The honest, relatable themes in her songs elicit a sympathetic ear from people of various age groups
This is part two of our interview with singer / songwriter miwa
miwa made her debut when she was still in college, and 2020 marks ten years in the business for her. How has the decade been for her, what kind of experiences has she had, and how has she grown? How have those experiences affected her, and influenced her music? Also, we talk with her about her vision for the future.
Even with all the uncertainty and hurdles to clear,
If she follows her intuition and is true to herself, she’ll find the answers.
In trying to get a sense who miwa is, we ask about her personality, “A lot of people say I’m positive and cheerful, and I guess that’s true. I come from a fun-loving family, so even just watching TV at home, I can’t stop laughing. I like to take my time and think things over carefully. Reading a book, or thinking about something, those moments are really important to me,” and so there you have it, she was born to be bright and cheerful. So then, when she’s feeling down, what does that look like? “I have times when I’m feeling off too. ”At times like that, I find a book or other inspirational material, read it, and get in touch with the ideas, to find some kind of philosophical guidance to help me get through it. And that way, the next time I’m feeling down, I already have some pieces of truth within, that help me avoid falling for the same thing, and can find an answer myself. Other than that, things like traveling, and having some simple fun help me change my mind.”
When miwa hits a wall, she finds a personal philosophy to help her overcome the issue holding her back. Especially when she was in her 20s and coming out with new music, she had all kinds of worries and challenges, and that was when she really grew and matured. Her personal limits and changes, the parts of her that grew which aren’t readily visible, can sometimes be found in the lyrics of her music, if you look carefully. “The theme of my life at that time, when I had personal boundaries piling up, one on top of another, I bravely faced them, while also writing about them. On the other hand, for situations that were completely different, I used my imagination to get a better perspective, and confided in trusted friends. I watch movies, read comics, and read books, all different kinds of media, to give me ideas while writing my music. For personal songs, and other songs as well, I weave them all into one tale. Everything comes from inside me, so regardless of the song they all have my inner self as part of them. Even if they don’t fully match who I am at the time, they give rise to the feeling of being the creator or my own story, it’s so much fun.”
She’s felt a connection to that strength this past ten years
And now her vision for the future
Each piece of music is deep. Even years after writing it, it’s like she feels the fresh vibe of that time, regardless of the time past. “There are some things I know which no one else does, for all of my music, it brings back the truth and the feeling of that time, it’s really something special. Last year I put out an album of my best work, and went on tour, and performed all of my singles. Even the songs that I wrote ten years ago, I can still feel the magic of the moment I wrote it, and brings me right back to that time and gives me a taste.”
She’s had her sights set on being a singer since elementary school, and now, next year miwa gets to celebrate ten years since making that dream come true. Her debut happened when she was still in college, as she looks back on the decade since then. “Graduation was happening right when I had my first show at the Budokan, that was a turning point for me, as my determination and spirit came together, and gave rise to my music. Then I hit the five-year mark, and next year now it’ll be ten years. I’ve done concerts in lots of different venues, appeared in TV dramas and movies, and had my music on commercials, had the opportunity to meet so many people, and come in touch with the feelings of my listeners and fans. I thought I’d always be playing music, but my music has also opened the door to so many other things and people for me. For ten years to be able to do this, and have so many friends and supporters, I really appreciate all the support from everyone, and it makes me realize how long it’s been.”
The past ten years have really given her a strong connection to that feeling. Now, for the next ten years, we ask her to give us a hint about what’s to come, and her vision for the future. “Over time, my way of expressing myself, and writing, has changed with experience and the years. I realize I’ve had the chance to try out so many different styles during my concerts. I played in clubs and auditoriums in every prefecture of Japan, even in the big arenas, the people change each time, I even played a limited entry dinner show. For those who’ve come to see me perform, and listen to my music, I feel like I’ve grown a bit older and wiser while still enjoying the show. As the years go by and the experiences add up, I feel like having all new experiences, and trying new things.” For the next ten years, or twenty, or however long she decides to keep going, keep your eyes on singer / songwriter miwa for good things yet to come.
DIRECTION : Shinsuke Nozaka
PHOTO : Masato Moriyama (TRIVAL)
STYLIST : Kosei Matsuda (SIGNO)
HAIR MAKE : Atsushi Sasaki (GLUECHU)
TEXT : Mai Okuhara