Friday 20 May, 2016 - 08:16pm UTC
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Anime serves as a gateway to the world of Asian music for many people in the United States. You watch these shows, you get addicted to their theme music, and you start seeking out more from these artists featured in the series. Aoi Eir is likely one of those artists you discovered this way. Her music has been featured in popular anime series such as "fate/Zero" (Memoria), "Sword Art Online" (Innocence) and "Kill la Kill" (Sirius).
When thinking about the type of Japanese artist that could successfully hold a concert in the US, someone regularly involved in the anime industry would come to mind. Aoi Eir fits this description, and on May 25, she will be bringing her signature sound to New York City for a solo concert. JpopAsia had the opportunity to talk to Aoi Eir ahead of her NYC concert. Check out our interview with the artist below:
JPA: You've performed in the US before, but this is your first time performing in New York City. What do you plan on doing to make this concert special?
Aoi Eir: This will be my first time to have a solo concert in NYC. So of course you will hear my signature songs and also I want to make this a show, one which you will see the many different aspects of Eir Aoi. Please look forward to it!
- JPA: Are the shows you put on for international stages different from what you’d do in Japan? For example, would you say your international shows have a heavier emphasis on your anime theme music?
Aoi Eir: Places where I first visit, in many cases, I sing more anime or game theme songs.
- JPA: Other than your performance and seeing your US fans, what else are looking forward to during your NYC trip?
Aoi Eir: [I'm] very excited just checking out the city itself. I want to walk around and go shopping.
- JPA: Your latest single "Accentier" was used as the theme song for the PS Vita game "Digimon World –next Order". Can you tell us the story behind the song and how it relates to the game?
Aoi Eir: I played the original Digimon World and I had a chance to tell the original production staff how much of a fan I was of the game. So when we had talks about the new Digimon Next Order, I was really happy.
- JPA: Your recent music has had themes about darkness, and how you should always seek the light no matter how dark it gets. This seems to be a theme you’ve continue to explore with "Accentier". Could you expand on this?
Aoi Eir: Accentier is coined from the word ‘accent’ combined with ‘ier’. I wanted to be a person who could give an ‘accent’ of happiness to someone. So this song was created to cheer people on.
- JPA: You've expressed your love for Digimon in the past and talk about how you played the game when you were a kid. Who is your favorite Digimon? What makes that Digimon so special to you?
Aoi Eir: My favorite character is Monzaemon. To me he is the cutest and strongest, most lovable Digimon. The struggles to raise him increased my attachment and the reason why I love Digimon so much.
- JPA: You are well-known for your anime theme songs. There are many people, especially abroad, that get to know you because of your tie-ins. Can you talk about how anime has empowered you as a musician?
Aoi Eir: I grew up on anime since I was a child, so anime had a big impact on me. Getting an opportunity to sing songs since my debut, for the anime Fate/Zero and other anime tie-in songs, anime has been very important to me since it connected my life to the world of music.
- JPA: What is the process behind creating music that is featured as theme music to a series or game? How do you balance creating music that’s true to who you are as an artist and true to the show?
Aoi Eir: For anime, I read the original work and script. And for games, I play the game before the release and hear the story from the producer. With that, we go into the production. For each of the anime or games, I create music based on what I take away and imagine what each of the characters must be feeling.
- JPA: Do you ever feel like you’ve been put in a box and labeled as an "anime artist"? Do you ever feel a need to go outside the box and do something completely different?
Aoi Eir: Even for anime songs, I think the genre is divided up, so I don't feel that I am put in a box. There are so many fans that love this music and even many people abroad. So I feel grateful that I am able to just sing.
- JPA: Please give your fans at JpopAsia one last message.
Aoi Eir: I am so happy that to be going abroad again this year. For each song I sing, I want to do my best to convey the message at the shows. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.
Aoi Eir's New York City concert will be held at Gramercy Theatre. Tickets can be purchased on Live Nation's website.