Just shortly before the performance of Visual-kei artist Kaya at Abunai! 2013: Darkness Rising we had the opportunity to sit down with the artist himself for a few questions, we spoke about performing in the Netherlands and Europe, cosplaying and music.
AVO: Welcome in the Netherlands. How was your travel to the Netherlands? Did everything go alright?
Kaya: It was a difficult journey, on my way to Finland I got stuck in China for 10 hours without an internet connection!
AVO: This is your first performance in the Netherlands, even though you have performed in Europe before. Did you have time for some sightseeing in the Netherlands? What do you like the most about the Netherlands?
Kaya: Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do some sightseeing in the Netherlands. I really would have liked to visit the Anne Frank house and the Miffy store in Amsterdam. I have a positive view of the Netherlands because you are allowed to marry someone of the same sex and there is more freedom in general. I don’t think the Netherlands has strict rules. The people in the Netherlands are smart, otherwise, the country would have been more closed. The Dutch are smart and elegant
AVO: How is your Dutch? Did you learn some words?
Kaya: I learned the following: Dankjewel! (Thank you!)
AVO: The readers of AVO Magazine are a fan of anime and manga. How about you? Do you have a favourite?
Kaya: I love manga and anime. When it comes to manga I like Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). In terms of anime, I mostly like older series like Saint Saya and Sailor Moon. Furthermore, I also like an older anime serie called Berusaiyu no Bara (The Rose of Versailles). Older anime series have elegance and beauty.
AVO: We are currently at Abunai: did you see there are a lot of cosplayers at this convention? Have you done cosplaying in the past?
Kaya: When I was having breakfast this morning (red. Saturday the 24th of August 2013) I saw Luigi from Super Mario and Naruto on the other side of the table. I thought the Luigi and Naruto were very good! I have never made something like cosplay, but I love it so much that I would like to try it someday.
AVO: Which character would you cosplay?
Kaya: I would like to cosplay an antagonist from Disney. Especially a witch. I love seeing cosplay.
AVO: How do you think about the cosplayers who are cosplaying you, Kaya?
Kaya: I really like it that people want to cosplay me. It’s really cute and they put so much effort into creating a Kaya cosplay. You don’t always see everything of the costume or the shoes I use, so fans have to use their imagination and make the cosplay with only that which they can see. It makes me very happy!
AVO: In the past, you have collaborated with different artists. With which artist would you like to collaborate for your future releases?
Kaya: For my newest release (TABOO) I worked with Ken Morioka, I would love to collaborate with him again in the future. I would also love to collaborate with HORA (ex-Schwarz Stein) in the future. He has already written songs for me in the past. I would love to collaborate with different artists as well, not in Japan necessarily, but artists from outside Japan as well.
AVO: Which things that you learned during your years in creating music are the most important to you?
Kaya: The most important to me is, of course, meeting all those people. That is something that makes me grow each time. Since I have been making music, since I have been singing, I have had the opportunity to travel to a lot of countries and because of that, I had the chance to meet a lot of people, including fans. I am very grateful for getting these opportunities, even though it’s obvious that I don’t have a lot of time because of my busy schedule, yet I always find meeting people important.
AVO: Last July you brought out your new single “TABOO”. The theme of your song is “Decadence”. What was your inspiration for this theme?
Kaya: 7 years ago I started as a solo artist. During this period I tried several variations in styles of music. The worlds and styles I like the most are the club sound and gothic music. A little while ago I met Ken Morioka, his music is more pop and catchy, so I thought it was interesting to mix his style in music with my dark lyrics. The music that came out of this is more like Schwarz Stein. Schwarz Stein was originally inspired by Ken Morioka since we both liked Soft Ballet. (The electronic group, Ken Morioka used to play in. The group members were called pioneers in modern electronic music. -red.)
AVO: This year’s December we are expecting a new album “GOTHIC” from you. Is there already something you can tell about it?
Kaya: Since 2012 I have been working with a gothic theme. I noticed this was very important to me. So I started experimenting and I wanted to make a compilation of this theme. I want to make small changes after this album. After this album, I want to do a new theme, a new style.
AVO: This already is the last question: Do you have a message for our readers in the Netherlands and Belgium?
Kaya: It’s nice to meet you, this is Kaya. I am very happy I was allowed to visit the Netherlands. I have wanted to visit the Netherlands for a long time now. It would also be great if I could visit Belgium in the future. Please wait for it. I am going to make a few adjustments here and there, but in the end, I will always remain the same. Please keep supporting me in the future.
I want to thank Kaya for his time and the interview, Yoshiki (from GOTHIKA) for translating, Abunai! -especially Antwa and Peter-, Rose and Anna Maria for helping me sort out a few things related to the translations, and at last, I want to thank Kaya’s management, Traumerei Inc., for making this interview possible.