[Exclusive] Interview with Kradness (クラッドネス)

Kradness (クラッドネス) is a singer and producer based in Japan but also performs overseas. He started his career through YouTube and Nico Nico Douga by uploading videos online and gained millions of hits. He then got the opportunity to release his own albums. Kradness reveals that it’s his first time in Malaysia and right now in Japan it’s mid-winter. He was shocked by the temperature difference in Malaysia because the weather is sunny and warm. He finds swimming in Malaysia during mid-December amusing because in Tokyo, it’s snowing. When asked if he’s tried any Malaysian delicacies, Kradness replies that he enjoyed the Malaysian food especially Satay and have tried Durian flavored pancakes.

He performed on day two of Comic Fiesta 2016, one of the closing acts. Kradness knows how to pump up the crowd and entertain the audience, it was an energetic performance. When he steps on the stage, he makes sure that the crowd is enjoying themselves and makes the audience feels inclusive. His stage presence is magnetic and the audience responds well by jumping and singing along. We do hope Kradness returns to Malaysia in the future! Check him out on his YouTube page, Twitter, and FaceBook page

(Translated from Japanese to English)
Q : How does the name Kradness originated from?
A : It originates from the word “Darkness”, I flipped the word around in hopes to flip the meaning to be more brighter and fun.

Q : What’s your source of inspiration?
A : Not to say inspiration per say but it’s a lot easier for me to get inspired in the middle of the night. There’s no explanation, 2AM in the morning, the melody, words, lyrics will suddenly form in my head. During the day, it seemed more difficult to create music but at night, it’s a lot easier.

Q : What type of music did you listened to when you were younger that shaped your musical style?
A : As a fan of anime and games, I would listen a lot of games soundtrack such as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy games are particularly impactful.

Q : How did you come across Nico Nico Douga and started your career as an utaite?
A : It’s not that I don’t know the existence of Nico Nico Douga because it’s very popular in Japan but it’s due to my older brother’s influence, I became interested in Nico Nico Douga. From then, I realize there was a category for Vocaloids and there are people who cover these songs that are called utaite. I realize people who aren’t professional singers can participate and sing really well. I thought if I were to upload a video, what would happen? From then on it naturally started.

Q : You have an account called Krad Gamers, how did that came about?
A : Actually there are a number of sites, you can upload game play. In Japan, it’s OpenRec. The site asked me if I would be interested to do a show of me playing games. Since I like games, I decided to join. It was interesting because playing games is something I enjoy and I’m able to make a show out of it. Recently, I’ve been playing the “Last Guardian”. It’s very nice because it’s almost like watching a movie.

Q : You will be performing live at CF, any special performance you have prepared?
A : Because it’s my first time in Malaysia, I really want to have fun with the Malaysian audience. I’m going to perform the songs from my early days and doing a bit of DJ-ing to pump up the crowd and have fun.

Q : You have been in the utaite scene for quite some time, do you have any other utaite you look up to?
A: There’s an utaite called “un:c” and because for me personally I’ve been doing this for about six and a half years and my specialty is my high tone voice. I admire singers/utaite’s who can use high tone voice to sing in a cool manner and un:c is one of them.

Q : What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an utaite?
A : In terms of challenging, if you understand the culture of Nico Nico Douga, it’s very rare for singers to show their face on the internet. Usually, it’s just illustrations and hear the vocals. That was the culture back then but recently it’s been shifting and a lot of singers are revealing their faces. In a sense, it was difficult because there were concerns about showing my face. During my birthday, last year, I showed my face on the internet for the first time. It was a good experience because thanks to that, I got a lot of exposure and lots of jobs came in.

Q : Were there any friends who was surprised that you were “Kradness” after you revealed your face?
A : I’ve experienced walking in Tokyo and fans recognizing me but when I started Nico Nico Douga, I told my close friends that I was uploading videos so they already kind of knew. There wasn’t anybody in my current circle that knew “Kradness” first then realized that it was me.

Q : Next year, you’ll be on the XYZ tour, what are your expectations for it?
A : I’ve participated in the XYZ tour a couple of times, it’s a good experience to meet other utaite(s) as well. Also, to be able to go to other countries, it’s a refreshing experience and from there, I get to know people. For example, I became good friends with “Luz” who’s another utaite. Next year, the tour will perhaps will be one of the most number of utaite(s) participating. I’m hoping that the tour will be expand to other countries and for all of us to have a good time.

Q : If you are given a chance to collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
A : To choose one is difficult, I want to collaborate with lots of different artists. All along I’ve collaborated with singers with higher tones. For a change, I would like to try to collaborate with “Luz” because it’s a slightly different key.

Q : If you could dive in to a different type of genre, which would it be?

A : Because I really like gaming soundtracks, in the past I did a lot of band music (instruments) but I develop interest with electronic music. But perhaps in 2017, I would continue to pursue EDM music and maybe it would be an interesting idea to go back to band music. To try something different and see if it could bring me to new places.