[EXCLUSIVE] Interview with GARNiDELiA,angela & yanaginagi

Animax Carnival 2016 is back and thousands of anime and Japanese culture fans were present on site on the 26th and 27th March 2016. Our platform was given an opportunity to interview 3 talented guest artists. Check out the best of Animax Carnival 2016 here! ANIMAX brings the best to the fans of Anime with sensational artists to grace the stage.

GARNiDELiAMARiA (Left) & Toku (Right) during the exclusive interview session
Formed in 2010 by aspiring vocalist MARiA and music composer Toku, GARNiDELiA has made waves among the anime community with their energetic, high-octane music compositions for blockbuster and critically acclaimed anime series such as Kill La Kill, MEKAKUCITY ACTORS, The Irregular at Magic High School, and Gundam Reconguista in G. Their extensive respective experience in the industry has seen them working with notable artistes such as LiSA, Angela Aki, AnCafe, and JIN. With combined video views of over 12 million, GARNiDELiA has fanbases across Asia, North America, and even Australia.

You have just performed for the first time in Malaysia, how do you feel about it?
MARiA : It’s very new to us, but many people was holding up their cameras but they were also singing along to our songs. But for two of us, we really enjoyed performing for them.
How would you introduce GARNiDELiA to an audience who are just getting to know your music?
MARiA : Ah it’s quite tough. Digital rock, J-pop and dance music. Our genre is quite wide and we do all kind of music, it’s tough to define what we’re doing or using one word to define.
The Malaysian fans were singing along in Japanese; how do you feel about it?
MARiA : When we travel to different countries, we can feel that it is difficult to learn a different language. We are touched that the fans were singing in Japanese and happy that through the love of animation and music, people try to learn a different language.
Do you factor live performance and the audience response when you create songs?
MARiA : During the earlier times of our career, we didn’t think much about it but recently we recently started to add in elements in the songs in which the audience can shout together or sing together.
What was it like when both of you met for the first time?
MARiA : It was 6 years back, I was still in high school and I looked like a little girl. Before we actually met each other, we exchanged our music. He let me listen to his music and I let him hear my singing voice. When I listened to his music, it’s very electronic and it sounds very cool, maybe the person is very cool but later on when I met him, I found out that his so cute and warm feeling person.
Toku : When I listened to her music, she was singing jazz and it feels very adult, but when I met her, the gap was very big for both of us.
Among all of your songs, which one do you like the most & why?
MARiA : It’s very hard to choose, because we only deliver the songs that we like. Actually, every song we make, we like it. Instead of choosing a song we like the most, actually a song that means the most to us is “Mirai”. The reason is that we try to deliver a message of encouragement of love and a moment ago, we had a fan club event in Japan. We had a ranking and the fans voted they liked the most, and they chose “Mirai”, in which the fans can connect with.
What kind of love would you want to convey to your fans trough each song?
MARiA : I would like our music to be accompanies the fans to grow together and become their support.
Your latest album is remixes of your best songs, what drove you to release it and theme behind the album?
Toku : The songs in the album are made before we major debut and it’s quite different from now. After we have debut after 5/6 years, we started to think, what if we sang back our old songs? And then we decided to create the album.
As an artist, your schedule must be hectic. What do you do during your free time?
MARiA : Outing with friends and play games.
If you’re given an opportunity to collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
MARiA : angela. We have met a couple times in Japan and it was really fun.
Your clothing today have a Japanese style, are you conscious of delivering that you’re a Japanese on stage?
MARiA : I’m the one who designs the costumes and recently we have the chance to go overseas and perform. Since we have the chance, our concept is to introduce more Japan to overseas fans through this theme.
Where do you get your greatest inspiration?
Toku : I actually compose the music based on what I Maria wants to sing. Maria is my biggest inspiration, her voice.
MARiA : Whenever I write lyrics, I would think about the fans. What message I want to convey and what would they think. The fans are my inspiration.

yanaginagi proudly presenting Animax after the interview session

yanaginagi first broke out in 2005 as a cover singer on Nico Nico Douga, Japan’s most popular video sharing website. Her talent was noticed by notable music producers Ryo from Supercell and Jun Maeda from Key, which led to further song collaborations. With her soothing and gentle voice, it’s no surprise that yanaginagi is the ideal choice for wistful and touching songs that convey the emotions and thoughts of the main characters in dramatic anime series such as My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea, and Black Bullet.

“I feels very happy that through my songs, fans can learn Japanese especially last time I was in Penang, the fans sang together in Japanese. I’ve been singing different genres of songs. For Malaysians, if there’s one song that they like, from there I hope that the song would trigger them to listen to much more Japanese songs.”

How do you find inspiration and integrate it into your lyrics?
A : I’m curious about new things and travelling. Sometimes I go for a nature trip and get inspiration there.
What’s the difference from voicing a character versus singing?
A : When I voice a character, it’s different from singing. Although the task is the same, I find it difficult to express the characteristics.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
A : I would like to collaborate with "Akino Arai" from Japan.
Could you tease us a little about your soon to be released 3rd album? More info here 
A : The theme of this album is travel and the name of it would be “Follow My Tracks”, I hope the fans can feel a sense of travelling when listening to the songs. I want the fans to have more creativity by listening to it and to feel the songs.  
Between singing covers and your own songs, which is more challenging?
A : I don’t find either of them challenging, I like both singing covers and my own songs.
What song that you’ve released that are closest to your heart?
A : It’s difficult to answer because I have too many songs I like but if I had to choose one, it would be my debut song which is “Vidro Moyou” because of that song, my life changed and I believe the fans like this song too.
You used to sing Hatsune Miku song covers and now you’re singing your own songs, what are the different from back then and now?
A : That time I was an amateur and I was singing out of passion but now I’m a professional, the mentality is different. 
What inspired you to approach this career of music?
A : I started off out of passion and with the cover songs I put on the internet which caught attention of many and with the people around me, it has led to my path to this career.

angela KATSU (Left) & atsuko(Right) posing for the camera after the interview session
The heavenly tracks by notable Japanese pop band angela are no fluke – the multi-talented duo of singer Atsuko and musician Katsu not only write but also compose and arrange their own songs. angela is known for their signature upbeat tunes and rich electronica, dance and rock arrangements. The band has headlined the main theme songs for several action and sci-fi anime series such as Sokyuu no Fafner, K: Return of the Kings, and Knights of Sidonia. Their incredible synergy on stage has seen the band performing live for anime conventions across the globe.

If you were to introduce a song to new listeners, what song would it be?
Atsuko : I would like to introduce the songs in animation “Fafner”.
Katsu : I would like to introduce the songs from “Sidonia no Kishi”, the animation maker is from Malaysia.
Out of all the songs you’ve sung, which one is most challenging?
Katsu : We have recorded most songs for Fafner and that’s quite challenging. Another reason it’s difficult because of the story. It’s quite serious.
Both theme songs in Night of Sidonia, have military feel to it, how do it came to be?
Atsuko : That is the request from the director of the animation. When you listened to it, you will feel excited like getting your blood boiling.
Katsu : To rise up your feeling and emotions.
Is there any difference when approaching a live performance in other countries compared to Japan?
Atsuko : Basically it’s the same. When we’re doing a live performance in other countries, we can’t talk much, that’s one of the sad part of it. To have more interaction with the international fans, we’ll do more dancing and we’ll do it tomorrow too.
You’ve been to Malaysia once, has it been different each time?
Katsu : *jokingly* 2 years ago when I came here, I was not married. But now I’m also not married. One of the purpose is to look for a wife. Very different from the first time I was here.
What message do you want to give to the Malaysian fans?
Atsuko : I feel very amazed by fans that understand Japanese culture by watching anime. I feel very happy and even though the fans and me are not born in the same place, but through anime we can unite.
You play a variety of instruments. What instruments do you specialize in?
Katsu : I like to play piano the most but with the guitar, I’ve got the most confidence. I do like to show everyone my percussion skills.
How do you overcome hardships when facing challenges?
Atsuko : When I’m alone, I feel worst. Most of the time I’ll do more dancing and singing to myself happier.
Katsu : I would like to look for a wife as soon as possible.
Before becoming an artist, were there other dreams?
Katsu : Becoming a musician is what I have always thought of.
Atsuko : When I was younger, I wanted to go out to the Universe. This thrilled me as a kid and through anime, my dreams were fulfilled.
Do you have any message to the Japanese that are in Malaysia?
Katsu : For Japanese who stays in Malaysia, it’s quite a challenge. By anime, I believe you can receive information from Japan. In these terms, anime plays a big role in life.
You’ve created many songs for Fafner franchise. From the first song to the latest one, what have change from the aspect of themes?
Katsu : The songs created actually depends on the anime with different story and theme. The song composed is made to suit the anime’s story. We want to prove that anime have no national borders.
Atsuko : We always try understand the story and anime so we can compose the song for the anime.