"It's alright if your goal is 'I'll eat Yakisoba bread'" How to change yourself by Suzuki Airi (MyNavi interview)
― In 2017 there was both ℃-ute's disband and your graduation from Hello! Project. On June 2018 you started a solo career. Looking back on this past year, please tell me what you think have changed from the Airi back then.
I spent a whole year like everything was new to me. Because it was the first time for me to experience all the things I've done until now, for example give an interview, completely alone. I didn't really realize it myself but, one of my friend who I haven't met in a long time told me "Were you a girl that express her opinions that much ?". "I thought you were more a person to be dragged by someone else's opinion". That's when I heard this that I noticed it, but being alone helped me to express what I really wanted for myself, and I think made me strand stronger.
― "As I'm alone, I must work hard" or something ?
I wonder if that's because of that ? Anyway, even during live, I end up talking too much (laughs). Even though a lot of people have told me "My biggest fear is that you won't be able to do MC alone" and that I thought that myself, too. But in a certain way, it feels like my true self came out.
― The character you're performing on I-Turn, Yoshimura Mizuki, is starting to change because of her environment. Please tell us 3 things or persons that were the start of some big changes for yourself.
The first is my encounter with SPEED and BoA. Because they made me want to become a singer. SPEED is the first group I've seen live, and they are the "singing and dancing" artists I'm longing for the most, so I still listen to them. I love BoA to the point I've sang one of her song for my Hello! Project audition, but I couldn't even imagine having one day one of her song producers, Hara Kazuhiro, to make my first solo single. If I could tell it to my past self... Or not ! I'd rather keep the surprise for a second time ! (laughs) I was so lucky.
The second reason is, when ℃-ute became a 5 members group. It was really hard, there was a bad air floating between the group's members, and even fans were upset "What's that formation ?"... Nobody was happy back then. When I think about it now, I believe Tsunku-san and the staff wanted to challenge me. At that time, I consulted them and said "If it's going to be like this, I want to leave ℃-ute". It was the hardest time.
From then, I've been able to tell my opinions about the line distribution, and was able to properly enjoy my activities. During our disband live, I was proud to sing "SHOCK!" and now, I really think it was a turning point. But even now, it's a period of my life I can't forget and I shouldn't forget, full of shocks.
The third one is definitely my solo debut.
On June 2017, ℃-ute disbanded, and I also graduated from college. My two work as an Idol and as a student I've been trying hard to maintain would be over at the same time. My catchphrase for my debut was "A 15 years old experienced beginner" but in reality, I started from zero. It was such a turning point I can easily say it was the start of my second life.
Besides, the period from the disband to my solo debut was a time of growth, where I experienced so many things under water. I realized many things like "Well, you're unexpectedly pretty negative yourself".... I think I will never forget that time.
― It'll soon be the finale date of your hall tour. Are there any thing you think about "changing" or "wanting to change" in the next half of 2019 ?
I've only been thinking about my tour. There were a lot of conflicts, troubles and deep thoughts. From the start of the year, there was that new experience as an actress in a drama, but time went so fast that it's hard for me to believe that happened during the first half of the year. So after the tour finished, I would like to extend my wings and refresh in a good way for that second half. I really want to have a room makeover (laughs) I've been cleaning the house every single day. Completely change my environment and my state of mind, to be able to establish my own identity before I turn 26 !
― Do you have any advice for students who are experiencing many changes and challenges, and may feel lost ?
I believe that in order to challenge and change oneself, you have to establish your own identity first. Also, I think it's different if you think "I want to become like this!" and consiously try to make these changes, than if you change gradually and naturally. I think what's important is to always put what you want to aim in the corner of your head, and achieve the nearest goal.
As a college student, there are many things you have to do. I have been to university too, and I've experienced the moment when you set a goal so high that's it's unlikely to come true. So even if your goal is "Today, I'll definitely eat a yakisoba bread!", it's alright. Starting from small points and rejoice your victory will help you feel that sense of accomplishment needed to get motivated and start to move in the right direction.
Without thinking too much, and because it's good to try anything while you're young, I want you all to do your best in a positive state of mind.