Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Story of YUI, and so a legend is born...

Chapter 1「The Encounter With The Music」 2005.1.17

Hi! It's YUI. My debut single "Feel My Soul" released starting from this week. I think i probably will do "Self Introduction" over 6 times every week in order to let more people to know me. 1st chapter: The encounter with the music.

Me, under my mother's influences, like "things" that sing since i was young. Because i always listen to the song, when my mother's car stereo broke down, i still completely remembered the tune. I sang it in my car, in my room, in the path returned from the school, in the bath, everywhere. Sometimes it annoyed my mother and she goes "It's NOISY!!"

Then, under my mother's influences again, since junior high 3rd year, my diary has changed to poem form. In university notebook, i wrote anything that came to my mind, wrote anything i see. And now about 1 row in a bookshelf - is how much i have wrote.

There're days i would like to listen to all sort of music and tune, i went into the CD shop. Though i would like to buy them, there's not enough money allowed me to do that. I ended up listening to the new songs using CD-shop's song machine.

When i listened to Avril Lavigne debute album, i was shocked. It's totally different from the tradition Japanese music i listened to all the while. It give me an impact when i learned that her age is close to me and she wrote all her song herself.

With that, i told myself "I want to write my own song, play the guitar myself too". This strong feeling was no longer can be hold down.

"I will choose the path of music" i told myself that while totally not sure whether if it's good for myself, or how it should be done to become a musician...


Chapter 2 「Journey to the Music」 2005.1.24

Hi, it's YUI. "Fukigen na Jiin" drama finally started. Reading people saying "I watch the drama!" and their comments in BBS/forum makes me happy.

Well, this week i feel like talking about my "Real Journey To The Path of Music"

Although with the strong will of "I want to take the path of music" in me, during the time when i just entered my high school, I was not been able to concentrate on the music, I’m blurred. There was even times that I persuaded myself "guess there’s no way I can do music, can I?" However, when I saw myself suffered again and again on it, my mind was set “After all, I still want to proceed to the path of music. "

So I decided to leave the high school and pursuit my own path of music. I handed everything to god on the days where I was like “What should I do now?”

There were a lot of people doing live performance at the street. Among them, there’s a band that caught my eye. After seeing them a while, I asked them “What can I do to pursuit my music career?”
The people of the band looked at me surprisingly, and told me that there are cram schools that teach composing and guitar. After that, miraculously, I enter a music cram school – VOICE.

From there, I started to play guitar for the first time. I learned how to press guitar chords, compose melody and song writing. I practice guitar a lot when I returned to home. At night, I went out and practice the song and guitar because it has becomes a n annoyance to the neighbour. However when I practice them in front of a factory’s shutter, it made people there angry too. If only there’s a place without people…… thinking of this, I took my bicycle and rushed to Shingu no Umi and the rice field near by while holding my guitar single handed. (this is also the place where my Indy single It’s Happy Line took place.)

Until now this is still the place I like the most. It’s the place where I can sing, it’s the place where I can settle down.


Chapter 3 「Meeting with People」 [2005.1.31]

Hi, It YUI. Since January 17 drama "Fukigen na Jiin" aired until now, i've been to different prefecture in Kyushu to do the promotion for my Indy-Single "It's Happy Line" and February 23 debut single "Feel My Soul.
Although i'm from Kyushu too, i'm a bit nervous when visiting the places i never been to. I'm happy that people in everywhere welcomed me warmly. Dear everyone, thank you very much. This time i feel like turn around the entire country.

Well this week i want to talk about myself who had entered the music cram school.

The music cram school has an "All the people around you threat music seriously" kind of environment. Unlike studying in the normal highschool, people here have clear goal of themselves, and they put 100% into learning and move towards the "target". I always remind myself to work harder too.

This is a place where you learn not just only guitar, song writing and composing, but "important things in life". By building trust, we can express our feeling and thanks to people because we face each other honestly. I’ve noticed many things after I learned to trust people. It’s something I’ll not able to aware of back in the days when I was just thinking of myself. I’ve changed…..

It's really a non-replaceable, important place. I really feel the "warmth". There’re a few times I’ve assigned to sing as an opening at senior’s band live performance to encourage and help overcome stage fright. There are a lot of other things they’ve helped us too.

My first performance was an opening performance at the street with seniors. I was helping them to play guitar and chorus for Michelle Branch’s “Good Bye To You”. My first performance on stage at the Live House was singing the first song I wrote – “Why Me”. Unlike street performance, I’ve become very tense on stage. But when I finished the song, I felt I’ve sung well and satisfied.

The next song I wrote is “It’s Happy Line” which I had difficulty to fill in the lyric. Until 1 day before I need to perform on stage, even though I had wrote the lyric for the Melody A and Melody B part, I still can’t perform it if there’re some parts of the chorus is empty. I ended up put in some random English lyric there.

Even though I meet a lot of people hereafter, the people in the music cram school will always become the important people in my life. Now when I stopped by Fukuoka, the place where my music career began, I will perform at the same place where my seniors are doing the street performance. “I will never forget the original intention.” - I might not understand that if I never been to that music cram school.

Chapter 4 「Audition」 2005.2.7

Hi, it’s YUI. February 23, the release date of my major debut single “feel my soul” is approaching. To think of my work being made into CD, sold at the shops, and many people will ask about it, makes me happy. Currently doing the recording for my next single.

Well I want to talk about the audition that give me the chances to debut now. Last year when I was in the music cram school, my teacher encouraged me to apply for the SD audition of Sony Music. There’re a few stages for that audition. First the tape was sent to them, after that I went to the audition hall, talked, sang and performed in front of a video camera. Then the final audition hall, which was inside a Sony building in Tokyo Nogizaka.

The theme is "Anyway, I’m still myself. "

I thought there’re 10 contestants in total. I never had thought of we were the chosen final 10 out of 20,000 application, which I heard from other people later. I’m going to Tokyo for audition. It’s my first time to Tokyo, and first time taking airplane. I’ve never left Fukuoka before that.

I was nervous when my turn of going on the stage was getting nearer and nearer. But I kept telling myself “Anyway, do the best I can!”

I pick “Why me” and “It’s happy line” 2 songs for the audition. They are also the first 2 songs I wrote. When it’s almost my turn, I asked them “May I sing while sitting?” Even though other people were singing with the standing microphone, I thought I can sing the song, strum the acoustic guitar better with that natural body gesture which is my usual style. It’s the most relaxing to sing and play guitar with this style, which I always use when I do performances in the street, when I practice my guitar, when I play my guitar at the rice field, beach near my house.

And so it’s my turn, after the introduction by MC, I sat at the middle of the stage strumming guitar and singing the songs pleasantly. After finished singing “It’s happy line”, I continue by singing a little part of “I Know”.
So I actually sang 3 songs while only 2 songs were planned. I sang the 3rd song that was a new song I just wrote earlier because the audience demanded it. Later I felt sorry to the audition staff because I’ve put them into trouble.

My first time to Tokyo, for this audition, has ended.


Chapter 5 「In Tokyo」 2005.2.14

Hi, it’s YUI. My major debut single “feel my soul” will release next week. Before this I had traveled around Kyushu for the promotion campaign. And now I will travel around the whole country until end of March. There’ll be live broadcast on TV too. So everyone who are nearby, if you have time, please come to see me or watch me on TV.

Well, this time I want to talk about me going to Tokyo.

After the audition, I’ve assigned to Sony Music Recording gr8! Records(label)’s agency. At first the boss wanted to start the work as soon as possible, I also met up with the staff. The feeling of “step forward and work towards the real debut” also slowly well up in me.

The preparation for my debut started straight. The song writing also had started faster than I ever did. Immediately before I moved to Tokyo, I wrote debut single’s “feel my soul”. “Although I’m perplexed, I would like to move forward…” My thought was written into the song. Several demo tapes had been produced, and I also travel between Fukuoka and Tokyo for a few times for recording.

After the recording of my song, we went to Kujukuri to take the Presentation Video in July (a introduction video to me, which also include my song inside). Even though I have a kind of feeling that the person inside is not me, I’m very happy and watched many times when the completed video been showed to me.

It’s been middle of the September when I moved into Tokyo. I felt a little uneasy for me to left Fukuoka and live in Tokyo. There is less free space, the air is bad, and the sky is not beautiful…. Although I’m not alone since I’m not living by myself in agency dormitory, I always think about the good in Fukuoka. When I went to Shingu no umi, I brought along my camera and took a lot of pictures.

Starting from October, my regular show in Fukuoka FM will start. Since October, It gives me chances to go back Fukuoka for twice a month to do the recording. I feel happy when going back, “Hometown is nice.”

I need to talk alone for the radio show in Fukuoka. It takes 3 times more than now, it also took a full revolution inside my head but I still can’t do it well. “My skill is bad but I will work harder!” I try to practice talk to myself more with various kind of topic.

During December, my Indy-Single “It’s happy line” which was limited to Kyushu area had released, I also has my own program. I feel that “It will be nice when my song reached more and more people.” I was impressed to see my own CD in the CD shop.

Time passed very fast, it’s half a year since the audition. Between those times, my environment changed bewilderingly.


Chapter 6 「Feel My Soul」 2005.2.21
Hi, it’s YUI, my debut single “feel my soul” will be released in the market on the 23rd this week. It’s also being decided that I’ll take part in Music Station (first TV appearance) on 25th. Everybody please make sure to watch it.

I was living in Fukuoka when the debut single “feel my soul” was in preparation. Been traveled between Fukuoka and Tokyo many times before summer. The feeling of ”Aiming for debut” was growing. I has the strong feeling of “I want to move forward even if I’m struggling”.

The producer of Fuji TV Network had heard the song through the presentation video which was filmed in July. “I want to know about this voice no matter what”. Later we met at the studio, after a call from the producer - “I would like to have a meeting”, in Shibuya where the drama was filmed,

While I was looking forward to listen some brief story of the drama, the producer kept talking about his imaginary picture of the image of voice, Because of that, I ended up holding the acoustic guitar for about 4 hours before I get to sing “feel my soul”. During that time, a new melody has been added to the original “feel my soul”, then some new lyric also been added into the song. And it becomes the song you heard in the debut single “feel my soul”.

About the song making, first the acoustic guitar version was recorded in a cassette tape. After that there’re many works to do before proceed to the real recording. First the arrangement of the song was decided, the melody and lyric had been slightly modified, then the final recording. When the recording of “feel my soul” completed, I’m very happy because it had become my debut single.

Since the airing in radio program of FM Fukuoka, broadcasting of “Fukigen na GIIN” drama, until the flowing of video clip in Music Channel and CM in TV, many people had posted the thoughts and comments about the song at homepage’s BBS. Everyone thank you truly. When I walked into a convenient store and saw a “feel my soul” was hanging there, I thought “it’s nearer and nearer”, “it’s like just an instant from the time I finished the recording until the debut”. I guess about 1 more day, the CD shop will be lined up with “feel my soul”.

I think I may go there watching the shop from afar. (laugh)

It’s me, YUI’s starting point here. From now on I’ll be writing songs, singing, and work hard together with all of you. Please continue your support in the future. I’m looking forward to the day we meet in a live performance.


To be continue.....

-Ky Khor

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