Kikkawa You is taking over the world. After her appearances in Atlanta, Orleans and Paris it was time for Brussels. Since we (Xerony and SomethingWild) live relatively close we simply had to attend this momentous occasion.
We decided to travel by train, because driving a car in Belgium is certain death. After talking about traveling and SomethingWild’s adventures in Japan we arrived in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. Sadly, you would never guess it’s the capital as the sidewalks became pretty non-existent at one point. We found the press entrance, rushed towards to the main stage and arrived just in time for Kikka’s concert.
It wasn’t that crowded so we easily made our way to the front. We estimated a crowd between 150~200 people. The left side of the audience had the more hardcore fans, complete with bright yellow glow-sticks. The other side had people who were simply enjoying her performance. After a while Xerony decided to get into the press booth between the crowd and the stage. He asked some of the other photographers for their photos and he took some pics with his phone camera:Kikka performed her biggest hits with a few surprises. Here is Friday's set list:
- Darling to Madonna
- Hapirapi Sunrise
- Watashi ga Obasan ni Natte mo
- Konna Watashi de Yokattara
- Romantic Ukare Mode
- Kikkake wa You
- Candy Pop
Kikka sang live, she was energetic and interacted with the crowd. She spoke a lot of French during the MC with a little bit of Dutch and English as well. The songs followed each other in rapid pace. When she walked off the fans started screaming for an encore and we got it!
Here is a video made by SomethingWild of Hapirapi ~Sunrise~:The audio isn’t that great, but if you select the 1080p option you’ll get a good idea of the live.
It was difficult to take pictures as Kikka was always moving around. Here are some of SomethingWild’s photos: When the concert was finished Xerony was standing near the backstage entrance and he urged that we should enter to network and score more photos. However, that was not wat we found when we entered. There were barely any people left since we entered much later then the rest of the press. What we did see was Kikkawa You to our left being filmed!
We were struck by surprise and discussed our next move. The management told us it was OK for us to be backstage. We asked him if we could get an interview, but he said we had to go through the official channel (meaning the Expo director). SomethingWild mentioned we had been in contact with someone, but in the end we didn’t get an exclusive interview.
However! At this point Kikka came up to us! Xerony mentioned Slack's interview in Atlanta and asked her if she remembered how do to the JPH!P sign. She did it perfectly and she got a smile on her face. There wasn’t an interpreter around, but luckily SomethingWild managed to talk to her in Japanese about her KikkaFes shows in Shibuya. Xerony found it difficult to talk to Kikka in Japanese, but he added some words which he magically remembered. It showed we know who she is and it broke the ice. SW asked if we could get a photo and we got it! Mission complete.
Kikka asked Xerony if she did the sign right. He said she did it OK. At this point we thanked her and went on our way again. When we exited the press area we noticed Kikka was walking right behind us. When we got out into the expo halls she waved cutely.
We had an hour to kill until the conference would start. After this sudden experience we both had to realize what had just happened to us. We were on cloud nine and smiling like crazy. It’s that idol magic. Xerony got some bubble tea, we checked out some Japanese cars, some Bonsai trees and we watched Tatake Taiko before the conference with Kikka started. Expo visitors got the chance to learn to play Japanese drums.
Kikka came up to the conference area and suddenly snapped a picture of us! Sadly it didn’t appear online, but it was one of many memorable Kikka interactions. Time for some questions! Pics by SW:
Q: What made you decide to become an idol?
A: She looked up to Morning Musume when she was young, which is why she wanted to become a singer.
Q: What is your favorite Hello! Project song?
A: The coupling song from Milky Way’s Tan Tan Taan! called Sansan GOGO. (Note: it took her a long time to remember the name of the song and even asked the audience for help.)
Q: What is your favorite Hello! Project member?
A: Mitsui Aika. They spent a lot of time together since we both auditioned for Morning Musume’s 8th generation.
Q: Did you expect to go solo?
A: She mentions she always has been solo. When the eggs graduated she was offered the chance to make her solo début.
Q: If you could choose your own unit, which members would be in it?
A: Mano Erina and Mitsui Aika (Note: due to a translation error she thought she had to choose graduated members.)
Q: Out of your own songs, which is your favorite?
A: "Twinkle Days."
Q: How do you like visiting Belgium for the first time?
A: She likes all the traditional food like Belgian chocolate and waffles. She said she ate too much and has become chubby. (Note: she also threw a pun in there along of the lines of becoming big (fat) and becoming big (as a solo singer).
Q: What was your first dance you learned?
A: Her first dance was chocolove.
Q: Which member did you look up to?
A: Goto Maki.
Q: What do you like about being an idol?
A: You get to do lots of different things and can eat all sort of things.
Q: When will you get a second photo book?
A: That is decided by the management. She would like to take photos for it in Belgium.
Q: Do you have a boyfriend?
A: All my fans are my boyfriends!
Q: As a solo singer, who do you consider to be your biggest rival?
A: Mano Erina, as they are both solo artists related to Hello! Project.
Q: How do you stay so genki all the time? Where do you get the energy from?
A: From the fans' reactions and food.
Q: Is it hard to be a solo artist?
A: She prefers to be solo, but is has lots of difficulties. In a group it’s hard to remember the correct positions on stage. The most difficult thing about being solo is remembering the lyrics.
It was quite amazing to see how French was the most used language. Some people where able to ask a question in Japanese and only a few questions were asked in Dutch. The interpreter took us for English speakers for some reason.
After the Q&A she told the story of her career using drawings. Video and English translation by SomethingWild:Kikka: I have drawn the story of my career and I would like to show it to you. As a child I always looked up to Morning Musume, so I took part in the audition. Kikka did her best, but didn’t pass the audition. However, I was scouted and given a chance by Morning Musume’s agency. I was part of the Eggs for four years. It was tough because it took two hours by bus every day to get to work. I did my best with dancing, singing and acting lessons. I got a new chance and made my solo debut! It’s been two years since my debut. It’s not just singing, but also acting and gravure photo shoots. I also appeared in a sushi commercial on TV.
At this point she asked the audience if we like sushi. This is followed by a pun related to various kinds of sushi, but sadly it was completely lost on the audience and the interpreter couldn’t explain it either. She realized it failed, but she laughed at the interpreters reaction.
She wants to become big and famous, which is followed by a reference to Jeanneke Pis. It’s the female equivalent of a famous statue in Brussels called Manneke Pis, which Kikka had visited earlier:Time to promote the new album “Vocalist?” which will be released on November 7. They showed the PV for “Watashi ga Obasan ni Natte mo.” The interpreter translated the song title which lead to some random comment about Kikka turning into an old lady. He didn’t seem to realize that it was the song’s title. Kikka danced some of the moves along while sitting in her chair. She lip-synced a bit and then taught the audience the calls in between the various parts of the song. Everybody yelled along, even though some of the calls where a bit too complicated. The final part of the conference was a contest where someone could win a signed Kikkawa You banner! Everybody had to stand up and play janken (rock, paper scissors) against Kikka. Everybody who lost or had the same sign had to sit down. Quickly we were down to only four people who were invited up to the stage, including Xerony! Sadly he lost, otherwise we would have put the banner up as a price for a JPH!P contest. The winner was incredibly nervous, but who wouldn’t be standing next to your favorite idol in front of a big crowd and camera. Kikka thanked everybody, gave us one last wave and disappeared backstage. Good times.
Special thanks to Slack, °e-girl and Rei-chan for making us excited about seeing Kikka. Thanks to Daigong for hooking us up with the press passes. Thanks for Shirenu for moral support. Thanks to the staff for letting us do our thing and of course massive thanks to Kikka for making our day. We weren’t die hard fans before the expo, but she ‘fished’ us by her friendliness, great performance and overall charm. I (SW) have met a lot of idols these past months and I can honestly say Kikkawa is among the best of them.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 09:38:26 PM by SomethingWild »