LiSA | Virtual Rock Princess
Being the lead singer and rhythm guitarist in an all-girl rock band called Girls Dead Monster is not all as it is cut out to be. Apart from rocking out stages in her high school, she also has to help out the Shinda Sekai Sensen (SSS), an organization that fights against God and the school’s student council president Angel, both set to make her band and the organization’s life a living hell.
All this takes place in the popular Anime series Angel Beats! where rocker chic LiSA plays the singing voice of the band’s leader, Yui. Akin to her Anime character, LiSA is fearless in her own right. Moving to Tokyo from her hometown in Gifu prefecture located in the Chūbu region of central Japan, she carved a dream that even she didn’t thought would happen. ActuallyMag speaks to the real virtual rock princess ahead of her I Love Anisong concert held at the Anime Festival Asia 2011.
[Translated in English courtesy of Asia PR Werkz.]
You were born and raised in the countryside of Gifu prefecture and then moved to Tokyo to become an artist. How was the transition like?
I always wanted to be an artist but I wasn’t sure about myself. So I decided to go to Tokyo and that at that time, I told myself that this would be my last chance if I was ever going to be an artist. There’s nothing in Gifu but rivers, mountains and nature, but the stars there are really beautiful. The great thing about Tokyo is that you can get all the information really fast and you can meet so many different people with different ideas. It’s highly competitive but that has helped me to grow.
What kind of music were you listening to when you were growing up?
When I was younger I listened to a lot of R&B like TLC, Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson. In junior high school Avril Lavigne just came out, and that’s how I got into punk rock.
Why the transition from R&B to punk rock?
Previously I really liked this Japanese girl group called Speed and they were really good at dancing and singing. That’s how I first started listening to R&B, but I wasn’t really good at dancing. My first impression of punk rock was that it’s noisy, but Avril was different and from her I was inspired to be in a band.
Punk rock equates to rebelliousness and the spirit of anarchy. What about the music that appealed to you?
It’s not about rebelliousness or anything for me. But when Avril Lavigne screams, “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” all the time, I thought that it was really cool that she was expressing her feelings. Whenever someone has a strong character and speaks their mind, I find that really appealing and that usually comes from punk rock.
How did you feel when you got your big break having been chosen to be the singing voice of Yui in the Anime?
I got a phone call to do the singing voice of Yuri but I was worried because it was my first time to do an Anime song and I wasn’t sure if I could express the emotions of the character. But I found later that I could relate to Yui’s character and we have a lot in common, and that gave me a sense of confidence that I can actually do this.
How is the music being made?
It is actually a virtual band. In the studio behind the scenes, I am like a solo artist with a group of musicians.
And as a solo artist you also recently released your debut album “Letters to U”. What’s the story behind that album?
Before you get into a relationship, you might want to give a love letter to express how you feel and describe who you really are to that other person. There were so many things that I wanted to say to my fans, I also wanted to show my gratitude for getting to play Yui and to the people around me. “Letters to U” has allowed me to show my inner most feelings.
With all the media attention, do you feel that your principles and beliefs are constantly challenged?
I was really concerned about that when I stepped into the industry and was afraid that all the media attention was going to change me. But once I was in the industry, everyone has been warm and nice. So I don’t really feel that I’ve changed or anyone has been trying to change me.
This is your first time in Singapore and a lot of your fans here will be highly anticipating your concert. What do you think they can expect?
I came here last night and the city is really beautiful and I’ve been receiving such a great reception. I can’t speak English, though I wish I could and I am trying to learn. But there are no boundaries in music and I am sure that my fans and I will have a really great time.
Rock out with LiSA on Nov 12 at Anime Festival Asia 2011 – I Love Anisong Concert held at the Suntec City Convention Centre.
– Zul Andra
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