Up Close and Personal Interview with idol Group Negicco & Signed Music Card Give Away

Never Give Up GIrls! 新潟発アイドル・Negicco独占インタビュー
Up Close and Personal Interview with idol Group Negicco & Signed Music Card Give Away

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In their 12th the year since their debut, Niigata’s local idol group, ‘Negicco’ have managed to achieve their highest ranking so far. For the release of their new single ‘Hikari no Spur’ on December 2nd, the girls ranked 5th on the weekly Oricon singles chart and 1st on the daily charts. Having taken the limelight for their local newspaper in their hometown of Niigata, as well as appearing in commercials broadcasted countrywide, the group is certainly showing that they are in a period of rapid growth! What makes Neggico so captivating? Well many would say that it would have to be the humble, unpretentious aura that radiates so naturally from them, which has ultimately resulted in the girls’ steady fan base growth. We asked about Negicco’s development since scoring such high chart rankings as well as their new album ‘Rice & Snow’ which was released on January 20th.
新潟発のローカルアイドルNegicco。昨年12月2日にニューシングル「光のシュプール」をリリースし、デビュー12年目にして自信最高のオリコンウィークリー5位、またデイリーで1位を獲得するというローカルアイドル初の成績を記録。地元新潟の新聞にも取り上げられるなか、全国CMにも登場するなど、急成長中のユニット! 自然体で飾らない姿が魅力的で、着実にファンを増やしている彼女たち。今後の展開や、1月20日発売のアルバム「Rice&Snow」についてお話を伺いました。

Your promotional video for ‘Hikari no Spur’ which was recorded in Finland was the very first time you girls had done a promotional video overseas right?! The combination of your upbeat pop song and the adorable visuals of you girls playing in the snow that accompany the video, make this winter song one that stands out far above the rest! The response to the introduction of the promotional video on Tokyo Girls’ Update was fantastic. What would you girls say had a memorable impression on you while filming?
−「光のシュプール」ではフィンランドで初の海外PVロケをしていましたね! キラキラでポップなサウンドに、雪×女の子という最強にかわいいビジュアル……まさに最高に王道のウィンターソングです! Tokyo Girls’ UpdateでもPV紹介記事を書いたところ、反応がとてもよかったです。撮影で印象的な思い出などありますか?

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Nao☆: The scenery of the place was so beautiful! It was like I’d entered an entirely different world! I’d never been overseas before so I got myself a 10-year passport purely for the sake of filming this promotional video! I had so much fun during my time there because it was the first time that I was able to travel with my fellow group members overseas, see such stunning scenery and just the fact that I was able to do so in my favorite season of all – winter!
Nao☆:とにかく景色がすごい綺麗で! 違う世界に来たみたいでした。私海外に行ったことがなくて、このいつかNegiccoの撮影のためにと、10年パスポートを取ったんです! 初めての海外にメンバーのみんなと行けて、きれいな景色が観れて、あと冬が1番好きな季節なのですごい楽しかったです。

Megu: First of all, I felt so moved by the nature that I saw stretched out before me! Also, as the snow was so soft in texture, we couldn’t make a snowman. Unlike the snow we have in Japan, its softness was like that of sugar and seeing this difference came as a big surprise to me.
Megu:周りに建物が全然なくて、自然の景色が一面に広がっているのがまず感動的でした! あと、雪がさらさらして雪玉が作れないんですよ。砂糖みたいにサラサラしているので、それも日本と違う所だったのでびっくりしました。

-We believe that everyone who watches Negicco’s promotional video can really sense how much fun the girls were having. Kaede, do you have something to add to this?

Kaede: Even though I was born in Niigata I don’t do well in cold places (she laughs). Even before I went to Finland, I was wondering to myself whether I was really going to go there or not so to be honest I went through quite a rough time thinking about it (she laughs). But after going there, although the landscape of the place was stunning, the thing that excited me most was being able to see Santa. It got me thinking that Santa really does exist (she laughs).

– With your hit ‘Hikari no Shu Pool’, gaining great coverage from your local newspaper in Niigata and appearing in a nation-wide commercial, the timing of it all has resulted in a big turning point for you girls now hasn’t it? Are you feeling some changes in your circumstances?

Kaede: I personally feel that nothing much has changed but recently we’ve upset some fans (she laughs). On Twittter I’ve been writing whatever I wanted just as I always have but as a result I’ve received direct messages from fans saying things like ‘It’s probably best that you don’t write such things’ and ‘you probably shouldn’t list this in your favorites’. Overall I’ve been told that as a performer I need to be conscious about the effects of what I say and do. (She laughs).

Nao☆: I was worrying about quite a lot of issues such as how our national commercial would turn out as well as whether or not our fans would increase in number. But having reached the state that we are in now, I feel that ‘our time has come’. So basically that it all happened at a time it was meant to. I think that’s how life is.
Nao☆:なんで私たちには全国CMの話とか新規のお客さんとかライブの動員数増えないの? って悩んでいたんですよ。でも今こういう状況になって“今がそのときだったんだな”と感じています。そのタイミングが今来た、というか。人生ってそういうものなんだなと思っています。

Megu: Thanks to the broadcasting of our nation-wide commercial and gaining 5th place on the weekly Oricon charts, I feel that people across the nation are watching us now. We do of course get contacted by people within the Niigata community as well as by friends outside of it. I feel happy knowing that we’re able to communicate to people across the nation that we’re doing our very best at it all.



Originally you started out as a local idol group for Niigata but have moved passed that and are now actively working nation-wide. How have people around you responded to this?

Well, because we’d been performing at Niigata all this time, it appears that people from our community feel that we’re leaving them. But precisely because they’ve known our group for 12 years, it feels like we’re now slowly gaining a real name for ourselves. Up until now we’ve only been seen as local idols and just as ‘Negi’ from Negicco. But having received large attention from the Niigata newspaper, people from the local community have started to realize that our group really is working and gaining a name for ourselves not only in Niigata but also across the nation, and this makes me so happy.



Kaede: Our ultimate goal will be getting the people of Niigata to recognize our group’s true potential. It’s not rare to find people that question why our group is appearing in a nationally broadcasted commercial. I’d like to keep pushing until I see the day that people from our local community say things like ‘Our prefecture has this amazingly talented group called Negicco’.
Kaede:新潟の人に認めてもらうのが、最後の最後というか。新潟のNegiccoが全国のCMに出てるのなんで? って認めてくれない方も少なくはなくて。それを、新潟にはこんなにすごい人たちがいるんだよ、と地元の人に言ってもらえるところまでいきたいですよね。

You plan to release your new album ‘Rice & Snow’ on January 20th. There’ll be songs that you’ve written, 8 new songs as well as music compositions with some famous artists… it’s an album that is expected to offer us a lot. Please tell us about any particular things we should listen out for as well as what you believe are the album’s most appealing aspects?
−来年1月20日発売のニューアルバム「Rice&Snow」ですが、みなさんが作詞をした曲があったり、新曲が8曲も入っていたり、編曲陣が有名アーティストさんだったり…と期待値が高いアルバムですよね! 聴き所やアピールポイントを教えて下さい。

Megu: In Niigata our songs are written by Connie and arranged by various other writers to create the wonderful songs we have now. As a result of being arranged separately, the songs themselves change to take on the persona of those who arranged them. Each writer arranged the album in such a way that it maintains our producer’s ideal concept all while adding his or her own personal touch to it. This I believe is what has made this album so good. The president of our music label also went above and beyond to promote our previous album ‘Melody Palette’ and as a result, it gained fantastic support. There’s also the song that we wrote ourselves; I felt so deeply moved after listening to their finalized versions. The speed of it all was intense – it was like on this day we’ll be song writing then on this day we’ll be recording and so on (She laughs). We wanted to tell our fans how grateful we are for their support so we made sure that we put all of our feelings of gratitude into the lyrics of the songs that we wrote.
Megu:いつも新潟で曲を作ってくれるconnieさんという方の曲を、作家さんがアレンジするという豪華なかたちになっています。connieさんの曲を別の作家さんがアレンジするとこんなに曲が変わって、こんなにその人らしい曲になるんだ、と思いましたね。connieさんのイメージは残しつつ、アレンジャーさんの特色もちゃんと生かされていて、すごくいいアルバムになったと思います。レーベルの社長さんも、前回のアルバム「Melody Palette」を超えたと評価して下さって。自分たちで作詞した曲もあり、完成した作品を聴くとすごく感慨深いです。その日に作詞してその日に歌録りするっていうスピード感でした(笑)。ファンの人に感謝の気持ちを伝えたくて作詞したんですけど、私たちが歌でプレゼントできること、伝えたかったメッセージをぐっと込めて書きました。

Nao☆: We put our all into each and every song but the three of us interpreted each song in our own way in order to establish what we wanted to communicate to our fans. This is why I think the recordings went so well. I wrote the lyrics for the song ‘Cream Soda Love’ and Poncha (Megu) said that she could relate to the lyrics so well and Kaepo (Kaede) was kind enough to tell me that that my lyrics were ‘So cute!’ I personally love cream soda so I thought about how I could use it as an example for how it feels to be in love, and wrote about it! I only had two days to write it so of course there were times when I wanted to take notes and get inspiration from others as well as times where I wondered whether I was really able to combine my feelings with the melody of the song. I wrote the song not from the perspective of men, but rather from the feelings of women who are cute and excited when in love. As a result of this, I feel very confident about this song so I really do hope that everyone has a listen to this song for me!

Kaede: Rather than thinking that we made this album just because we are idols, I want people to realize that we created it because it includes so many cool songs! I received a Skirt album from one of our fans and I could feel so much love from it. When we recorded our songs, Skirt arranged a song for us and I believe that thanks to that we were able to sing it. The song is called ‘Hadashi no rainbow’ and it has a really cute feel to it so I love it.



-Girls, what do you believe to be the most charming points about Niigata? Do you have any recommendations for our readers?

Niigata’s rice is so delicious so I recommend that people buy it as a souvenir!

Nao☆: I recommend the fish market ‘Teradomari’. You can eat fish as you walk around and you can gaze upon the ocean there so I highly recommend that people visit this awesome spot!
Nao ☆:「寺泊」っていう魚市場がおすすめです。お魚屋さんを食べ歩きしながら日本海を眺めることができる、っていう最高のスポットなのでぜひみなさん行ってみて下さい!

Megu: It snows quite heavily so if you come to Niigata in winter, most people come to ski right? Yuzawa or Myoko are well known ski resorts for skiing. Leluhi is a local mascot, which I find to be really cute (She laughs). Leluhi is a German man who was the first to propagate ski in Niigata and his story is very famous. He was said to have been about two meters tall.
Megu:雪が結構降るので、冬ならスキーですかね? 湯沢や妙高は有名なスキー場ですよね。レルヒさんというご当地キャラがいるんですけど、そのゆるキャラもかわいいんです(笑)。レルヒさんはドイツ人なんですけど、その人が初めて新潟でスキーを広めたというのが有名な話で。身長が2mくらいあるんです。

Touching on a related topic, what parts of Japanese culture do you like?

Nao☆: I LOVE anime! I’ve recently become very interested in the anime ‘Sword Art Online’. I want to go to a virtual land! (She laughs)
Nao☆:私はアニメが大好き! ソードアート・オンラインが最近は好きです。バーチャル世界に行きたい!(笑)

Megu: I love Japan’s electronic goods (She laughs). Especially Polaroid cameras!

Kaede: It’s got to be Japan’s food. I love natto (fermented soybeans), yakitori (grilled chicken pieces on skewers), white rice and so many more – I just absolutely love Japanese food. I’m also a big fan of Japanese things other than food of course, and used to practice the Japanese tea ceremony and ‘koto’ (13-stringed Japanese instrument).

– For Negicco, I believe the last year has been one of great rapid progress. Please tell me of your goals and objectives for this year!

Nao☆: The Niigata Prefectural meeting hall can hold about 2000 people, but if I could, I would fill up the first and second level seats and perform a one man live concert! Up until now famous artists that have come to perform in Niigata have had live concerts there but I’d also like it if we could perform there too and gain recognition from our locals! We were able to go to many different prefectures through the release events for ‘Hikari no Spur’ but this time I’d like to do live concerts all across Japan! I even want to go overseas!

– As mentioned there is a strong interest within the group of Negicco to perform live concerts overseas. In actual fact, some messages have already been received from some fans in France congratulating the girls on their song ‘Hikari no Shu Pool’ for making it to 5th place on the Oricon weekly charts and showing their eager desire for the girls to perform overseas!

From Charlie
Congratulations for your results at the Oricon ranking ! Myself, I’ve only discovered Negicco recently, since their PV Tokimeki no headliner came into Nolife (French TV channel). I love your music more and more (so Especia’s songs) and I count on you to have even more success in 2015 with your next album, for example. Also, I’d be very happy if you’d come here in France. Thank you for your music and once again, congratulations. Let’s 2015 be the year of all success.

 From Laurent (Nube)
To every members of Negicco and their staff, I send my most sincere congratulations for your 5th rank into the weekly Oricon ranking singles category. Hikari no spur is really a catchy song and the work behind it, the PV shooting, the manner of promoting the single… are so much reasons that made the success of this single. This single, we can say it, will obviously sign a point in the timeline of your career : the first title of the band ranked in the top 10 (and 5) of the weekly Oricon ranking single category, it is also the first single of the band to reach 20k sells in the first week, the first PV shoot in a foreign county… Here is a lot of first times for a band with such a longevity, and everything we can wish for you is to continue on the road of success. Good luck for your future, your French fans – within I am – will continue to support you as long as you stay, maybe also beyond that. Laurent, a French fan of Kaede – but that love all the band

From Pococo
Congratulations for your 5th rank into the Oricon ! Last month I could visit the city of Niigata and it was great ! But I couldn’t come to your live because of the Shinkansen but I will try next time ! Let’s reach the first place in the Oricon for the next time ! o/
オリコン5位おめでとうございます! 先月私は新潟に行ったのですが、とても素敵な街でした! でも、Negiccoのライブには新幹線の時間の関係で行くことができませんでした。次はぜひお会いしたいです。そして、次回のCDでは、オリコン1位を獲ってください!

From Dimitri (yvelii)
Congratulations for your 5th rank into the Oricon ! By looking at your story, I’m really moved for you, you’re truely Never Give Up Girls ! Your work and braveness are an amazing force. That force project you at the top, it makes you even more beautiful, it makes you even more magnificient.
It creates an extremely strong link between you and it take care of a wonderfull friendship. It gather many smiles, it also links some of those smiles ! Beyond everything that split us away, our cultural differences, the distance, our language, the time, beyond all of that I’m really sensitive to that force that lives into you and that you bring so well ! I wish for you only happiness for your future, I’ll stay not far away ! Ha, and, Connie-san (producer of Negicco), best kisses from France. Enormous ones. Take care.
オリコン5位獲得、おめでとうございます。ずっとあなた達のことを見て来た僕は、とても感動しています。君たちは本当に文字通り「Never Give up Girls」だね!あなた達の努力や勇気には驚くべき力が宿っています。その力はあなた達を高みに導き、さらに美しく、堂々としたチームへと進化させるでしょう。そしてその力があなた達の強い絆を生み出し、素晴らしい友情を育んでいるのでしょう。さらに、その力は、沢山のファンの笑顔を引き寄せるとともに、ファン同士のつながりをも生み出しているのです。文化の違い、距離の遠さ、言葉の違い、時差、僕ときみたちの間には、お互いの理解を妨げる無数の壁があるはずだけど、それでも僕はそんな君たちの努力や勇気をしっかりと感じることができるし、君たちの中にそれが息づいていること、そしてそのおかげで君たちがこんなにうまくいっているのだとわかります。Negiccoのみなさんがこれからも幸せであること、そして僕が将来もっとNegiccoの近くにいられることだけが僕の願いです。そしてコニーさん、最高で最大の、おめでとうを送ります。お体に気をつけて。

From Steve Chamois
Dear Nao chan, Kaepo, and Poncha
Congraturation on winning on 5th at Oricon Weekly ranking with “Hikari no Spur”. I always cheer up Negicco! Negicco is the best!
なおちゃん。かえぽ。ぽんちゃ。 光のシュプールオリコン週間5位おめでとう。 わたしはNegiccoをいつもはげます。 Negiccoさいこうです。


These messages were sent to Tokyo Girls’ Update from Negicco’s fans residing overseas. The messages show how Negicco’s overseas fan base is increasing little by little. With the release of their new album, 2015 is expected to be one of rapid progress for the girls.
このメッセージは、海外のNegiccoファンが自らTokyo Girls’ Updateに送ってきてくれたもの。海外にも少しずつファンを増やしているNegicco。ニューアルバムの発売を含め、2015年がさらなる飛躍の年になることを期待!

And so luckily, Negicco gives away signed Music Cards to 10 lucky TGU readers! Music Card is download card with special artworks and some idol groups have started to sell their music with it. Serial numbers are written on the back side of the card with veil, and if you enter the number on the specific website, you can download the music! For this Negicco’s card, “Hikari no Spur” and the coupling song “1000% no Omoi” are included. The give away campaign will be closed 12:00 on February 5th (JST!). Don’t miss this opportunity!
そしてラッキーなことに、Negiccoのみなさんが、サイン入りミュージックカードをTGU読者10名様にプレゼントしてくれるということ! ミュージックカードとは、アートワーク付きの音楽ダウンロードカードで、最近はCD以外にミュージックカードを売っているアイドルも増えてきました。カードの裏にシリアルナンバーが書かれていて、指定のウェブサイトで番号を入力すると音楽がダウンロードできる、という仕組み。今回のNegiccoのミュージックカードは「光のシュプール」と「1000%の片想い」を含むもの。キャンペーンは2月5日12:00(日本時間)で終了予定なので、ぜひ応募してみてくださいね!
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Rice & Snow / Negicco

Translate by Cherly Coyle

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