Scans shared by ayufan.com.
ayu’s 15-year journey with everyone
After her 15th Anniversary Tour, ayu flew over to L.A. In a place suited to her wavelength, she showed us a doubtless, cheerful heart with a natural silhouette… As the first step of her new journey, she talks about the new photobook and LIFE STYLE BOOK with ViVi, bringing you the latest in Ayu NEWS!
“The only feelings when I began the tour, and when I ended it, were of gratitude”
“I was frightened of being judged, but I’m alright now, because this is just who I am”
“These 15 years were given to me by everyone…”
“There was no mistake. I’ve truly delivered”
Congrats on finishing the tour! Looking back on it now, what was the tour to ayu?
“All throughout the tour, the wish to “brush up the show more” was always strong. It doesn’t mean that the finale show was perfect with nothing to improve upon, but during editing for the live DVD, I truly felt that it turned out better than I expected. Usually, I would feel that “maybe we could have done this a little better?”, but this time, I just felt that it was “a good concert”.”
So what made it that way?
“The recording before editing contained scenes of the audience too, and I could tell things by looking at the audience while they watched the show. I got to see their reactions to songs, which I couldn’t tell during the concert itself, and that made me feel that “there was no mistake. I’ve truly delivered”. Watching the scenes just made me see things from the audiences’ perspective, and I felt that I was sitting right next to them…”
Was that something you’ve never experienced till now?
“Becoming one with the audience and reflecting on these 15 years was unique to this tour. In the end, it became a concert that I felt even people who weren’t interested in “Hamasaki Ayumi” would enjoy and want to watch live”
The concert felt like a digest of everything you’ve nurtured these 15 years. It was full of “I wanted to hear this~” songs because the setlist was created from fan requests, like an upgraded version performed by the current “Hamasaki Ayumi”, which makes one want to “watch it again!”… It was a consolidation of 15 years of history, through which you had constantly evolved, but tear-jerking as well as it made one remember “here was that innocent girl we used to know…” (laugh)
“That’s because we played lots of old clips too. (laugh) The feeling of everyone’s memories coming together in that moment when a song’s intro played was created. For example, even for songs which made me feel far away, like “oh, I’ve heard this song once on the streets, or in a CM”, it helped one to reconfirm the strong impression the song left on one’s memory, and I personally objectively feel that this tour was distinctly Hamasaki Ayumi in that respect”
Sorry to keep you waiting! It’s finally here~!
And then, there’s the news that a LIFE STYLE BOOK is in the works! It’s a much-awaited photobook ever since the release of “uraayu”.
“That’s right. (laugh) Firstly, the LIFE STYLE BOOK’s production has been delayed for a long time, because I’ve been accumulating all the things which everyone wants to know about, so the me from the past was unable to put out this book. Even the me was last year could not do so. It’s a book that can’t be published except by the person I am now, that’s what the book is about. In fact, I’ve been worried ever since I started creating this book, because I was afraid of my private life being judged. However, this year made those fears disappear. I became alright with showing my all to everyone! Even if others looked and called me a pitiful or boring person, that’s just how I am. And there will surely be people who will enjoy the book… Well, I expect those are the reactions this book will invoke. One thing though, I don’t have a bathtub filled with champagne. (laugh)”
We’ll look forward to it! (laugh) What do you feel about the photobook itself?
“Same as with “uraayu”, we never had concrete plans to make the book. Everyone during the photoshoot just had really good vibes, so the ideas just flowed. That’s the feeling we had when shooting this issue’s ViVi and the LIFE STYLE BOOK in L.A.. There was great chemistry between the old and new members on the team, and we just took more and more photos. In the end, it felt like we were actually shooting a photobook instead, and we just expanded on that idea. During the shoot, everyone commented that “this is the ayu I’ve wanted to see!” which slowly drew me out, and the result was “a never-before-seen ayu who still seems slightly nostalgic”.”
I’ve seen a few of the photos, and it felt like a “larger-than-life ayu”, rather than the usual “Hamasaki Ayumi”.
“I think so too, because I was in my own clothes, filming in my own territory. If the exact same white sofa was brought into a studio in Tokyo, I won’t be able to replicate the same expressions. It’s a place where I can truly relax, with people I can relax around, and at this time of my life, and all these miracles piled together to produce this… I’m sure that if you read it together with the LIFE STYLE BOOK, you’ll clearly see the person I am right now~”
You’re in relax mode in L.A., so what’s happening with music production? There’s about half a year left in your 15th Anniversary year, so we can expect more releases, right?
“I’ve been recording! I’m collaborating with new people now with a mind to create good music, so please wait for a little more… With the power I received from everyone from the 15th Anniversary tour as fodder, I hope to deliver music that connects song and everyone’s memories. In the first half of this Anniversary year, I was truly grateful to have the chance to continue singing. “These 15 years were given to me by everyone…” To repay everyone, I want to slowly, carefully create every new song”
Summing up the 15th Anniversary year, Ayu x ViVi starts a 2-month consecutive release project!
Chapter 1: A photobook shot at her private residence in L.A.!
To be released on 15 November.
Chapter 2: The much-awaited LIFE STYLE BOOK!
To be released in December.
Ayu’s Deji Deji Diary Vol.159 December
How has everyone been-?! Alright, “Ayu x ViVi”‘s 2-month collab project has been announced this issue~ The wonderful!! Heart-throb!! Awesome!! photobook and STYLE BOOK are complete-!! Please look forward to them
And I’m in the process of recording new songs too!! New songs are surely a surprising, happy NEWS… So Don’t miss it!!
By the way, I’ve been a beanie girl these days. But my fashion is still the same, I like monochrome colours both for casual and dress-up wear. I’m obsessed with beanies in bright happy vitamin colours that catch the eye. Ah, even when dressed-up, I like to wear neon-coloured sneakers too, which some people say looks weird, but it’s my recent trend!!