Interview with Hiroshi Kitadani at Anime NYC

interview - 01.31.2019 19:01

Hiroshi Kitadani speaks with JaME before the Anisong World Matsuri event at Anime NYC.

Anisong group JAM PROJECT's Hiroshi Kitadani agreed to an interview with JaME during the recent Anime NYC convention at the Jacob K. Javits Center. Kitadani’s mostly black attire was complemented with splashes of color coming from his bright red sneakers and deep black hair accented with magenta colored streaks. Despite the cold, wintry Friday morning, Kitadani’s demeanor was friendly and cheerful.

Thank you for agreeing to this interview with JaME.

Kitadani: It’s my pleasure.

Fans across the world know you best for your performance of the original "ONE PIECE" theme song. Why do you think We Are! has remained so popular all these years?

Kitadani: First of all, I’m just so happy about it … I wonder why? I think the first thing is the power of the song itself. The song was made for the "ONE PIECE" anime, so the strength also lies in the song’s lyrics. I think the song brings you into the world of the anime, and it’s the vocalist’s job to express the feeling of that world.

What was it like collaborating with KISHIDAN on ISSAI GASSAI?

Kitadani: I never thought that I would get such an offer from such a famous band. It threw me off at first because I was so surprised. I'm so happy that more music fans got to know about Hiroshi Kitadani through KISHIDAN.

What was the inspiration behind Endless Dream? What image did you have in mind when you created the song?

Kitadani: The most important thing on my mind is thinking about how I can communicate the world of the anime. I’m not trying to be like an instruction manual for the anime or anything, but when you’re able to hear a song and view the moving images at the same time, the power is not one plus one equals two, it’s one plus one equals something exponentially bigger.

Please describe your experience participating in FLOW’s ONENESS music video alongside numerous artists.

Kitadani: Next year is going to be the 25th anniversary of my career. The fact that I was able to collaborate with all kinds of people is something I cherish the most. Going forward I’d like to cultivate the opportunity to absorb from all kinds of people something that I personally don’t have and create something really beautiful from there.

From the beginning of writing a song to the final completion and performance, which is your favorite part of this process and why?

Kitadani: If I were to choose something within that process, I would say it's the creation of the song, actually making the music. When I’m at home, I'll play an instrument in front of the computer and it's like giving birth to something. It feels great when you’re able to create something that feels alive. That moment is the best, and I feel really happy about it. When I play the guitar or the piano and work on the songs, I really get into it and it's so incredible and fun. And of course, after it's complete, I really love it when I sing the song live and hear the audience reaction. “Live is the best!” (does fist pumps) That’s how I feel (laughs).

What has been your biggest challenge performing overseas?

Kitadani: It’s the language barrier. When I go overseas with JAM Project, it helps a lot that the leader (Kageyama) knows English, so I tend to depend on him. But what I really want to do is communicate directly with the audience, so I really want to put some time and effort into it. If I can speak English, then the interviews will go smoothly too.

Which current or upcoming project are you most excited about?

Kitadani: The Olympics will come to Japan in 2020, and I think this will be a great opportunity for Japanese culture to be exposed to the world. I think if I could create an anisong that Japan is proud of and make it popular throughout the world, that would be great. I would like anisong and anime to grow bigger worldwide.

Please leave a message for JaME readers.

Kitadani: It’ll be great if fans could give me support throughout the future, but I would also like to create music that would go beyond people’s expectations. I would like everyone to look forward to that. And please continue to love Japanese anime and anisong.

JaME would like to thank Resonance Media and the Anisong World Matsuri team for arranging this interview.

Anisong World Matsuri at Anime NYC Event Information:
Anisong World Matsuri Official Website:
Lantis Official YouTube:
Hiroshi Kitadani Official Website:
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