Yukino Higo looks cute as she performs on stage dressed in a school uniform with her hair in braids. She’s singing in a sweet voice with an acoustic guitar in her hands. It’s hard to imagine that she’s only 17 years old and has already started to establish herself in the Japanese music industry. Today she’s performing for Flyjam Creative Agency, presenting her music to the UK for the very first time. It’s her debut outside of Japan, and MyM BUZZ had the chance to catch up with the teen before her concert.
You’re only 17 and you’ve already been making music for a while. How did you first get into making music?
“From childhood I loved singing and so on, but I was lived in the southern part of Japan in Kagoshima and there was no environment for me to develop my career there. But then when I graduated from Junior High I moved to Tokyo and I went to school there. In my school there was a lot of activities such as bands so I started to practice guitar and singing at the age of 15.”
Did you go to Tokyo specifically so that you could improve your music and become a part of the industry much faster?
“One reason is family related, but the second was that in Tokyo there was a better environment to develop my music and I could also find members for a band.”
How did you find the music industry when you were in Tokyo?
“In Japan there is a very special technical school which takes two years to finish. You can go there after high school, and then they would train you to become a musician. When I arrived in Tokyo I thought about going into that kind of school but it felt so commercial so I thought that before I go into the real music industry in Tokyo I would do what I am doing. Coming to the UK I have noticed that it’s really great because people enjoy music purely here.”
In Japan it seems that a lot of the time you have to train under an agency before you can debut, but in the UK it is possible to make a name for yourself on your own before joining a record company. Do you think this is the case?
“Yes, I think it is like that.”
This is the first time you have ever been to the UK. How has it been for you?
“It’s my first time outside of Japan! On my first day I felt a bit of jet lag because I didn’t sleep on the plane but afterwards it was okay. I have been rehearsing with a band for today’s gig and it has been so enjoyable and amazing to be with these people and to enjoy music together. I have tried working with a band before but it wasn’t the same, and I’m sad it will all end today.”
Do you not have a band in Tokyo anymore then?
“No, I’m a solo artist now.”
How would you describe your music?
“For now, I create my music from writing lyrics rather than music. First I try to describe my feelings through them and then I write music. Now I am writing only about myself, but maybe afterwards it will change.”
Where do you get ideas for your lyrics?
“For my inspiration it’s all about personal experiences. For my recent songs it was inspired by fighting with my friends for example. I have also written about the past and travelling to Tokyo, and even about school activities for bands.”
Will be recording your own CD soon?
“I am in the process of making a CD now, yes.”
Interview by Roxy Simons, all photos copyrighted to Chikako Osawa-Horowitz