AVO Blog interview with Kikuri

She can sing and do performances, she is very active in the cosplay community and she will perform at We Love Japan on February 13. Kikuri is born in the Netherlands, but lived in Indonesia for a while. She just came back with a lot of experience and has soon received an invitation to sing at the event We Love Japan. It is time to get to know Kikuri better!

AVO Blog: Can you introduce yourself shortly?
Kikuri: Sure! I am Kikuri, born in Holland and currently 18 years old. I spent a huge part of my life in Indonesia but just recently moved back here. My hobbies are drawing, singing, cosplay, sewing, watching anime/reading manga, playing games and prop making. And sleeping! I especially love sleeping haha.

AVO Blog: When did you first got in touch with music. Since when are you interested in it?
Kikuri: It might be a bit embarrassing to share, but when I was about 4 years old I was crazy about a group named K3 and would occasionally “perform” their songs in front of my family. I already loved the feeling of performing in front of others back then. When I was a bit older, about 5 or 6, I got to know about anime, but it wasn’t until I was about 8 years old that I learned these songs were actually a thing. That time I also got into VOCALOID music and since then I am still crazy about both anisong and VOCALOID. Of course these are still a lot of other type of songs I like.

AVO Blog: What make you decide to start singing?
Kikuri: I have been singing my whole life, but it wasn’t too long ago since I started singing in for people other than my family. Considering my experiences now it might sound weird but I actually have stage fright. If it wasn’t for my friends encouraging me to try singing in public I think I would have never started. I guess even now, the thing that keeps me going is the people who support me.

AVO Blog: Who is your biggest musical influence and why?
Kikuri: That’s a really difficult question since I have quite a lot, but if I would have to choose one it would be Supercell. Their VOCALOID songs are the first ones I heard and the first ones to make me fall in love with Japanese songs. Even now, their works are still as amazing as before and it never fails to amaze me. They’re truly an inspiration!

AVO Blog: You have performed on different events; the upcoming event will be We Love Japan in Rotterdam. How do you feel about the fact that you will perform in the Netherlands, shortly after coming back from Indonesia?
Kikuri: Of course I feel extremely honoured and excited to be able to perform there. At the same time I am quite nervous as I am not sure what to expect. Will the atmosphere here be different from in Asia? And how easy will it be to get the crowd as excited as I am? All kinds of things I am wondering about. Seeing that a lot of people are willing to support me even though I am new here really brings me in high spirits though.

AVO Blog: What can we expect from your performance on We Love Japan?
Kikuri: It was difficult to choose the songs because to be completely honest, I am not too familiar with which songs and artists are popular in here. I wanted to find something both I and the audience are able to enjoy. There will be one slow song to get into it, and one more upbeat song. Just expect a lot of energy and have fun.

AVO Blog: You are not only a performer, you are also a cosplayer. How did you get in contact with cosplay and what has been your favorite cosplay outfit?
Kikuri: One of the first anime I saw was Cardcaptor Sakura by Clamp. Clamp is known for their beautiful dreamy and detailed costumes, and as a young girl it was one of my dreams to wear something so wonderful. Via the internet I learned that there were people who dressed up as these characters and called it cosplay. Since wasn’t very popular back then, I had no idea where to start, and all I could do is ask my mom if I could buy one of them online. Seeing how expensive these costumes were, she refused. This resulted in me trying to actually make one from tissue paper, in which I, of course, horribly failed. So I ended up just making these paper cosplay costumes for some dolls I had.

After I moved to Indonesia, when I was a little older, there so happened to be a small convention at a shopping mall I passed. I recognized the costumes, and together with my mother, I went to some cosplayers asking how I would be able to join. I found out they were part of a cosplay community called Cosuki, and they would regularly go to these local cons together. Even though they just met me, they were so kind to me and even offered me and my brother to borrow their costumes and try out cosplay. The costume was too big for me, but I still managed to wear it and felt like the happiest person in the world by just wearing it. I asked if I could join their group and they gladly accepted me as a part of their family.

I learned a lot from them and since I still wasn’t allowed to buy any costumes on the internet, I tried to hand sew my own costume. I slowly started to get better, and asked my mother if I could have a sewing machine. She kind of doubted me a bit, but still supported me and gave me one for my 14th birthday. I taught myself how to sew and till now, I practice every day to get better at it.

My favourite cosplay outfit was my Chitanda Eru costume. Even though it was just a simple seifuku (Japanese school uniform) it was the first time I mastered making one. I have a lot of good memories with my friends tied to that costume which I always remember when looking at it.

AVO Blog: Now you use the social media and YouTube to present yourself. Are there plans to release a CD (with your own music for example)?
Kikuri: I have thought about it quite a lot of times, but I still consider it to be something far away in the future. I want to focus on live performances to get more experience at this moment. But if I get the chance to, I will definitely consider releasing my own CD ?

AVO Blog: If you could collaborate with anyone for music, who would it be?
Kikuri: For a live performance it would definitely be the talented Konomi Suzuki, but if it was for a cover on the internet I would really want to work together with Alfakyun. They’re both amazing artists and I suggest you’d check them out.

AVO Blog: We are at the end of the interview; do you want to leave a message for the readers of AVO Blog?
Kikuri: First of all I would like to thank AVO Blog for interviewing me!

And to the readers: thanks a lot for reading the interview and visiting AVO Blog. I hope you enjoyed it. If you aren’t too familiar with this blog yet, I suggest you check them out because they’re really cool and interesting. I hope to see you soon at We Love Japan (and maybe even other conventions in the future) and wish you a good day!

I want to thank Kikuri for her time to answer all these questions, also I want to thank the organization behind We Love Japan for making this interview possible! To keep an eye on the future activities of Kikuri, you can like her Facebook page.

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