar image to the songs by Malice Mizer, Mana’s former band. Malice Mizer also tried to express the combination of light and dark, so I like the emphasis on that.

Your performance here is at an anime convention; do you like anime? What is your favorite anime?

Vampire Knight, definitely!

Any reason why you like that one?

I like the characters, and their costumes are so cute!

Can you give a message to your fans?

I am Kanon Wakeshima! I want to do as many live performances as possible, and I want to return to America, so please support me so I can come back!

interview by John; transcribed by Melony photos courtesy of Sony Entertainment

thank you to Sony and Otakon for making this possible


Kanon Wakeshima Official Website
Kanon Wakeshima Official MySpace