TGU GLOBAL CONNECT, our Skype Video chat project, is one that connects overseas fans and Japanese idols. For our sixth round we’ve got three members from FES☆TIVE, Reia Shiozaki, Hinari Aoba, and Kotone Suzuki, joining the event! Fans from different countries around the world also joined in, and they had a great chat with them. Now that the chat has concluded, we’d like to ask the members what they thought, and about their upcoming overseas activities.

-Thank you for today. How was Skype chat with fans from overseas?

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Aoba: It was my first time to use something like a videophone so I felt really modern (laughs).

Suzuki: It’s really amazing that even though we are so far away from each other, there’s that feeling of being able to communicate without any time lag.

-Were there people who came to see you perform in Japan?

Suzuki: There were! There were quite a few people that I met before.

-I realized once again that FES☆TIVE definitely has some dedicated fans even overseas. Changing the subject for a moment, I would like to ask about your new album “Wasshoi Record” (release date: July 27, 2016). Type-A has the track “SUMMER☆JUMPING” and Type-B has “Iroha Ondo Tsuide Katuobushi” included but, there’s also quite a few songs from your past singles and your indies period too, right?

Suzuki: That’s right! There are songs like “Gakusai Emotion” which up until now, had not been previously included that are in the album and so, even people who only came to know about FES☆TIVE recently can learn all about us completely.

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Shiozaki: There are songs from our early days as well as songs we perform often live so when they listen to the album, I think that a lot of people will have moments where they might think to themselves, “I’ve heard this song before”.

-So it’s something you would recommend even to someone new to FES☆TIVE?
ではFES☆TIVE初心者にもオススメですか?

Aoba: Of course. Because FES☆TIVE’s early songs are popular, there are a lot of people who have been waiting for a CD like this one. People who weren’t too familiar with FES☆TIVE would come to our merchandise table at events and ask (about older songs), “You don’t have that song?” and we would have to answer “It hasn’t been made into a CD yet” so I’m really happy that we were finally able to re-release them on an album.

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Shiozaki: Also, our intro music is included on the album! Until now, the only way anyone could hear it was by watching videos of our lives on YouTube. Because it’s included in the album and people can listen to it with good sound, I think it’s one of the highlights.

-That’s great since when the intro music comes on, that feeling that the live is going to start comes with it too.

Shiozaki: Definitely. Perhaps even someone who has never heard the intro music before will remember it from the CD and realize, “That means FES☆TIVE will be performing!” and come over to see us at one of those big events with lots of stages?

-I watched the video for “SUMMER☆JUMPING”!

Contributor Wanted!!

Aoba: Thank you very much. “SUMMER☆JUMPING” is a towel song and it has choreography that everyone can do together, but it’s kind of unusual for FES☆TIVE in that it has a cute feeling to it. FES☆TIVE has a lot of kind of weird songs so for us to have something more conventional, I think it’s an “idol summer song” that is easy for anyone to like.

Suzuki: Up until now we haven’t had many cute songs so, it’s like we’re able to show off a new side to ourselves. Even though it’s uptempo, it has idol elements to it; it’s a cute idol festival song.

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-In contrast to that, is “Iroha Ondo Tsuide Katuobushi” a more FES☆TIVE-like song?

Contributor Wanted!!

Suzuki: I would think so since there’s lyrics in there like “Say Wasshoi!”. I hope everyone will call out “wasshoi!” during those parts.

Aoba: Actually, there isn’t a lot of that “ondo” (work/march song) feel to it (laughs) but with the word “katsuobushi” in there, I personally think it’s pretty festive (laughs).

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Shiozaki: It kind of makes you want to as about the title “why did they put ‘katsuobushi’ in it?”.

Aoba: There’s a lot of words like “Utsukushiki kana, Yamato Nadeshiko” so I think it’ll be really good for studying Japanese (laughs).

Aoba: Because there are a lot of changes in the song, I feel it’s fun to listen to and even among all of FES☆TIVE’s songs, I really like it.

Shiozaki: This song is a quite popular song and a lot of people say, “I like this song.”, so I want to perform it in live concert many times. Because it is summery and suited for a festival, I think everyone can heat up together.

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-In the lyrics for “Susume Jipang” there’s a lot of Japanese words like “natto, sushi…miso soup” that repeat, right?

Aoba: That’s right. I think there’s quite a few people from overseas who like “Susume Jipang”!

Shiozaki: It’s something of a wota-gei song (laughs). Even though we didn’t expect it to be a song that people do wota-gei to, in Japan as well as overseas, people will send these videos of them doing it with “I did it!” as well as ones where they explain, “I danced it at a contest” (laughs). People often say things like, “I want to remember the choreography”.

-Isn’t that one of FES☆TIVE’s charms?

Suzuki: Thank you. I’m glad to hear that!

-Do you have any goals that you want to achieve this summer?

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Aoba: Personally, I want to build stamina. As FES☆TIVE is festival idol and most of the songs are upbeat, and it’s super summer performing outdoors, so I want to build my body to stand up to the buring hot summer. Speaking about that, I’m the weakest one, so I would like train myself and do my best to perform like fans got beaten!

Shiozaki: I want to make our live concert heat up more! I feel that FES☆TIVE is too organized in both positive and negative meaning, so I would like to break the railways a bit at least to cheer up the audience…as we’re “festival idol”! I have enough energy so that I don’t need to take break that much (laugh), so I would like to support other members.

Aoba: Please support me (laugh).

Suzuki: Well, I want to have more chances to perform at larger events such as “Tokyo Idol Festival” and get FES☆TIVE’s name known by a lot of people.

-And at the end of August, you’ll perform in Indonesia, right?

ALL: The University of Indonesia’s school festival on August 20th. We are going to take part in the Department of Japanese Language’s festival!

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Aoba: I can’t imagine what a university in a foreign country must be like!

Suzuki: I have visited Indonesia before on a personal trip, and I’m glad to hold an event in the country where I’ve been.

Aoba: It’s my first time. I’ve never been to any foreign countries other than those I have gone to with FES☆TIVE’s activities, so I didn’t think that I would go overseas that much. To be honest, I wasn’t interested in going overseas as I was satisfied enough with being in Japan. However, when our first overseas concert was confirmed, I realized “Okay, I’m going to foreign country.” After that, I became kinda addicted to peforming overseas. Now I know how exciting it is to see and communicate with overseas fans, so I’m really looking forward to it (laugh).

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-There must be a lot of people who can speak Japanese since it’s a festival at the Department of Japanese Language.

Aoba: Do they know about us? Are there fans of FES☆TIVE in Indonesia….? I’m a little worried about visiting Indonesia. There were fans in the countries where we have been before we went there, so we felt easy about going, but this time, I have no idea whether we have any or not.

Shiozaki: It will be OK! There were no fans in Hong Kong at the beginning, so lets expand FES☆TIVE with our live performance in Indonesia too!

-For Shiozaki-san, you are the leader and the youngest member, but do you think you have become more mature?

Shiozaki: Almost one year has passed since I was assigned as leader, and I think I became better at talking in these kind of interviews as I had a lot of chances to do them after our major debut. But still, I think the leader should be able to bring up a subject to the other members, o r more like MC, so I want to make every member able to express their thoughts openly and not just have me talking. I’ll observe the other members (laugh).

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Aoba: Okay, I’ll be observed (laugh).

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-Since the release of “Susume Jipang”, FES☆TIVE’s “majorness” seemed to have gotten a lot stronger. The outfits are quite impressive.

Aoba: Right? They have a bit of an anime feel to them!

Shiozaki: As we are eight members, we’re making member colors to stand out about the costumes. Our outfits are flashy and outstanding so it’s easy to get noticed. I like it. And we have many members so we have many advantages!

-Is there anything you want to challenge in the future?

Aoba: I want to make us into anime. Like the anime “Love Live!” is casting the real voice actors and making the idol group from that, we want to be like that too!

Shiozaki: I want to collaborate with some fashion brands!

-That sounds good. Maybe you can have a lot of color choices as you have many members?

Shiozaki: I think fashion could be the new contact for new people who did not know us.

-Right. In closing, could you please say a few words to your fans all over the world?

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Shiozaki: FES☆TIVE is an idol group with the concept of “omatsuri” (festivals) and because of that we have some songs about Japanese festivals. I’m glad if you get interested in Japan through us and our songs. Also we’ll be happy if people who like Japan get interested in us too! We’ll try our best to be able to take world tour in the future, so please keep supporting us!

Aoba: Yes, please! Please give your support from overseas too! We’re stating that FES☆TIVE is “FESTIVAL FROM JAPAN” but we really want to seriously become that.

-Yes you can! Good luck!

ALL: Thank you very much!

Related links
FES☆TIVE official site : http://festive.rizepro.net/
FES☆TIVE Twitter : https://twitter.com/festive_rize

Author
Kai Okudara
Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, sort of photographer, foodie, KSDD

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