Kitadani Hiroshi, most well known for singing the popular One Piece opening song, We Are, is also the vocalist of the popular Anisong group, JAM Project. He came down to Anime Festival Asia (AFA) Singapore this year to promote the upcoming Anisong World Tour: Lantis Festival, which would be held in March 2014.
He made a special guest appearance at the AFA main stage events and also stopped by the Lantis booth at the AFA exhibition for a meet-and-greet session with fans. During the group interview, he expressed some of his insights on the upcoming Anisong World Tour and shared a bit about his Anisong career as well.
His warm and friendly personality lightened the atmosphere, which made the interview a very enjoyable one.
Here are some of the questioned posed during the interview.
It has been 4 years since your visit to Singapore. How do you feel about attending AFA 2014?
4 years ago, I was able to enjoy myself thoroughly, having visited the zoo and the Merlion. This year however, I came to Singapore for mostly work related purposes, but it is still a great pleasure meeting everyone in Singapore again.
What can we expect for next year’s Lantis Festival?
Lantis festival is very well received in Japan, and gets the fans very hyped up every time, and we want to bring that style of music to Singapore for all the fans to enjoy.
Also, there will be collaborations between the Lantis artists that can only be seen at Lantis Festival, so please look forward to those!
Lantis festival recently toured around Japan, and will be going on a world tour next year. Is there any message that you would like to deliver to all your fans around the world?
Anisong is being loved all around the world, and Lantis is a recording company which brings many Anisong artists as well as voice actors together. Thus, through Lantis festival, Anisong fans around the world will be able to watch their favourite artists live, and I sincerely wish that Lantis festival can be brought to more and more countries around the world so that more fans can enjoy it.
What’s the most memorable thing that you have experienced at Lantis Festival?
It is a personal achievement, but the most memorable event was during the 10th anniversary of Lantis Festival. I managed to collaborate with my favourite voice actors, Sphere, during the concert, and I enjoyed myself immensely.
You are known as one of the biggest Anisong artists in Japan. Was there any notable turning point in your career that made you this famous?
That would be when I sang One Piece opening song, We Are. Before that, I was making music in the J-pop scene rather than Anisong scene. We Are was the first anime song that I sang, and through that song, I had the opportunity to join JAM Project as well. That, I would say, was the turning point in my life.
Why did you choose to join the world of Anisong instead of J-pop, and in your opinion, what is the difference between the two?
There was a point in time when my contract with the record label producing J-pop ended, and I was deciding what to do with my career. Coincidently at that time, I received an offer from an Anisong recording label, which I felt was miraculous. However, after giving thought to it, I began to feel that I was very suited to the world of Anisong.
You’ve said that We Are, the opening song from the anime One Piece, was the turning point in your career. So do you read the weekly Shounen Jump magazine?
Rather than reading manga, I prefer to watch anime, as I really love to watch how the voice actors act out the characters with so much emotion.
(Continued from the previous question) How do you feel about how the manga, NARUTO, had just ended?
I feel quite shocked when NARUTO had ended because I felt that the manga artists of NARUTO and One Piece were of the same generation of manga artists, and respected each other a lot. I felt that as there was friendly competition between them, both of them would work hard to create manga, and thus I was shocked when NARUTO ended.
The manga artist also said that One Piece would probably continue for another 10 years.
Besides the song We Are, among all your recent songs, which do you enjoy performing the most?
There are songs that we enjoy performing, as well as those that we have to perform in a way as cool as we can, and we perform each song differently.
I can’t really pinpoint any particular song that I enjoy performing the most, but if I were to pick one, I would say that the song I enjoyed performing the most would be We Go. Quite similar to We Are, isn’t it?
If you could become a pirate, what kind of pirate would you want to be? Also, if you could eat a Devil’s Fruit, what kind of power would you want to get from eating it?
From young, I don’t fight very much with others, and if I were a pirate, I would be a pirate like Usopp (from One Piece), who does not do any fighting, but instead just tells others to do things, like “You, go do it!”
If I could eat a Devil’s Fruit, I would eat a fruit that can bestow upon me the power to sing very well.
3 countries have already been confirmed for Lantis Festival World Tour 2015, but for the year after that, which countries would you want to Lantis Festival to go on tour to?
I would really love to go to many different countries, especially countries that I have never been to. Anisong has allowed me to reach out to people from countries where I would never even dream of having fans, and I would love to see the smiles on all their faces when we perform there.
What is “Anisong” to you?
For me, “Anisong” is my life’s mission. It has helped me tremendously in my career and now I feel that I have a great duty to fufill, which is to give back to Anisong. I will do my best in anything that would make Anisong flourish.
It was a very interesting Q&A session with Kitadani Hiroshi! Now, are you as excited as we are about Anisong World Tour: Lantis Festival 2015?
Anisong World Tour: Lantis Festival 2015 in Singapore
Full line up in alphabetical order:
Date: 28 March, 2015 (Saturday)
Venue: The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre
Concert starts: 6pm (doors open from 5pm)**
Prices: S$188 (CAT 1 VIP – SOLD OUT)
S$148 (CAT 2 Premium)
S$78 (CAT 3 Standard)
S$48 (CAT 4 General)
S$48 (CAT 5 Restricted View)
(*prices not inclusive of booking fees)
Tickets on open sale now at SISTIC
Ticket available at SISTIC website, mobile and all authorized agents.
Text by Elenaril
Picture by Kasa