Interview Exclusive

Interview with FAKY

15/03/2021 2021-03-15 01:00:00 JaME Author: Mirta Arizola, Nana, Christine Translator (EN-JP): Sophie Translator (JP-EN): Ryan Wong

Interview with FAKY

We caught up with the members of girl group FAKY right between the release of their singles "The Light" and "99".

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We recently had the opportunity for an exclusive interview with FAKY, a hip Japanese girl group that has been conquering fans worldwide with their catchy music and bold, empowering lyrics. Since their debut eight years ago FAKY has performed worldwide in diverse events and last year they performed on the main stage of the online edition of the Avex Group music festival a-nation for the first time.

Find out what the girls shared with us about this new experience, their latest releases and how the pandemic affected their lives below!

Last year was your first time performing on the main stage of the a-nation music festival. How did it feel?

Lil’ Fang: I was super thrilled, since performing on that stage was one of the goals I set when I first joined avex. I’ll never forget the sense of unity all of us in FAKY felt when we strived to deliver our music there, especially to the fans of the other artists.

Mikako: I’m really grateful that FAKY has had the chance to perform every year at a-nation, ever since our debut, including last year’s first-ever online a-nation concert. However, when I think of a-nation, I picture a bustling stadium in the heat of summer, where the fans are enjoying the music, filled to the brim with passion and energy. To be honest, I was a little unsure if the same experience could be delivered through an online concert… but as soon as I realized that even online we could sense the emotion and energy from our fans, before I knew it my fears were allayed. I’m really glad we managed to pull through summer with a-nation!

The coronavirus pandemic made 2020 a very difficult year for the entertainment industry, and it seems like the situation will be continuing well into 2021. What would each of you like to do when things get back to normal (both as an artist and personally)? What do you miss the most because of this situation?

Taki: When things gets back to normal the first thing i would like to do personally is to travel. I would really like to go back to the Philippines, even for just few days. And also to finally be able to go out without a mask. For the group, I would like for us to be able to finally have shows where there is an actual audience in front of us and not just cameras.

Hina: I want to perform live overseas. In 2019, we managed to visit many countries for our live performances, and it was an incredibly special experience to share our music directly with the fans. I really hope we get the chance to go overseas to meet our fans in the flesh soon, especially since they’ve always supported FAKY, even from abroad.

Did you try anything new during the quarantine period or learn anything new about yourselves?

Akina: During quarantine, I spent most of my time creating! It was the first time I had been forced to really dig deep into my thoughts alone so I wrote plenty of songs and created a lot of art pieces. I tried my best to not put myself too much into a negative mindset, so I surrounded my everyday of quarantine with music, art, books, movies, and phone calls with my family!

Taki: During the quarantine I of course spent the whole day in bed watching Netflix. But it arrived to a point where I actually got bored by Netflix, especially when I saw almost everything already. So I started to work on my weaknesses, and the main one was the Japanese language. I also started painting again and getting back in contact with my old friends.

Your new MV The Light was recently released. The song seems to have a bit of an 80s/90s feel. What can you tell us about it?

Lil’ Fang: From the style of fashion all the way down to the tiny, intricate details of the set, we single-mindedly focused on depicting the feel of that era. I’m glad that we always get the chance to challenge ourselves and try new things.

Hina: The lyrics of The Light seek to convey a positive message - that it’s okay to be vulnerable, to bare your weaknesses and to simply be yourself. Even more so now with the whole world facing a difficult period of time, we hope to spread positivity through this song. Also, the attention to detail in the MV’s setting, style of fashion and cinematography really contribute to its 80s/90s feel and the pop vibes.

2021 marks eight years since your debut. How do you feel FAKY has evolved during these years?

Lil’Fang: Through all of the experiences, we’ve gained and learned a lot. Not just in terms of music, but I feel like each of us, with our various personalities, has become better at expressing our thoughts and what we want to convey.

Mikako: Lil and I, as founding members of FAKY, have remained and gone through two changes to our line-up, and thus we’ve experienced three generations of FAKY. We’re always evolving, be it through our visuals or the concept of our music, but regarding the messages and thoughts we want to convey through FAKY’s music, we’ve remained unchanged for these past eight years. For as long as FAKY still lives on, we’d like to continue to express the message that “We as FAKY are awesome!”

If you could give your past self some advice about being a performer or a member of FAKY, what would it be?

Akina: I would give myself so much advice! (laughs) You hear it from so many people, but it is so very true... have confidence. Even if you can’t have 100% confidence in everything you do, choose one thing you excel at and showcase that to the fullest! And once you’ve proved to yourself that you can achieve that, go again with another skill set to continue to build yourself up! When I first started with FAKY, I didn’t know exactly what it was I wanted to show or share or how I wanted to present myself and it took a toll on me. I tried showing everything all at once, proving my singing and dancing, proving my stage presence, having a bright and bubbly persona, being bilingual... If I would have focused on training myself and in one area at a time I feel that I wouldn’t have felt so cluttered and lost in the beginning.

Lil’ Fang: I’d like to tell myself that it’s important not just to trust in yourself or in those around you, but to strive to become someone who can be trusted.

Akina, congratulations on your first self-written single, Gravity! The use of grays in the video and the maturity of the lyrics seem to separate your solo work from the usual colors and vibe of FAKY. What does this new release mean to you as an artist? As your first single was a cover, how did the creation process differ with this release?

Thank you! A solo debut is something I’ve always wanted to explore as I have a lot of thoughts outside of FAKY! I’ve been creating melodies and writing lyrics since I was a kid and it feels so good to finally put those lyrics into a recording booth and eventually share them with everyone. The Akina that I am in FAKY is 100% me as well, but the Akina from my solo projects is the authentic me that I don’t get to share as often as I’d like. I have raw and vulnerable sides that I want to create into music and have as many people relate to as possible! As much as I have a passion for creating original music, I also think it is necessary to give credit for inspiration where it’s due, which is why my debut single was a cover. I love Touch by Shura and wanted to challenge myself to see how different I could make it sound without losing the essence of simplicity and heartbreak that the original has.

Mikako, what inspired your styling for the MV? How did it feel to take on the role of a stylist?

Mikako: How did it feel to take a hand in being the stylist for everyone? Well, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas as I go about my daily life, and even when I get worked on by my stylist I do learn a fair bit from the process. Besides the act of styling itself, the thought process of a stylist, such as thinking about how to make clothing tags less visible or the physical techniques involved, is something I’ve come to engage in and I enjoy being able to work from a different perspective. Every member has their own personality and style, and I’ve always enjoyed encountering clothing and thinking “This totally fits you!” or “Give this outfit a try!” It’s such an awesome feeling to see the members pull off the styles I come up with for them so beautifully!

Taki, it was recently announced that you will be part of the cast for the reality show “Koi to ookami ni wa damasarenai”. As Hina appeared on one of the earlier "Ookami" seasons, did she give you any advice?

Taki: To be honest, entering the show was a big decision. It’s a big change from what I was used to, but having Hina who already did the show made me more comfortable because beforehand I could ask questions. I would ask for advice, knowing that she already knew my character and if I was going to be able to do it. She was very supportive and she is still a call away for anything that bothers me.

Hina, recently you collaborated with rapper Novel Core on his single Tenkiame. He already collaborated with FAKY on an alternate version of the song half-moon and he also joined the group to perform it during your performance at a-nation. What was it like working with him?

Hina: When we met during an appearance on a TV program, we talked about how it’d be cool if we could collaborate and create music together, so I was extremely happy that we managed to pull off a collaboration so quickly. I’m also really grateful that the other members helped to weave both of our experiences into music.

Are there any other artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Akina: I look up to so many different artists that it’s almost impossible to pick one person I’d like to collaborate with! (laughs) But eventually I would love to put out a full English single featuring a fellow English speaker! I think it would be so cool to have an American rapper on one of our tracks. I feel like it would completely break all stereotypes of J-pop to have someone like Post Malone or Rich Brian feature!!!

What can you tell us about your future plans?

Lil’Fang: On the 17th of March we’ll be releasing our new song 99. It’s super frustrating that we won’t be able to perform this song live due to the current state of things, but we’ll continue to deliver our music through other platforms.

Mikako: We’re planning many more releases for this year so I hope you’ll look forward to them!

Please leave a message for your overseas fans.

Akina: Thank you so much for all of your love and support. We see it and feel it though all your lovely posts, messages and DMs. Although we can’t meet now, I promise that one day we will find a way to repay you all for how far you’ve taken us! Each and every one of you mean so much to us and we truly couldn’t have kept going without your support! Thank you again from the bottom of my heart, take care everyone and keep safe!

Lil’ Fang: When COVID-19 passes over I absolutely want to go and meet all of you. It’s all of the fans that support us even from far away that’re our source of motivation, and we hope you’ll continue to support us!

Mikako: Thank you for your constant support for FAKY! I know that times are tough, but I can’t wait to meet you all! Let’s continue to hold on for just a little while longer!

Taki: To be honest, 2021 was the year we planned to maybe be more visible in your countries, but with everything that has been going on plans have to be moved. We are very thankful for all of you who just keep supporting us no matter the distance. We really hope everyone is safe and healthy. We are looking forward to seeing all of you soon.

Hina: I really miss all of our fans. We still can’t meet you in person and perform live, but we’ll definitely be able to do it someday and I hope you’ll wait for us. Thank you for the overwhelming support you’ve shown us through social media too. Your encouragement is our source of strength. Please continue to support FAKY!

JaME would like to thank FAKY and avex for making this interview possible.

FAKY's next single 99 will be hitting digital platforms on March 17th. In the meantime, be sure to check out their January single The Light, which is available for download and streaming here.
 Download or stream "The Light"


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