May 15, 2019

TRANSLATION : Suzuki Airi, celebrating the 1st anniversary of her solo debut ! "I'm proud of these 15 years as ℃-ute, and want to try new things while carrying this experience".

Last year, the former ℃-ute member Suzuki Airi's solo debut became a big news thanks to her impressive "Do you know Suzuki Airi?" commercial. On May 22 is releasing the DVD and Blu-Ray of her tour "PARALLEL DATE", and she starts her 2019 national tour "ESCAPE" on May 25.
We asked this Suzuki Airi, the exclusive Ray model and "Idol admired by other Idols" such as Kikuchi Moa (BABYMETAL), Watanabe Koume (SUPER☆GiRLS) or Yamamoto Sayaka (former NMB48) about the source of her lives always praised by musicians, the production secrets of her next tour, the highlights of her upcoming DVD and Blu-Ray releases, and her feelings towards her second year as a solo artist. 


――You started a solo career on June 2018. Did you have any change of mind up to this ?
As an Idol, I was "Suzuki Airi as a part of ℃-ute's image" and often had to sing according to that. As a solo artist, I really wanted to express my individuality. A more... human touch ?

――What type of person do you think you are ?
I don't know (laughs) I don't know and that's why I would like to pull it out. It would be great if I could make music that shows an image of me that even I don't know. I think it's not something that comes out because I do a specific thing. Maybe the humaneness of that me who lived 25 years will come out by innocently enjoying the music. Someday, I would like to sing a song full of such personalness (laughs).


――Did your solo activities change you in any way ?
I've been in the industry for 15 years now, and the fans who follow me since then must be very surprised when they suddenly see, for example, a very serious Airi (laughs). I think that if I was a fan, I would get a bit colder and think "I wanted to see a laughing Airi". I thought it wasn't necessary to let go of everything that I have cherished so far. While starting new things, I try not to forget the past.

――What are you goals this year ?
2019 will be the second year of my solo career, so I would like to try new things.
I've been making a lot of encounters during my various work opportunities, and I've seen that people who freely express their individuality and humanity are not limited to the musical world. I think that's so cool. They're real... Of course, there are many times when it's cooler to pretend an image, and I think I shouldn't forget that too, but if I'm able to be fully upfront and down to earth, maybe I'll be able to once again exceed my own limits.

――There are many people who completely graduate from being Idols when starting a solo career. What do you think about it ? 
These 15 years spent as an Idol are 15 years of my life and I can be proud of, therefore I can't throw them away, and I think there's no need for me to. I was able to make important encounters, and got many rewards, and I would like to try new things while carrying this experience on my back. And if I'm being told that the "old Airi was better", well that's pretty sad but, I determined to try new challenges.


――These feelings can be seen through the setlist of your lives.
I told the staff "If I was to do solo lives, then I would like them to be that way". Because I love singing, I didn't want to do it anymore if it would be half done.

――On May 22 are releasing the DVD and Blu-Ray of your 2018 tour.
"PARALLEL DATE" is a live I shaped the way I wanted to. I wanted to do a live that you go to forget your daily life in a good way, and which makes you enter in a completely different atmosphere. "Parallel date" is a word I came up with, to make fans look at the live through the eyes of a boyfriend, but in fact it was all a dream. In the end, you get back to reality and go home. That's the type of live I wanted to do.


――Going back home while basking in the afterglow of the live.
On fans' social medias, it was not written "I went to a live" but "I had a date with Airi-chan", and that made me pretty happy. To me, the title of a tour must be like a book, and I want to wrap the whole tour like a book series. During "PARALLEL DATE" too, until the encore there is not one single personal conversation of Suzuki Airi, but only conversations created in this world, and it's only during the ENCORE that the real Suzuki Airi is talking. It's shown in the DVD and Blu-Ray so I would like you to see it. We used and switched images of me singing on the stage and pre-recorded footages. During a live, it's pretty hard to see both the monitor and the stage. So we arranged it in a way that we can see both.

――The jacket of the product also show such a world.
That's right. There are pictures used during the show, with the clothes I'm also wearing during the live. The booklet also is having many picture so you can think "Ah, these are memories pictures of my date with Airi-chan". I made it so everything is tied. It took a lot of time (laughs) 

――Like a producer.
I thought about a lot of details ! Because using pictures from the live only doesn't really reflet that "date" feeling, so I designed a collage like a memory album of the date.

――It's a really fun jacket. You show a lot of expression on it.
Really ? I would love everyone to notice it. I don't know if you'll be able to get better or fired up thanks to me though (laughs) But I believe you'll smile while watching it !
――Your 2019 tour "ESCAPE" must be a powered-up national tour.
That's right. The big difference is the size of the venues. When it comes to a hall, the ceiling is so high that more effects can be made. I may be able to make some effects that I had to give up for the last tour. This time, we started the preparation at the very beginning of 2019. Because all the things I think about doing takes a lot of time (laughs) I didn't want to have a last-minute meeting about what we would be able to do or not to do. 
――So you started almost half a year ago. After I thought about a lot of ideas, there was a time I started back from zero. "Wait a minute, if you can't do this, there's no point in doing that too. But it'll be half done, so it's better to give up everything." For the goods too, I'm preparing things that are related to the live production. I can't really say much, but like last tour, it'll be a full package live. The illustration of the live too, has been created by one of my favorite illustrator. That picture is also very important for the live, and is a key image. 
――So there's a chance it'll be like a game ?
It would be great if it could take that direction. A thing that makes you think "No way !". The content of the live and the goods' design are also linked. They're not only cute, I also wanted to make something that could make fans participate in the live while using them. 
――Please explain us the meaning of the tour title "Escape". All the fans are expecting me to let them escape from reality, but that's not the case this time. It's a live where I will escape. It's not fans who will escape from reality, they will instead try to catch me, flying away... That kind of thing (laughs)
――Sounds fun. Will you perform many new songs ? 
I will sing a lot of new songs ! There are many new songs I sang during "PARALLEL DATE" that haven't been recorded yet. This time, I'll let fans warm up with the "PARALLEL DATE" footages of the new songs, but as there are other new songs that will be performed, I hope they'll look forward to it. Also, there may be a good announcements made during the live. I can't tell much more yet, but there are a lot of things. You must think "With that much time between releases, of course you'd have infos to share" ! Please come to the live to be there during the announcements. I'm pretty excited too ! 
――Can you tell us more about your outfits ?
I finished talking with the stylist, and everything's almost decided. They're cooler than cuter. But that doesn't mean it's a live where you'll only see this. To escape, I need to change my outfits a lot, right ? (laughs) 
――Is the fan's energy different during a hall tour ?
Well, there are seats, so that's what's different. In a live house, they're all standing. Both have great points, but thanks to the seats, everyone will be able to see something ! My point of view from the stage also differs, so I'm really nervous. To be honest, hall tours always made me nervous. They're like "the show" (laughs) 
――You're looking forward to it, but is also stressed. 
Well, I still haven't started the rehearsals yet... I wonder how it'll go. There are a lot of places I've been with ℃-ute, but that's specifically because I know these places that I'm so nervous. I wonder what kind of view it'll show, being on a stage alone. But, I'm more excited ! So I'd like everyone to look forward to it too ! It took a lot of time, but the informations will release soon. 
――I think you have a lot of female fans. Do you have any message to them ?
I'm looking forward to the girls' opinions. It's pretty equal between boys and girls, so I'd like to make a live that both can enjoy. There are many cute girls, so I can't lose to them ! 
――Why do you think girl fans look up do you ?
I want to know too. But when I'm being impressed by a girl, I try my best to catch her. I love people who get results because of their efforts, and I think that's showing on their face. Like a glowing aura. That's what I always long for, and I'd be glad if I could give the fans that feeling. 
――Are you doing anything to maintain your condition before the tour ?
I'll go back to the gym. I didn't really go to beauty salons before, but I'm trying to challenge new things. As it's a timing where I have a lot of motivation, I'd like to do a lot of things. I want to have a girly, soft body. I didn't show my belly since my disband with ℃-ute, so I'd like to train by the time I show it (laughs). 
――Finally, please tell us about your future entertainment activities.Lately I reminded myself how much I like to express my individuality. I feel a lot of responsability knowing that my own thoughts are shared to the world, but I'm excited about it, and very happy to share them with others. Like an antenna always ready to catch new informations, to be able to always do something interesting and because there are many things I haven't done yet, I want to take a wild rush without being afraid of failure, faster than wild boars ! 
―― The title of your tour is "ESCAPE".
Please come to catch me a lot of time ! (laughs)
https://www.walkerplus.com/article/189239/

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