Featured Interview with Kiyoshi Ryujin25 (Part2) Supported by Tokyo Idol Project!

Featured Interview with Kiyoshi Ryujin25 (Part2) Supported by Tokyo Idol Project!

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“THE FEATURE” is the project that TOKYO IDOL does a story on idols who is goes well today. We did an interview with controversial Kiyoshi Ryujin25 who is created by Ryujin Kiyoshi, singer song writer. This is the last part of the interview.
Read the first part of the interview :


—I know there’s no significance to the numbering of the wives in Ryujin Kiyoshi 25, but naturally it would seem that the first wife would be the center, so to speak.

Ryujin Kiyoshi (Ryujin): But I think you both wouldn’t like it if people thought of it like that, right?

First Wife Sakino Kiyoshi (Sakino): No, I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t like it. If Ryujin told me he loved all of us just the same and they were just numbers and nothing more, it would mean I wouldn’t have any special place. (laugh) Also, excuse me for saying so, but when we’re doing a concert where there’s a lot of people watching us for the first time Momoka will talk about the group, and that moment when she says “the first wife…” during the introduction, the place becomes abuzz with confusion. (laughs)

Second Wife Momoka Kiyoshi (Momoka): Even my friends are always asking me how it feels to be the second wife, but recently I’ve come to like the number 2, so I don’t really think anything bad about it.

—You really have the strength to accept anything in a positive way, don’t you Momoka? (laugh) Is it fun as a producer to see the members mature in this kind of way?

Ryujin: Of course the more mature they become the higher our score gets, so I want to do my best as well. Even though it’s only been half a year, I think we’ve changed a lot, and I have no doubt that’s had a positive effect on our singles, music videos, and concerts. That’s something to be happy about. For the music, because my singing is the center of each song, it may come off as strange to say this, but I don’t really care much about the singing of the other six, as far as whether it’s good or bad. Simply because each of the six’s personality is different, there’s not a real need for much direction there, or rather, if they just give their 100% at the time I think the fans will get attached to them.

—Are you the one that chooses how to use them as material?

Ryujin: All of them are very self-aware, and try to sing well. That’s very important and a part I want to respect, however the fans are not placing as much importance on good pitch when listening and so on as much as they believe them to. It’s definitely more important for my singing to be solid, and if it isn’t then I don’t think they can hear the cuteness of the other members’ singing, and so it’s good if each members’ singing has its own character to it. It’s also to make the members’ voices easily heard, and also so I can hear them well, and possibly partly to be aware of other outside voices, too.

—Your latest single released last month, “Mr. PLAYBOY…♡” begins with shouts that you would never hear in a normal idol song, Ryujin’s musical score is very detailed and his vocals carry it. Including the lyrics, it’s a song that wouldn’t come out of the idol scene that strives for innocence.

Sakino: At first I was so surprised! It begins from “Pervert♡“ you know? But in my mind I thought that definitely a song full of all of this would come along. I’m always confident things will get interesting, so I was totally okay with it.

Momoka: During the song there’s an “injan hoi” part, and during that part Ryujin asked me to adlib there saying something like “say ‘injan hoi’ with me at the same time”. He also let me do the chorus, so I have many singing parts in the song.

—With “Mr. PLAYBOY…♡” and it’s big band, oldie but goodie sound reminiscent of American pop, I think compared to your past two singles that took after the current scene epidemic, the musical component is strong, and I felt there’s something about the number that’s an extension of your previous solo approach.

Ryujin: But, since Ryujin Kiyoshi 25 isn’t really putting the musical part above everything else, out of either we want it to be viewed as culture. Part of that is the feel of the music, and of course I consider it important as a foundation, but it’s in a different sense from creating music during my solo days. However, I feel like I understand what you mean when you say there are parts of “Mr. PLAYBOY…♡” that overlap with parts of my solo work and that are similar, though the way of creating the melody and so on is completely different than my previous work, a part of which is intentional, but yes. I think the melody line is close to something from my solo period.

—You two previous singles came to life from the starting phases, and then “Mr. PLAYBOY…♡” was based on the feedback from your activities, so from now on there’s a lot more to expect.

Ryujin: I thought it was best not to brand Ryujin Kiyoshi 25’s music any certain way, even though we’re building our first album I’m thinking about how to make it so the listener doesn’t feel bored while listening through it. I want to avoid instances where the listener wants to hear more but is tired of the sound, so I’m putting it together with an arranger with the idea of peppering the sound enough to where they’ll want to come see our performance.

—This is just my personal take, but I think Ryujin Kiyoshi 25’s music is becoming a call toward modern Japan. Like “Will♡You♡Marry♡Me?” toward the current high unmarried rate, “A・B・C Ja Gutto Konai!” toward the epidemic of pandering too much to Western culture, and “Mr. PLAYBOY…♡” toward the increasing numbers of “herbivore” men.

Ryujin: Please write about it like that… (laugh)

Sakino: I hadn’t given it any thought, but I can kind of see “Mr. PLAYBOY…♡” in that way.


—But isn’t Ryujin pretty amazing in that music video? What do you think about those kind of “carnivore men”?

Momoka: The me in the video would instantly falls in love with Ryujin after bumping into him, but it would never happen like that. (laugh) Some part of it is because it’s Ryujin, but if it were any other guy than definitely not.

Sakino: I would also fall for him after being pointed to, but the setting for the two of us is very difficult. (laugh) I’m not good with “herbivore” type of guys, but if there were really someone like Ryujin in the music video I would definitely dislike him. I don’t think I could ever go along with it; the world in the video is too scary, and I’d never go into the VIP room. (laugh)

—While this is a fake approach, I can’t help but perceive this to be somewhat linked to the reality of an artist’s fate.

Ryujin: Because I’ve never been conscious of my public image, I feel like I don’t really care how other people take it. Of course as far as the work goes I put a lot of detail into the finer parts, and as an artist it’s important how others view you, but as a person I don’t really care how people see me. There’s nothing more to the video than fun.

—Additionally you did a handshake event along with the single release, and a polaroid event where fans could stand in your place, so it’s nice that there’s a sense of playfulness along with those contact events, so to speak.

Ryujin: Next time maybe I’ll prepare an afro wig for them. (laugh)

Momoka: Because there’s distance between the stage and the audience during concerts, I’m glad to have opportunities to receive direct words of support. It’s also interesting not to have handshake or polaroid events very frequently.

—It’s because it’s generally become a routine with current idols. Is it only because it’s infrequent, or could you enjoy it more than once?

Sakino: It’s fun! I think there’s some kind of distance only watching from the stage, but if we can meet fans like that we can talk to them normally, and when female fans come and say that they love Ryujin, I feel like what am I going to do? The strength of their jealousy shows in their handshakes. (laugh)

Ryujin: I’ve been a part of handshake and polaroid events before, but I’m already tired of them. (laugh)

Sakino: But you’ve only done one of each. (laugh)

Ryujin: I’ll leave it to my wives.

—In the spring your fifth wife Natsuki Kiyoshi was pregnant and took time off to concentrate on her child, and so your new sixth wife, Yuuka Kiyoshi, joined. While it’s given birth to new developments, could you tell us what kind of activity is coming in the future?

Ryujin: I started this project with the live performance and activities woven around the concept of polygamy, so in the future I think that will only increase, or rather, I’m thinking about it on a grander scale. On our scale and budget now, there’s things we can’t yet realize, so I want to make the best of this concept and embody it. Like with “Mr. PLAYBOY…♡” I want to start from having a “twist that will make it stand out”, and I’m often making sounds from one keyword, so first I surround myself in ideas, and them from there create the sound.

—In what way will this project continue pursuing pop music?

Ryujin: I’ve always thought that music without anything interesting has no meaning, so I want to be experimental but not deviate too much, and have no plans of being the eccentric artist. I want to keep the right balance of flavor.

Sakino: I want to appear a lot on broadcast television! I have confidence that people will say our concept is interesting, so I want to appear on it!

Momoka: I want to do a Ryujin Kiyoshi 25 photobook! Like put out a photobook with scenes of our married life having dinner, concerts, and private shots in it. I want many people to know us as a group and come to like us. As for concerts… I want to try doing one at Budokan.

—But all of this depends on your husband’s efforts, right?

Ryujin: I’ll do my best. (laugh)

Interview・Text:Yuki Sugioka/Photo:Edamame
Translated by Jamie Koide

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