J!-ENT`s Dennis A. Amith interviews Kitade Nana

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J!-ENT`s Dennis A. Amith interviews Kitade Nana
WELCOME TO MY
WONDERLAND!
A SINGER, MUSICIAN, SONGWRITER AND SHE ALSO LOVES TO DRESS UP
IN GOTHIC LOLITA OUTFITS. J!-ENT IS PROUD TO INTRODUCE YOU TO
TOFU RECORDS MUSIC ARTIST, NANA KITADE. BY DENNIS A. AMITH
[WHAT’S HOT IN MUSIC]
Photo courtesy of Sony MusicEntertainment (Japan)
J!-ENT | OCTOBER 06
Photography by
SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT JAPAN
[WHAT’S HOT IN MUSIC]
F
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Coast.
After watching her perform in
San Francisco and after her awesome performance at OTAKON
in Baltimore, Maryland, J!-ENT
recently had the opportunity to
interview Nana Kitade.
DENNIS: You will be performing at several locations
throughout the U.S. How do
you feel about performing in
America?
NANA: I’m having lots of fun!
I’m very happy that my album
was released in the US and
many people listened to it
and came to my concerts. It
was also great that people
who didn’t even know me,
also stopped by and enjoyed
my performance at an instore event (at the Virgin
Megastore in San Francisco,
Calif.).
DENNIS: Aside from performing, what kind of things
would you like to experience
in the US? Fashion? The
food?
NANA: If I have free time, I’d
Photo courtesy of Sony MusicEntertainment (Japan)
or every decade there is a
female vocalist in Japan
that catches the attention of listeners because of
their unique style and music.
In the idol dominated 80’s, you
had Nakamori Akina, in the 90’s you
had Nokko (REBECCA), CHARA,
Aikawa Nanase and BONNIE
PINK. Since 2000, we have seen
many female vocalists with amazing
R&B and dance talent but I have
wondered when we would see that
female vocalist that would rock out
and give us something unique and
different.
It was 2003 when a teenager won
an audition from Sony but unlike
the new teen wave led by BoA and
Tamaki Nami, this teenager was not
known for her dancing, nor was she
known as an R&B artist.
This time, we get a teen sporting
Gothic Lolita outfits and being an
inspiraton for her unique style.
Her name is Kitade Nana. Or to
be more p.c. in the U.S., Nana Kitade.
A singer/songwriter and musician
who has had hit CD singles such as
“Kesenai Tsumi”, a theme song used
for the popular anime “FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST”, then there was
“Pureness” for the anime “Beet the
Vandel Buster” and then “Kanashimi
no Kizumi” for the “FULLMETAL
ALCHEMIST” PS2 video game.
But this is just a small part of it.
She has had songs used for a popular
Japanese drama and with her recently
released album “CUTIE BUNNY” ,
Nana is attracting older listeners with
covers of popular anime songs.
I was even more excited to her
that this artist would have her first
album “18-eighteen” released in the
United States and on top of that,
performances in the West and East
OCTOBER 06 | J!-ENT
[WHAT’S HOT IN MUSIC]
love to go shopping. I want to
check out what is hot in America
and buy some punk-ish clothing. I also want to see and eat
a supersized hamburger, french
fries and drink.
DENNIS: When you were
younger, was it your dream to
be a singer?
NANA: The first thing I dreamed
of becoming was a princess actually (laughing), but I’ve always
loved to sing as far as I can
remember. I just found myself
singing and started pursuing a
music career.
DENNIS: How have your
friends and family adapted to
you becoming a singer?
NANA: My family was always
supportive and so were my close
friends. Of course, there were
people who said to me, “You
can’t make it” but I knew I would
make it.
DENNIS: Many people who are
not Japanese are familiar with
your music. Does it surprise
you that many people who are
not Japanese enjoy your music?
NANA: I’m simply very happy
about that. Seeing so many fans
enjoying my music and dressing up in Gothic Lolita clothing,
I thought music and fashion are
really borderless.
DENNIS: What kind of music
did you listen to growing up
(Japanese or non-Japanese)?
NANA: When I was little, I liked
listening to soundtracks to
Disney movies. As I got older, I
started listening to the music of
Japanese female artists and then
J!-ENT | OCTOBER 06
* Nana Kitade in Gothic Lolita clothing.
The singer released her first album “18 ~eighteen” in the U.S. in September.
Photography by Sony Music Entertainment, Japan
got into rock music.
DENNIS: One of the most visual part of you as a performer
is that you perform in Gothic
Lolita outfits that many American cosplayers enjoy. How did
the Gothic Lolita style become
part of your image?
NANA: I’m not exactly sure how
it become part of my image but
I guess it’s since I started modeling for KERA magazine (Japan’s
leading Gothic Lolita fashion
magazine), which is shortly
before I released “18-eighteen-“
in Japan. They put me on the
cover often, so the image was
then established.
DENNIS: You are a Sapporo
girl, a city known for its wonderful food. I’m just curious,
whenever you are in Tokyo or
some other city, do you ever
crave that awesome Sapporo,
Hokkaido cuisine?
NANA: I actually started having real appreciation for Hokkaido. Its food, clean air and
much more. After I moved to
Tokyo, I don’t have craving for
a particular food but I enjoy
eating when I go back to Hokkaido. But what I miss more
than food is things like clean
air, the vast sky and pure water.
DENNIS: Let’s move on to
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[WHAT’S HOT IN MUSIC]
your music career. Your album “18
~eighteen~” has been released in
the United States. Many Japanese
artists dream for an album release
in the US. How does that feel?
NANA: I felt surreal when my record
was released in Japan and then it
happened in America…It’s is surprising and I’m just so happy about it.
Photo courtesy of Sony MusicEntertainment (Japan)
DENNIS: You are a singer and a
musician and also a noted for writing the lyrics for your songs. Did
it take you a long time to write the
lyrics for songs such as “Kesenai
Tsumi” or “KISS OR KISS”.
NANA: Basically, I always work in a
tight schedule so I don’t get to spend
too much time in writing lyrics. But
that doesn’t mean it can be done easily. I struggle to write the best lyrics I
could until the very last minute.
DENNIS: One of the songs in your
album is an English version for
“KISS OR KISS”. Was it your plan
to use English in your music to reach
out to listeners worldwide?
NANA: Yes. I see many people from
outside Japan posting messages on
my website and even if I don’t get
to see them all at my concert, I hope
that my message will come through
them by singing in English. You might
get my message through the music
but I thought it can be conveyed
more directly to my international fans
through English lyrics. Since I write
lyrics myself, I wanted my fans to
know what it’s about.
DENNIS: You did a cover of the
classic anime theme song “Lum no
Love Song” (from the anime “Urusei
Yatsura”). Many of your fans are
familiar with your music because of
your songs used as themes for an-
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ime. But with this song, now
you have attracted not just
younger but also older fans.
NANA: Since I made my
debut with “Indelible Sin”, I
know the influence of anime
theme songs. I think the
exposure that I got from the
theme song lead me to other
opportunities. Also, when you
do cover songs, people who
know the original version of
the song will react to it and it
can remain in your ears easily.
I think that what’s great about
doing cover songs.
DENNIS: “KISS OR KISS” is
among my favorite songs on
the album. Actually, I enjoy
all the songs from your album.
But the song was used for
the theme song for the cool
dorama “ANEGO” and “Alice”
was used as an image song
for the movie “Shinku”. With
OCTOBER 06 | J!-ENT
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[WHAT’S HOT IN MUSIC]
many singers pursuing acting,
would you like to become an
actress?
NANA: Since I’m a singer and
never had any training for acting,
I don’t actively think that I want
to become an actress. I feel that
there’s a lot that I need to do to
improve as a singer. But if someone who says ”I really want Nana
Kitade to take this role”, I’d like
to try and respond to that expectation.
DENNIS: I’ve noticed that you
have a big fandom in China.
And read that you performed at
the Hong Kong Comic Festival
in Hong Kong. How was that
experience of performing in
Asia?
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NANA: I think that performing
in America and in Hong Kong are
the same in a sense that both are
outside Japan. But since physical
appearance of Hong Kong audience is closer to Japanese ones
than American ones, may be performing in America feels more
like performing abroad. But then
it’s easier for me to communicate
with my US fans because I know
a little English whereas I can’t
speak Cantonese. It’s an unique
feeling.
DENNIS: You have performed
at Otakon, the largest convention in the East Coast where
thousands of Americans had
the opportunity to watch you
perform? How was the experi-
ence for you?
NANA: It was such an amazing
experience. I feel fresh and it
gave me an inspiration for my
music and lyrics.
DENNIS: Have you noticed a
difference between your Japanese fans versus your American
fans? If so, what are the differences?
NANA: American audience are
not afraid to shout and cheer. In
Japan, audience are more reserved and listen to the music
more quietly, which is one way of
enjoying a show but sometimes
I feel like asking “Are you OK?”.
Here in the States, everybody
sings along and I feel the sense
of together ness with my audi-
OCTOBER 06 | J!-ENT
[WHAT’S HOT IN MUSIC]
didn’t know when it would happen. I feel so fortunate that my
DENNIS: Going back to Sappo- album is released in the US and
ro, I’ve read your interview with many people listen to my music.
hometown magazine “Sapporo
I think I’m such a lucky girl that
Life” and from various message it’s all happening while I’m still a
teenager.
boards in Japan, many of your
fans from Hokkaido and espeDENNIS: Well, now it’s the time
cially Sapporo are very proud
that one of their own has made in this interview where we give
it. In your dreams, did you ever our J!-ENT readers a chance to
feel that a girl from Sapporo
ask you questions. Here’;s the
first from Lisa in Hawaii.
would make it this far as popular young artist in Japan?
NANA: I’m doing the best I could Hi Nana! I love your music and
with each picture that I have
to be a kind of artist that the
folks in Hokkaido would be proud seen, you are very stylish. What
is your hobby and is shopping
of. I’ve always wanted to be a
one of them?
singer and believed that I would
NANA: Thank you! I love going
be able to make it although I
ence.
J!-ENT | OCTOBER 06
shopping and check out clothing
and accessories. I think you can
call it my hobby. I love seeing
anything related to fashion. I also
check out every fashion magazines that come out each month.
I check from Japanese fashion
magazines to international high
fashion magazines like VOGUE.
Hello Nana! I’m your #1 fan!!! I
want to know how was your first
experience for your first concert in Japan? Thank you!!! Jim
from California
NANA: I don’t exactly remember when I first experienced a
live show but I remember feeling
stunned watching fired-up
audience from the stage. I didn’t
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[WHAT’S HOT IN MUSIC]
know what to expect on a live
show so I just sung in a blind effort to match the energy of the
audience.
Photo courtesy of Sony MusicEntertainment (Japan)
Hi Nana, I just want to let you
know that I love your songs and
I can’t wait to see you perform
live. Since your songs are used
for several anime, I want to
know if you are a fan of anime?
If so, what is your favorite anime? Ben Davis, California
NANA: FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, of course!
DENNIS: Thank you for answering our reader questions.
Who were your musical influences back then? What music
are you currently listening to
now?
NANA: The first non-Japanese
music that I ever listened to
was Garbage. That lead me to
explore other international music
so I think I’m influenced by them
in that sense. The artist that I’m
into right now is Queenadrena. I
love all the songs on their album
called “Butcher And The Butterfly”.
DENNIS: If you have one word
to describe “Nana Kitade” what
word would that be?
NANA: Princess.
DENNIS: Before we go, in all
our J!-ENT interviews, we have
a section where we give you 5
random words. For these five
words, I would like you to give
me the Nana Kitade definition
of each word.
NANA:
a. LOVE: World Peace
b. SUCCESS: Building a castle
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c. KISS: Love
d. SADNESS: Source of power
e. GOTHIC LOLITA: My favorite clothing
DENNIS: What final words
would you like to leave with
your fans?
NANA: Hi I’m Nana Kitade.
Thank you for listening to my
album “18 –eighteen-“ and
for supporting me. I love you
all. I’m so glad that I made US
debut and I’m hoping that my
music will be heard by more
people. I hope you keep supporting me and pick up my album if you haven’t. Thank you!
For more information on Nana Kitade
or to purchase her album, please visit
the Tofu Records Website:
www.tofurecords.com.
DENNIS A. AMITH is an entertainment writer-at-large for various publications and the founder and editor of
J!-ENT.
OCTOBER 06 | J!-ENT
NANA KITADE
IN SAN FRANCISCO
TOFU RECORDS artist Nana Kitade performed at OTAKON in Baltimore, Maryland but before she performed in Maryland, Nana performed at the Virgin Megastore in San Francisco, Calif. J!-ENT photographer Angelo Delos Reyes was on
location to snap photos of Nana’s performance and fan greeting.
J!-ENT | OCTOBER 06
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AVAILABLE NOW ON J!-ENT

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