This is an interview from when alan did promotions for Orient of the Heart in China.
She talks about a lot of things, so I hope that you guys like this...cause it's 9 pages long
I also edited some parts out because I'm translating from a transcript of a live interview and alan and the host repeated things a lot....so I edited those parts out. They also talked about -voice of you-, but I think we know how that concert went lol
H stands for host
a stands for alan
H: This is alan's second time coming to QQ.a: Yeah, the second time.
H: But it feels different this time and you just released a new album.a: Yes, my first Chinese album.
H: "Orient of the Heart".a: Yeah.
H: I carefully listened to it last night.a: What is your favorite song?
H: I prefer "Ming Ri Zan Ge" and "Xi Jie". [Xi Jie means details]a: "Xi Jie" is the only song in this album that kinda talks about love.
H: Many people like this song according to the netizens' reactions including your fans.a: Thank you.
H: Can you explain this song since it's the only song that talks about love?a: There are many details in our daily lives that we tend to overlook. If you carefully look back at them, then you would realize every little detail is worth for us to remember them.
H: It feels like it's talking about a first love...a: Yes, like what your heart feels and your emotions, it's that kind of a song.
H: But as a whole, every song in this album sounds pretty good.a: Thank you.
H: Which song do you prefer?a: I like them all (lol). Such an official answer. The main promoted song this time is "Ai Kan De Jian". This song was written by Japan's Cocco and it's about the Sichuan earthquake. It's not that sad, so I hope that everyone will have a different perspective of their life after hearing this song. I hope to use this song to pray for those in my hometown and I pray for their safety and to give them the best wishes.
H: It's almost very inspirational and encouraging.a: Yes, and there's "Ming Ri Zan Ge". This is my first Japanese single and a lot of people like this song in China, so we wrote Chinese lyrics to it, so we can give this song to all of the fans in China.
H: So the rank of this song on the Japanese charts...a: This was my first single, so it was only #60 something on Oricon.
H: So at that time, you weren't able...a: As a newcomer, the company's and my standards are high, so it would have been OK if I got within Oricon's top 50. The single was #63, so I was still a bit disappointed.
But actually for a newcomer to get within Oricon's top 100 is pretty good, but I still hoped to rank higher because "Ashita e no Sanka" is a really good song.
H: That's right, so other than being a bit disappointed, did you lost a bit of confidence since it was your first song.a: Not really because as an artist, if you set your mind to being an artist, then you should know the road of an artist will not always be successful. The first single was #60 something and the second single was below #100 something (lol). Then the third single was Oricon's #13.
H: Then what was your #1 song?a: "Kuon no Kawa".
H: And it maintained the #1 spot for some weeks?a: No, it was #1 for the daily sales and #3 for the weekly sales.
H: I especially like "Xin Zhan".a: Thank you. "Xin Zhan" is also pretty good and this is the first theme song I sang for the movie "RED CLIFF", so this song is very important to me.
H: When you received the notice that you will sing the theme song for "RED CLIFF", were you especially happy?a: I was very happy. I couldn't believe it because when I received the notice, it had only been 3 months since my debut, so I'm especially thankful to director John Woo. He gave such an important task to me and really trusted me. I feel like this is the kind of special opportunity that every newcomer wishes for.
H: He heard your song? Your sample?a: Because Avex was worked with "RED CLIFF" and since John Woo has been working in the US, so he paid special attention to Chinese artists developing overseas. Also, "RED CLIFF", a historical poem made into a movie, has the themes of love, peace, and friendship and since my debut, I've been singing about love and peace, so I really matched with "RED CLIFF". I feel like this question should be for John Woo. I don't really know how to word it (lol).
H: Do we need to contact the director? (lol).a: Where is he? (lol).
H：When I was talking about the songs I like and including the songs alan recommended, there's still one song that I want to especially talk about. It's the song, "Jiayou! Ni You ME!", that you sang with your good friend, Wei Chen.a: Yes, Avex arranged for me to sing this song with Wei Chen. This song is my first advertisement song for Epson printers. I was really happy to work with Wei Chen, so I was especially happy when I received this endorsement. I'm really thankful to those at Epson for trusting me and giving me this opportunity.
H: Working with Wei Chen, what kind of feeling did he give you?a: Wei Chen is a very stuffy person.
H: He's stuffy?a: Yes, he's a bit introverted. He speaks very softly. We're old friends because we knew each other when we didn't become celebrities and we were still students. I was still in the People's Liberation Army and he was at the Sichuan Music School, then we participated in a competition, so that's how we know each other. Our relationship has always been good even till now.
H: You guys probably didn't think that both of you would become celebritiesa: Yeah, since as someone who really loves music, everyone is able to be together and right now, we have pretty good results, so we're really happy.
H: So you found him?a: Because this style of printer is directed towards students and I feel like Wei Chen has a sunny image and my image is also a bit sunny (lol).
H: Not just a bit, you're very sunny (lol).a: So Epson found me and since Wei Chen's image also matched, so I sang this song with him.
H: I feel like after we finish talking, you can get more promotion money from Epson. Wei Chen also went to your press conference yesterday?a: Yes, he especially came to attend it and then he had other work. I'm especially thankful towards him for his support.
H: You guys shot a MV together?a: We shot a MV for "Jiayou! Ni You ME!". The sales were pretty good, but if it's possible, I hope to shot the 2nd season's Epson endorsement song with him too.
H: Where was this MV shot?a: We shot it at a university. He and I wore school uniforms. I often bullied him in the MV, but it's not actually bullying. We just like to fool around like if we see a plane in the sky, we would pretend to be planes. Then at the end, we held a fan meeting at the school and that's about it. Everyone can watch this MV if they're interested.
H: His character in the MV was a musician?a: Yes, he was a guy who really loves music, plays the piano, and creates songs. I was a more playful girl that sings pretty well.
H: I hope there will be another collaboration because everyone already has chemistry.a: Yes, because since I just debuted in the China, so I hope to work with a lot of artists.
H: Who do you want to work with the most?a: In China?
H: Yes.a: I haven't finished thinking about it (lol).
H: Which Chinese singers do you like?alan: Faye Wong. She is a very successful artist and she has really good sales and reputation in Japan, so I really like Faye Wong.
H: There's a song in this album that beat Faye's record in Japan?a: That's "Da Jiang Dong Qu". Faye, like I just said, she is a Chinese singer that I really like and I listened to her songs when I was younger. I hope to use the sales of "Da Jiang Dong Qu" to pay respects to Faye. I feel like if she sees I got this kind of result that she would be happy and proud for me.
H: By making Chinese people proud.a: Yes.
H: If Faye was still singing right now, would you want to work with her?a: I hope that I can watch some Mainland China's concerts next time, so I can learn more from them.
H: Whose concerts have you watched in China?a: None (lol).
H: Is it because you're always very busy?a: Yes because since I went to Japan after my college graduation, I haven't had a lot of time.
H: Since we're talking about artists and we just talked about Chinese artists, a fan asked how is your relationship with other artists at Avex? Did you ever think about working with a Japanese artist?
Your company has a lot of big stars.a: Yes, my company has a lot of big names, but they're all very busy. Good relationships? Ryuichi Sakamoto is really good to me because he recommended for me to sing the theme song "Natsukashii Mirai" for Earth Day.
H: What about artists?a: AAA and as for seniors, then Namie Amuro. She's very humble and a very shy senior. I really like her. She encourages me. Then there's also Tohoshinki and BoA. Ayumi Hamasaki is too busy, so I rarely see her (lol). She's very mysterious, so I never know where she is.
H: Would Namie Amuro give you some advice?a: If we have a live or a concert, artists would be in the dressing room resting, but she would come backstage or be in the VIP section to watch us sing. She would talk to my staff. She would quietly come and quietly go (lol).
H: She's so dazzling, so how can she hide when she's sitting?a: Yes, she is a very low-key famous celebrity and I really like that kind of feeling. She's not like other celebrities who show off.
H: I understand. What does she do afterwards?a: She just goes backstage.
H: To find you? To talk to you?a: No, because she's a senior, so she wouldn't come to my room. I would go to her room and say hello to her and chat with her staff. I would look at her dogs (lol) since I really like dogs.
H: Share your dog experiences?a: Yes, I go to see Namie and I go to see her dogs (lol).
H: Will you ask her like "how was my performance today?"a: I would listen to her opinions.
H: Has she given you any opinions?a: "Very good, so amazing - your high note". She would say that and say that I need to be more confident. The usual Japanese celebrity wouldn't directly tell you your weak points and same goes for the staff. When they need to tell you or when they need you to do stuff, they would have a very official meeting (lol).
H: So they do it this way and not personally tell you?a: Yes and usually, my manager tells me. Other staff members won't directly tell me, so they would tell my manager who would then tell me.
H: Namie doesn't tell your manager anything and then your manager tells you?a: No.
H: After you guys talk about your career, then you guys start talking about dogs.a: I would play with the dogs and nothing special (lol). When the concert starts, she doesn't talk much and just dance and sing unlike other artists.
H: How is she privately?a: She's a very quiet person?
H: When you talk to her about her dogs, would you ask her "what else should I do to improve?"a: We don't really chat about that and I just play with the dogs. I say "cute, I have 3 dogs in China, but I can't bring them, so I can only come and play with your dogs" (lol).
H: You have a dog in China and your family takes care of it, so you can see it when you come back.a: Yes. I do have a dog in China since it's impossible in Japan because if you have a pet, it will live with you, so you have to be responsible for it. You have to work every day, so you don't have time to take care of it. That would be very sad since a dog is like a person too. They're not like a cat who doesn't really care about you. A dog is like a little kid. I've raised dogs over the years, so I have this experience.
H: When you talk about your doggies, you feel like a parent.a: Yes, we all call our dogs our kids, so since my dog had a baby, that dog should call me grandmom (lol).
H: You have 3 dogs, including the newborn one?a: Yes, including the newborn, we have 3.
H: What are their names?a: One is Nono, the other is Bobi and we don't have a name for Bobi's kid yet, so we call him Little Bobi, but it's only temporary.
Fan's question: How is your relationship with Kikuchi Kazuhito privately? What kind of a person is he?a: Aiyo, how did I meet such a shy person? (lol). Kikuchi is a very shy and doesn't talk much, but he's very strict and ask for the best when it comes to work.
H: How strict is he? Will he yell at people when he makes a mistake?a: He will definitely not yell at people and his temperament is pretty good. Before recording, he will make sure everything is ready. Most producers will not stay from start to the end, but he would prepare for recording and then from arranging to recording to mixing, he will be involved in the process. Like for mixing, Kikuchi would go to the engineer and give him his opinions. It takes a long time to mix, but he would stay with the engineer.
H: Does he give you his opinions on your live performances?a: He doesn't really tell me when I'm singing well (lol). He will only say something during press conferences.
H: So he only say something at public events (lol).a: Like if I ask how was my performance? If it's good, he would say "pretty good" and I would say can't you just praise me some more? (lol).
H: Remember to let Mr. Kikuchi watch this clip next time.a: Don't, he's in Beijing these 2 days, so he might be watching this live right now.
H: Does he understand Mandarin?a: No (lol).
H: So he is a shy person.a: At the beginning, I was a bit scared of them because he is very famous in Japan and has many great records. After knowing him some more and understanding his personality, I wasn't as cautious around him any more. Now, whenever our work is finished, I would go with the staff to go eat and chat. Everyone has gotten closer and understand each other more.
H: Will you give your teachers or seniors presents, so you guys would become closer?a: During the Olympics, I sent them...
H: Tickets?a: No, I gave them a lot of Olympic cellphone charms, pens, and pins (lol).
H: They must like you a lot.a: They're really nice to me.
H: Have you ever been in a severe situation where the company is mean to you like the boss?a: The bosses are very severe towards the staff, but as for the artists, they're not really, but I haven't done anything wrong, so they're not meant to me.
H: Since your debut, have you gotten some bad remarks or yelled at?a: I haven't been really intensely yelled at.
H: I didn't meant intensely yelled at, but like you said that if there's a problem, they would hold a meeting instead of personally telling you.a: During my debut, I had bad habits like rubbing my nose and when I was nervous, I would rub it and then mess with my hair. They would tell me to not do it. I don't really sit up straight, so they would tell me to sit up straight, but I still haven't been able to sit up straight, so I'm a bit sorry (lol).
H: They just want to make you look more perfect in front of the camera.a: Yeah, this is their habit that they've developed over the years and also my company has been around for 20 years, so they're strict.
H: Have you changed these little habits of yours?a: Yes.
Fan: From your 1st Chinese EP to your 1st Chinese album, there are many Japanese singles made into Chinese songs, but it didn't include all of your Japanese singles.a: Yes, there are a lot of songs, but I feel like the 1st Chinese album is key, so we chose songs with music with more substance. We recorded the songs that the Chinese fans liked more.
H: Did you think that you didn't put enough songs in it? I really want all of the songs.a: Yeah, I especially wanted to put the songs I wrote for everyone to hear.
H: They said there's still "Natsukashii Mirai" and "Kaze no Tegam", so will these ever be recorded in the future?a: Definitely (lol).
H: Can we really have it? (lol).a: Because the 1st album is just to test the water, so we hoped to get everyone's opinions and suggestions from this album, so we can improve in the future for other albums and put more songs that everyone like. We worked really hard for the 1st album and we put 100% of our energy into making it, but there still may be some parts of the album that's not perfect, so we will continue to improve. If there's any positive opinions or suggestions, my staff and I will accept those.
H: When will you hold a concert in China?a: I'm still a newcomer and I just released my 1st album in China, so I will just move slowly. I think it's pretty good right now developing at this speed.
H: I really like your high notes and the Tibetan...a: Tibetan wails.
H: It's so pure.a: Thank you. A lot of people ask "alan, did you really sing that?" and I would say yeah. They would say "but why do you talk like that?". I talk like what? They say "you speak so low and soft" and it's because I'm just protecting my voice (lol).
Fan: How long will "Natsu no Umi" be delayed for?a: This song doesn't exist. There's no "Natsu no Umi". I don't know who made up this rumor.
H: For your 1st concert, will there be dancing?a: I want to dance, but sorry, I've always had a bad experience. When I first went to Japan, I was still a newcomer and all of the newcomers at my company were little kids.
H: They start training them when they're young.a: So I'm this big person there dancing with them. They dance very well, so I would stand in the back and dance, but I couldn't
because I've always had a bad experience with dancing.
H: So you've never practiced dancing by yourself when no one's around?a: I have and actually, I dance really well when I'm alone, but as long as there's one person watching, I just can't dance.
H: Will there be anything unique with your concert?a: I was thinking for the concert goods that we could sell Chinese snacks like hot pot or hot soup.
H: If you have any ideas, will you tell them to the company?a: I will tell them, but I believe that everyone at the company is very professional, so I will tell them my opinions, but in the end I would just listen to them.
They respect artists' opinions a lot.
H: Did you input your opinions for this album?a: I did, but I trust the masters. They're too professional.
H: Do you talk a lot during meetings?a: No.
H: So you just listen?a: Yeah because I've established a very trusting relationship with my staff including the company, so I listen to them.
H: You don't need to talk because they understand you or you can't express your opinions because of your Japanese level?a: I can't compromise or give in. I definitely won't give in, so for example, I won't go around carrying a cross because of my religious faith. I won't go into a church to sing a song like "Ashita e no Sanka" with Tibetan styles. There are man things that you have to tell your company first. They all understand and would ask you why and if your reason is good, then they will compromise with you. They won't force you.
H: How is your Japanese?a: It's okay.
H: I read your blog and you said that your Japanese was progressing slowly, so how about now?a: It's still okay. I don't have problems when conversing.
H: When you first went to Japan...a: I only knew "thank you, good bye", but I would still make mistakes. When you have greet your seniors in Japanese...
H: You have to add honorifics.a: This kind of honorifics is really hard like when I meet a senior-level person, I would say "please take care of me" and then "good-bye". The staff members would hurry up and say "sorry, she's still learning Japanese" (lol).
H: Have you ever made a joke because of it?a: A lot. In China, we would clink our glasses together when we're toasting, so one time in Japan, I would raise my glass up and no one paid attention to me. There was also a time when I thought a waiter wanted to shake hands with me, but he was only asking for my menu (lol).
H: How did your Japanese slowly improve?a: I was forced. When you're in that environment and you have to work, do a lot of things, promote, and sing songs for Japanese fans, you can't express yourself if you have a language barrier. On TV, if you don't know how to speak Japanese, then you would look strange. When I first went there, I would bring a translator with me, but it's been almost 2 years, so it would look weird having a translator around, so I had to hurry up and learn.
H: You had to work hard at home?a: There was a time when I worked very hard. I would practice with the staff everyday.
H: When you first went to Japan and your Japanese wasn't very good, did you write Chinese pronunciation for them?a: Yeah and Kikuchi would scold me when I write Chinese. He said I would never learn if I keep writing in Chinese. I said can I write romaji and he said it's fine, but I just can't write Chinese because it sounds a bit strange when you read it. I still have times now where I can't understand Japanese, so I would write Chinese (lol).
H: Is there any techniques for Japanese that you can share with everyone?a: You need to persevere and you can't quit half-way through. When you learn a new phrase, you have learn how to use it in a conversation. I just don't know verbs and adverbs, so for "I'm especially happy to see you", I would say "I happy to see you". At first, it was cute when I said it, but now it's been 2 years, so I can't speak this kind of strange Japanese, so I have to learn to be better.
MY GOD I'M DONE!
Sorry for spelling mistakes...there's just too many words!If you're going to share, please credit me and this forum! ;)