To the Paraiso.
-Where is the paradise drawn by Kengo Kakudate, from Yogee New Waves-
As soon as releasing an album called "Paraiso" last year, Yogee New Waves grabbed the hearts of indie kids in a twinkling.
The ringleader, weaves beautiful Japanese words, is Kengo Kakudate, who is a vocal plays the guitar.
Among indie musician who are born in Tokyo and rise in Tokyo, it is certain that there are many medias which try to talk something through City pop, but Yogee’s music is not bounded by such enclosed music or images, and tells their poetry freely.
Phrases from song at the beginning, “Do what I want to do / I wonder if there will be anything fun to do / Right? Brother” from “Megumi No Amen” agitates young people living now, resembles the leader of the era, and other phrases “Although we are blind / we feel like we know the shape and colors / probably be able to get nothing” from the song “Climax Night” describes what nowadays 20s feels or thinks which would not be fulfilled.
"Paraiso", the name of this album, means “paradise” in Spanish. This also is a magical pronoun of “somewhere fascinating place but here.”
I wonder what is a "Paraiso" for Kengo Kakudate. Where would it be?
On a certain day in June.
Beginning with these two thoughts, a photographer Kodai Kobayashi and me took Kengo to a cape of Miura Peninsula where we could see the views of the mountains, the sea and the lighthouse. This interview is a summary of the fragment of words spoken in a car during photo shooting.
It is great to feel that "Maybe I can’t go anywhere after all."
-On making music, what is your inspiration or things you are affected?
Kengo：Well, let me think. I might have affected by nature views I saw somewhere far, or those kinds of things.
-But still, you wouldn’t like to live in rural area to play the music, would you?
Kengo：No, I wouldn’t. Rural area is the place to “visit” for me. I’ve lived in Tokyo since I was born, and this means I have to go back to life in Tokyo.
When I arrive Tokyo after journey is over, I feel like "ah, precious time had finished." This is like waking up from a dream, and I can feel various things in this moment, so this might be a one of the driving forces of creation.
-Feeling of being back to your living area after all, or to say, it’s the same wherever you are, or you only can live in this place. These feelings are what I think making empathy to a lot of people, but how do you analysis about it in yours
Kengo：Well, after all, traveling far away and see the view might be an escapism or to see the daily life with bird eyes.
I’ve been living in the city, so the ocean or mountains are very unusual thing to me. During summer vacation when in childhood, I used to go to my grandma’s house in Okayama. The house was on a hill among the ocean, and there was a park on the hill where you can see the sea. From there, I was feeling like “how awesome it is”, while overlooking the city.
There were not so much thing I could do especially in Okayama, so I hanged around nearby. But I think there was a lot I could feel only when I went to those kind of place."
-Among the album "Paraiso", the song “Hello Ethiopia” depicts the world very much, such as the exceptionally far or paradise,
Kengo：Yeah. But I wrote lyrics of "Hello Ethiopia" at home in Tokyo. This song is affected by the death of my close person. I didn’t say this to other media, but the sound of the waves at the beginning of the song was recorded at the beach related to that person. I recorded it with iPhone’s voice memo. I wrote the song while I was messed up with my tears.
-You capture what you saw and heard, and you write songs after you get home.
Kengo：Maybe yes. It's not only made by what I felt far from my hometown, but also what I felt when I was in Tokyo too. I like to ask and answer to my own questions.
For example, on the way back after hanging around with somebody close, I come up with questions such as "why does he think in that way?" or "what makes him angry?" while I'm listening to music. And then, I suddenly feel like I want to hum a tune.
This way is how I made one phrase of "Megumi No Amen". I was excited as "Oh the song fall from the sky", and I ran back home (laughs). I wanted to touch music instruments as soon as possible.
So I think the time pockets between meeting up with your friends and getting back home, remembering something in bored time is precious for making songs. -When I listen to songs of Yogee, I feel there is tremendous loneliness back of cheerful and happy melody of songs. The concrete words in lyrics are only the tip of iceberg, and I am amazed by the amount of tremendous information of emotion or feelings back of those lyrics. And I feel like there is a clear distinction of the depth of the words of you and other young musicians. I wonder why this happens.
Kengo：I'm glad to hear that. Maybe... That is because I wrote song when I myself felt the loneliness. On the back of the poetry words, there are my various feelings, and I guess it touches you.
I feel like what most musicians trying to sing are essentially the same. For example, "Let's have fun tonight" or relationship between "you and me". As a young person who lives in the present, I would like to tell those feelings obediently by using my mother tongue, not in English. So I am very glad you said so.
-Is there some part you are saved by conveying your feelings through sound?
Kengo：I really think so. I feel comfortable after putting my feelings out by sounds. I've already said this to various media, but there is something like energy cage in me when I write songs, and as much as the cage is filled, I feel instinctively "I am alive". For example, when I'm eating delicious meal, or when I feel anger to someone, or when I get nervous and cold sweat comes out willy-nilly. Songs are made when the feelings of instinctively felt thrill or fear fills the emotion cage, and overflows watershed. This explanation tells well.
There is a phrase by Hiroto Komoto, "I eat when I am hungry. I shit when I want to shit, and I write songs when I want to write". This is close to my ideal musician, or I think the way of behavior is directly connected to "alive" very much. So, I want to be as much as possible I can do.
Because other members works, our band activity is not that fast, and sometimes I feel impatience. But not to be in hurry, I take it easy. We should not make songs as mass-produce, but to put out something inside me.