Rising singing talent, Aimer (エメ) recently graced Singaporean shores with her first ever appearance at Anime Festival Asia 2015 as part of the I Love Anisong concert lineup! She first shot to fame with her single, Rokutosei no Yoru, which was used as the ending theme song to the anime, No.6 back in 2011 and is also renowned for her signature husky voice. Her latest album, DAWN, has reached the fourth position on the Oricon Weekly Charts – a wonderful feat indeed!
In this interview that was attended by various members of the media, including J-Network, she gave us further insight into her passionate love for music and her journey as a musician. Read on to find out more!
Q: May I ask Aimer-san – how are you feeling for tonight’s first live in Singapore?
Aimer: It’s an honour to sing in Singapore but I’m a bit nervous today. I’m really looking forward to it though.
J-Network: You first shot to fame with your song Rokutosei no Yoru from No.6. Looking back, how do you think your music career has evolved since then?
Aimer: Ever since I worked with Sawano Hiroyuki-san, I started with gentle and relaxed songs and now I am gradually starting work on strong, rock songs. Now I can master both these types of songs and not just gentle and relaxed songs.
Q: Between the songs AM 2:00, AM 3:00 and AM 4:00, are there any connections between them? Can you tell us about it?
Aimer: All the songs are connected and the songs have the theme of a midnight walk in the lyrics. AM 2:00 was the first song that I wrote and my first try at the R&B genre. Because it was very well-received by the fans, I decided to continue with that series of songs when I created the album.
Q: If you were to describe your music in 3-4 words, how would you do it?
Aimer: Rather than 3-4 words, it is easier to understand them through two words which are light and darkness. Light represents the happier side while darkness represents the sad feeling and these are two extremes but they are important to my direction in singing.
Q: Your live tour, DAWN, just ended earlier this month. What are your feelings towards this tour and what have you taken back from your performances?
Aimer: DAWN actually represents the end of the night and I was able to match my own songs to the feelings of my fans more closely than before through this tour.
Q: Can you tell us more about your LIVE AT ANYWHERE project where you do your live over the internet?
Aimer: I have been participating in LIVE AT ANYWHERE since my debut and even now. This has allowed me to sing at any place I want and through any songs that I like. For example, I have sung at aquariums and planetariums before. I plan to continue doing this in the future as well.
Q: Are there are any dreams or goals which you would like to achieve in your singing career?
Aimer: What I find most important to me is that I continue singing even in the future for as long as I can. I also want to be able to respond to my fans no matter whether it is happiness or sadness through my songs.
Q: Having grown up in a musical environment, had music always been your dream and who was the first person who inspired you to start singing?
Aimer: I started as someone who always loved singing since childhood and singing had always been my dream since I was small. I really loved the theme song, Tomorrow, from the musical movie, Annie and I really admired the clear vocals in the song. (pause) In terms of who has inspired my singing, I really love the Japanese band called SPITZ until now and it really influenced my music.
Q: Who do you want to collaborate with the most?
Aimer: I really respect many artistes so it is quite difficult for me to narrow it down. I do love the vocals of ONE OK ROCK and EGOIST and really would like to collaborate with them if given the chance.
Q: You incorporate English words into your lyrics and you used to live overseas before, correct? Where have you been before and how has it influenced you today?
Aimer: I used to live in Bristol in the UK for a while where many types of music exist. I loved listening to the many types of English songs and from there I learnt the tone and how the lyrics are pronounced and how the songs sounds like. From there, I was able to incorporate it into J-Pop.
J-Network: You picked up multiple musical instruments since you were young. Do you feel that learning one instrument will help you pick up another ability like singing, playing another instrument or even composing?
Aimer: Yes, I do feel that it is really related. I started out learning piano and classical guitar when I was young. For the piano, I would sing while playing it at the same time and I even did this during public recitals as well. I feel that this has helped me become who I am today.
Q: Are there any genres of music that you would like to try and which is your favourite?
Aimer: In terms of the music I generally listen to, it is more of rock, country and even EDM. I am not restricted by the genre. As long as happiness and sadness are the main themes and the main themes are sentimental, I would love to sing these genres.
Q: Your next tour, the Billboard Live Tour, has just been announced. What would be your expectations and ambitions for this tour?
Aimer: My album, DAWN, means the end of the story I started since the beginning of my debut. I want to start a new story through my Billboard Live Tour and seek to get closer to my fans and reduce the distance between them. It is a special and chic feeling as it is a new style of live performance. That is a new challenge for myself.
Q: What was it like working with Sawano Hiroyuki-san?
Aimer: Through working with Sawano-san, I have worked with him on many songs including the one used in Gundam Unicorn (StarRingChild). I have even released a collaboration album with him (UnChild). These songs are mostly strong, powerful rock songs and some of them are even in complete English. Through this, I have also acquired a new singing style for myself.
Q: What are some of the challenges you faced in your singing career and what advice can you give to aspiring singers as well?
Aimer: As a singer, I have performed on many stages and I have also performed many genres of songs. I feel that as a singer, what is important is that you understand your own songs and your own unique form of expression.
Q: You have an official fan club called Blanc et Noir. What is the idea behind the name?
Aimer: Blanc et Noir means “White and black” in French. I feel that like my songs which are about light and darkness, I wanted to share this with my fans. It is also French because my stage name, Aimer, is a French word.
Q: When you were fifteen years old, you got involved in an accident involving your vocal chords which resulted in your trademark husky voice. Do you ever resented getting the injury or do you see it as a gift in disguise due to your fans loving your current voice?
Aimer: At the time, it was a tough experience for me as I lost my voice and it was somewhat traumatic. However, because of the incident, I managed to make singing an even bigger part of my life now and is the reason for the singing style I have now. I really do think it is a good thing after all these years.
Q: To add on to the previous question, with that in mind, have you considered completely healing your voice? As I understand, it is not completely healed just yet.
Aimer: My vocal chords at the moment are still a bit injured. If they get worse, I would not be able to sing but if they get healed, my voice becomes a completely different one. That was why at that time, I decided not to go for surgery as I find it to be the perfect balance at the moment.
J-Network: You performed with Kalafina for a collaboration live concert. What were your feelings when you performed with them during LisAni?
Aimer: Working with Kalafina, they all have very unique voices. By singing together with them, I was able to identify the strengths and the own uniqueness of my voice and re-evaluate them in a new way.
We hoped that this interview with Aimer would give you a new appreciation for this rising star! Do look out for more interviews from the other I Love Anisong artistes in the coming weeks!
Featured image credits to Natalie.mu
~Astrid & gamerisdc