(TRANSLATION) Ray - Suzuki Airi appears on the cover for the 3rd time ♡ Making-of footages & interview

What did you think, when you finished that cover shoot ?
This third cover gives a pretty different vibe, compared to my first and second ones. Whenever I'm on the cover, it doesn't looks like Ray magazine (laughs) The first one was pretty cute, with a flower hairband and such, but I feel I've done more mature covers. I always seems to appear on the cover to show off a "NEW ME" (laughs) As for the magazine, I think I'm the one having the most "cute" shootings after Nakamura Riho-chan, and I feel that it's only when I'm on the cover that I'm allowed to show that I'm 25. As it's more what I'm like every day, I really love these mature covers ! But I really want to try something like "THE cute girl" someday.

I really want to try something "girly". Appearing on the cover is always a challenge to change myself. It's really fun to show the mature Airi, but I really want to try something that exaggerates the girly Airi that always appears on the pages insides the magazine. I've come this far so... (laughs) All of the photos for the pages inside the magazine are taken really quickly, within an hour. So I'd like to try to make a cover that's in that style, but with putting all the efforts and time it takes to make a cover.

Was it fine to you that your songs kept playing today ?
It's so embarrassing ! Because I don't listen to my own songs !! (laughs) No but really, I always thought "How should I act ?"... I feel like I was in live. Today, besides the shooting for the cover, it was pretty pop, so it added fun that my own songs were playing ♪

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Since my ℃-ute days, I've never listened to the most recent songs. I've started to listen to them since the disband, but at the time, I would never do it ! I was listening to some Buono! because there was a period we were like "on hold", but never ℃-ute, as I was very embarrassed with my own voice (laughs)

It's the same for all the songs I've released but, if they kept playing on repeat like today, I'd never listen to them (laughs)

How was your last tour ?

This time too, I was allowed to participate in the production. I really wanted to make a tour that makes people think "Is that a movie ? Is that a musical ? No, it's definitely a live !". The theme is "Escape", as Suzuki is a perpetrator put on the wanted list and searched "Dead or Alive". I tried to perform a sort of entertainment show, with scenes in which the audience could also participate to catch Suzuki ♪

I was allowed to make a cover of wacci's "Betsu no hito no kanojyo ni natta". It was my first cover as a solo artist, so it became a good experience !

The concept is my usual delusion. I want Suzuki's lives to be like an entertainment show, and a place where people forget about their daily lives. That's the two points that must be respected.

I started to think about the tour from the beginning of the year. It started around May, so it was a countdown until then ! As I have a tendency to be pretty late on some things, I've tried to work very early on it (laughs) Thinking about what I could do, what I couldn't do from January... There was a time I thought it all over ! But I'm glad we could do it.

This time, we did 9 performances in 8 cities, but we never have the time to eat properly during tour. It's most often one day trips. We really have to hurry to go back home after the show ends (laughs)

But when I have the chance to stay for the night, I really enjoy the good food ! Ah, but for the first day in Shizuoka, as shirasu is really popular there, we had a lot of shirasu dishes at the catering, so I could eat a lof of it ♪

Your first single is releasing on September 4 ! What are the songs like ?

'Escape" is a song done by Hara Kazuhiro-san, who wrote and composed BoA's "LISTEN TO MY HEART", "VALENTI" and "MeriKuri". The lyrics are written by Karasawa Miho-san, who is also writing lyrics for voice actors and such. It's such... an exquisite match !
It's a dance song that was done by a pair with such a wonderful artistic world, so I used it as the opening and the ending of my tour "Escape" ! I think that from the introduction, you can feel it's an impressive song.

As for "IDENTITY", it's a band-like song, and feels like an anime song (laughs) The reason I wanted a song like this is Buono!'s "Hatsukoi Cider". When I started my solo activities, "Hatsukoi Cider" was way more popular than my own songs, and it was the one that always fired up the audience. It's something that made me very happy, but also pretty sad. So I thought "I want to have a song that exceed 'Hatsukoi Cider' and fire up people, even the ones who listen to it for the first time !". So I asked the same person who wrote "Hatsukoi Cider" and she did "IDENTITY" !

I did it during the tour too, but from the first performances, the fans created a really great atmosphere with it. I'd really like people to check out the lyrics when it releases (t/n : check out the translation).
There are some parts I'd like fans to yell more during, and some parts where I'd like them to sing with me. I'd be glad if after it released, this could gradually come together ♪

There are many songs I've performed that I haven't officially recorded though. I'd really love to do it someday !! I've already thought this for my first album but, there are so many unreleased songs I could make a full album with them. But as I'm really thinking seriously about it, please wait for it ! One thing at a time ! (laughs)

The drama "I-TURN" is currently airing. How was your first experience as a drama actress ?

A drama starring Muro Tsuyoshi-san and Furuta Arata-san, and it's really funny !! I'm playing Yoshimura Mizuki, a subordinate of Muro Tsuyoshi-san and a colleague of Watanabe Daiichi. I was able to have a lot of scenes with Muro Tsuyoshi-san and it made me learn so many things ! We ended the shooting around March-April, and it's airing now. Exactly at the time this Ray's new issue is releasing (laughs) As I'm a regular, I'll appear until the end !

It was very hard at first, but I've understood that like singing, the way you express yourself makes the whole very different. It was very interesting. Like, when singing, you have to "Put your individuality out", but as for acting you have to "kill" that individuality. Of course, it may depends of the director, but my role for this drama is a subculture girl who doesn't have any motivation for anything. My exact opposite (laughs) The director told me to practice to erase that "glittery aura" I have as an artist before I sleep. So difficult ! It was the first time somebody told me that~ To erase that sparkling aura. "Get it out more !" is something I've been told but "Erase it" was my first time. So I was repeating myself "I'm not sparkling ! I'm not shining !".

This time, I asked Sae (t/n Okazaki Sae, other Ray model and Airi's friend) about the make-up on set, and she told me "There are times you have to do it yourself !". So I thought that if I had the chance, I'd really like to make my preferences stand out, and I've done it myself ! However, I almost never put make-up on... (laughs) I was asked not to put any make-up on for the first and the second episode, but rather to make my eyebrows thicker and cheesy.

I really want you all to see the growth of Mizuki's feelings through her make-up ♪ Like putting on very thick make-up to express the fact it was the first time putting on some ; but then there's an event and she makes it lighter... The fact that the make-up is changing through the story can only be seen in the drama, so I'd like you to focus a bit on Mizuki's make-up and feel the back story.

Of course, there isn't any scene where I'm putting make-up on. I'm always appearing with the make-up fully done, so I'd be glad if you could notice it !

The episode 7 will air when this magazine will be out ! Ah, it makes me think ! During the episodes 7 and 8, Muro Tsuyoshi's character is having nightmares, and I want you to pay attention to those ! I'm playing a character I've never done ! Mizuki changed a lot and is starting to be motivated. She just had her heart broken, too !

The drama is ending soon but it was full of human experiences and it became a very good memory to me. It's something that makes you laugh a little and feel "Let's do our best tomorrow", so I really want you to see it !