(2022) Translation | How Airi Suzuki can keep her "I can do it" spirit : "The more a job makes me think 'Why me ?', the more I get excited about it"
取材・文／安心院 彩 編集／天野夏海 撮影／野村雄治
Original link : https://woman-type.jp/wt/feature/25734/
Airi Suzuki, a former member of the popular idol group ℃-ute, is enormously popular and is now active a solo artist.
With her charm and high performance skills, she is widely active as a singer, model and actress, and is also known as "the idol admired by other idols".
She will play the lead role in the Abema original drama, which will broadcast from June 23.
We took a closer look at her challenging spirit as she boldly took on the major role of starring in her first serial drama.
"To be honest, I'm not very good at putting myself first and settling accounts with people. Even at school, I was the type of student who would rather be on the library committee than on the class council. I prefered to help people secretly in an inconspicuous way (laughs).
But for this drama, I naturally had a lot of thoughts like 'I want this scene to be more like this'. I discussed this with the staff and created each scene with great care. As is the case with music, the atmosphere on the set has a huge impact on the published work. That's why I'm very happy that I was able to shoot with a team full of power and love. I was sad that it ended and I will never forget it."
"Since childhood, I have been curious and want to do things that no one else is doing. I'm still the same now, I like to try everything out. I'm basically like 'Yeah, I can do it!'; so much that it worries the people around me, actually (laughs)
Chances don't come many times in life, you know ? If I feel that a new opportunity is a hurdle for me, I'm sure that it's a test given by God to help me grow further. In fact, even after becoming a solo artist, I often found that jobs which seemed a bit difficult to me ended up becoming an opportunity to explore new things. The more a job makes me think 'Why me ?', the more I get excited about it."
However, not everyone is given equal opportunities. She gives her best and always meets the expectations of those around her. It's precisely because she has built up such trust that offers come her way.
"I have a lot of drawers opened in my mind so I can be ready to jump on any opportunity that comes along at any time. And because I want to give my all to the work I've been approached to do, I work harder than anyone else. I've always been a competitive person."
Airi Suzuki gives the impression of being stoic when she says so. However, she also reveals her true feelings, saying, "In the past, I've been afraid of challenges.
"After 15 years of being an idol, I started to be called 'the idol admired by other idols'. I felt happy about it, but at the same time I also began to fear showing the many sides of me, thinking that I might disappoint people if I destroyed the image I had built up until then."
"But when I became a solo artist and was given the catchphrase '15 years experienced newcomer', my shoulders relaxed a little. I was able to put aside the things I had been carrying on my shoulders and honestly expose my incapacity to do some things."
"I love work. Work is everything to me. All my life, even my appointements with the chiropractor or even the hairdresser are based on the fact I had an event coming up. In a way, it feels more like my life is a part of my work than my work being a part of my life.
My happiness as a woman is inconceivable without work. That's my honest feeling right now."
Airi Suzuki is now 28 years old, the age at which many people are faced with life choices, as they are caught between "life" and "work", such as marriage, childbirth, career change and promotion. How does Airi Suzuki face these problems and struggles that are unique to women around thirty ?
"When I see my friends around me getting married and having children, I want to run away and say, 'Oh, I've finally reached the age where I have to think about it' (laughs). Alone at home, I sometimes agonise over what I want to do in the future."
"But I prefer not knowing what will happen than planning ahead. Living hard in the present rather than thinking about an unpredictable future seems more like me."
While some people systematically move towards the goals they want to achieve in their lives, others make their way through life by seizing opportunities as they present themselves and doing their best. Airi Suzuki is probably the latter type of person.
"If I set specific goals, it becomes painful when I can't achieve them. I have a vague image of what I would like to be able to do at my age, but I don't want to get too caught up in that, I just want to work hard for the job I'm doing right now. If I do that, even if I deviate a little from the path I had in mind, I'm sure I'll be able to move in the right direction."
Airi Suzuki laughs: "I'm not good at planning for the future and can only plan ahead to the day after tomorrow." It's precisely because she is always focused on what is in front of her that she's not restricted by worldly prejudices or age, and continues to shine in her own unique way.
"I think 30 is the age at which your life up to date, for better or worse, comes forward. The things you have accumulated can make you radiate or the contrary. I want to continue to live my life straight, without lying to myself or those around me. I'm looking forward to see how the live I'm living right now will impact my future."
"I like to express myself. The only difference is in the mean of expression, whether it's music or acting... That's why I want to keep focusing on that. I feel that none of my experiences have been wasted, because each of the jobs I've been given the chance to try now have made their way in this world."
After saying so, she says, "I want music to be the place I can go back to".
"It's music that has made up the person I am now. Now that I'm a solo artist, there are times when I feel a bit stiff-legs when I stand on the same stage as when I was an idol. That's how much music means to me, and how important it is to me.
When I stand on stage, my fans think, 'I'll do my best from tomorrow onwards'. That's what drives me to keep doing music. As long as I can be a source of energy for someone, I want to continue to stand on stage for as long as I can."