Cheeky Parade interviews celebrities! Vol.5 Kaminaga from Wagakki Band edition

The 9 girl idol group, Cheeky Parade will hold the last show of their Japan tour in New York in October. 
Chikipa is going overseas to hold the final show of their tour in New York. Before they took such an unprecedented step as an idol group, an interview project was launched, “Before the NY show, let’s learn the secret of overseas expansion from people who work all over the world!!! Cheeky Parade, learn about Japanese culture!”`    
The members of Cheeky Parade then became journalists and interviewed celebrities who play an active role globally in their own field while representing Japan.
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This time, Cheeky Parade leader Sekine together with Watanabe and Mizorogi went to interview Kaminaga Daisuke, a traditional Japanese instrument shakuhachi player, who has years of experience performing on the stage overseas. 

Sekine: We Cheeky Parade will be holding a live show in New York in October. We started the project to talk with people who play an active role globally!  We would like to interview Kaminaga san and get some hints about live shows overseas and learn about his experiences today! Nice to meet you. Thank you for your time. 

Kaminaga: Nice to meet you too. Thank you for having me!

Sekine: You have performed in the world biggest music conventions. What do you feel when you are on stage?

Kaminaga: There are many different artists from various countries at these big worldwide events. So I try to be on the stage as the artist who represents Japan. 

Sekine: Do you see a difference between Japan and overseas countries?

Kaminaga: Yeah. The reaction from audience is completely different depending on the country. Even within the US, it’s different depending on the area. People applause when I finish performing in one country and people keep dancing and enjoy the performance in another country. They are all different!

Watanabe: Japanese people are familiar with wagakki (Japanese instruments), but I think that many people overseas have never seen wagakki before. What is their reaction?

Kaminaga: There are some people who have seen them before and some for the first time. There are many people around the world who are interested in Japan and therefore have an interest in wagakki. People who didn’t know about it get surprised and curious.

Mizorogi: Do you get nervous when you perform overseas?
Kaminaga: Yes when I try to tell my messages in different languages. But audiences overseas are always very friendly so you’ll eventually relax. 

Sekine: We’ve interviewed several different people so far and we’ve learned the importance of bringing the traditional greatness of Japan overseas. What do you think is the strong point of Japan?

Kaminaga: I think people in other countries expect that Japanese performance has exceeded a certain level of quality. So if you perform how you do in Japan, they say “I knew they were good!” Therefore, it is always important to perform as well as you usually do. 

Mizorogi: Do you have any good memories of your shows overseas?

Kaminaga: When we performed “Senbonzakura,” the audience sang it in Japanese with us. They memorized in Japanese and sang along with us. 

Chikipa members: That’s awesome!!!

Sekine: On the other hand, I heard that you also hold some opportunities to enjoy Japanese instruments in your hometown Iwaki.
Kaminaga: Yes. I started playing shakuhachi when I was in collage and realized that there is actually so much more to enjoy playing shakuhachi. So I began to introduce ways to show the greatness of shakuhachi.

Sekine: What made you get into shakuhachi?

Kaminaga: Well, because for the first 3 days I couldn’t even make a sound. That made me wanna practice more. Also, the people and environment around me were wonderful so I drifted into the world of shakuhachi.

Sekine: That is so cool! Thank you!
Watanabe: I thought the fusion of wagakki and band was such a new experience! What made you start the band? 

Kaminaga: I had been playing piano and shakuhachi and had friends whom played Vocaloid with various instruments. Vocaloid has some Wa (Japanese) sounds to begin with, so we thought it would be interesting to play it with live instruments. That’s how we got together and started the band.

Watanabe: Cool! It’s so important to make a move!
Mizorogi: To come up with a new idea is so important!

Kaminaga: That’s right! I think your experiences overseas are going to be very valuable for you girls. You are going to have so many new experiences - even the view you see from the bus window will be different from Japan. 

Sekine: Thank you very much! Your story about your experience overseas is encouraging! We will work hard!
Chikipa members: Thank you!

■Wagakki Band Profile

Wagakki Band project was launched in October 2012, with Yuko Suzuhana, the vocalist of Wagakki band and a grand master of shigin, and wishes to spread true music entertainment that only Japanese can express home and abroad. 
Their debut album “Vocalo Zanmai” was released in April this year and debuted #5 on the Oricon weekly album chart. They are going to hold a live show in Shibuya Kokaido (Shibuya Public Hall) on January 7th next year.  Visit their official website for more detail.