– Welcome back to Los Angeles and Anime Expo! You have been to California several times, but you came back to Anime Expo for the first time in 8 years. How are you enjoying Anime Expo so far?
I just got here, but I can tell that it’s growing bigger every year and it’s getting really similar to Japan’s conventions.
– Compared to the last time you came to Anime Expo in 2010, what changed the most for you?
I simply have more original songs compared to 2010. Last time I was at AX, I had a concert for Macross Frontier. I had original songs back in 2010 as well, but by ratio, I had more Sheryl Nome (Macross Frontier’s character) songs. I have more original songs that reflects my current self, and I can deliver more of the real “May’n” to my fans now!
– It is your fourth time visiting Los Angeles, but is there any spot or food that you’re looking forward to here in LA?
As for food, I love American pancakes! So I want to go eat delicious pancakes here and want to get pancake mix at a grocery store!
– I heard that you just finished “and You” tour and your concert at Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall! How was your first outdoor concert? What were you worried about the most?
The weather! People call me as a lady who brings storms, so when I first announced about this outdoor concert, all of my fans were worried about the weather. Since it’s a rainy season in Japan, it was raining every day on that week somehow except the day of the concert! It was a miracle!
– I’m glad it was a success! But does it usually rain when you have concerts?
Yes. Haha I’m very positive, so I always forget about the weather, but my fans remember that it often rains at my concerts! It’s more like a storm than raining. I usually perform indoor, but my fans have to wait for the tour merchandises outside, and they tell me that it was hard to wait in a line!
But yes, I’m so happy that it was sunny! Apparently our rehearsal’s sound was leaking, so I was already talking to my fans at rehearsal like “We’re rehearsing right now, but let’s have fun today!” and they responded back to me! I couldn’t see their faces, but I could feel their excitement!
– One of your latest singles, “You” was an OP song for “The Ancient Magus’ Bride,” and I felt that this song delivers a strong message, “you can be yourself.” What does it mean to be May’n?
Hmm… My career started as Sheryl Nome, and I didn’t try to act like Sheryl on purpose, but I always wanted the audience to think that there’s Sheryl when I sing. So I wanted to be a cool and sexy galactic fairy like her while hiding my teenager-ness. But finally I came to accept my true self recently. Of course I love cool songs, and I want to look cool when performing, but I gained the strength to accept my weakness. It’s not bad to chase your ideal self, but I’m happy to accept that this is “May’n” including my weak points.
– Congratulations on your new single release, “Tenshi yo Kokyo wo Kike”! This will be another collaboration single with SALTY DOG, but what kind of chemistry do you find when you work with SALTY DOG?
It has so much passion in every song made by SALTY DOG! I feel the strength of taking a step on my own from their music, so I feel the power when I sing their songs, too. It always gives me the power to believe in myself.
– Please tell us about “Tenshi yo Kokyo wo Kike.” What kind of song is this?
This song is a collaboration of SALTY DOG’s emotional rock and May’n’s digital sound. It’s emo digital rock as if you’re crawling on the ground. I used lots of low tones for this song, so this might be something new!
– Most of your songs are pretty high-pitched! Isn’t it hard to sing low tones?
No, I used to sing lots of low tone songs before! After I met Yoko Kanno for Macross Frontier, my pitch got expanded, and I got better at singing high tone songs.
This song is also about learning about yourself. It delivers a message that you have to reflect on yourself to have a proper step. It’s not so easy to reflect on yourself, but I gained my team and the view at the concert by believing in myself, so this song is synched to my own experience as well.
– Your dance performance is very enthusiastic and rock! You have been singing more rock songs lately, but how do you keep the balance between rock and dance?
My performance has been rock sound with passionate dancers for this past 10 years. Before I became “May’n,” I started my career with R&B music, so I was comfortable with performing with dancers. I was introduced to rock music for the first time right after I became “May’n” 10 years ago, so I wanted to blend that rock music with the performance style that I had been doing. This is how my style was built. Lately I have been performing with male dancers to make it more powerful and emotional, too.
– You will debut as a stage play actress for a classic title, “Ikiru” very soon! What was the hardest challenge that you faced to act? Did you always want to try acting before?
Since I was little, I was a big fan of musical. I have done musical when I was in elementary school before my debut, but it was nothing serious. That basically means I have no professional experience of musicals, so I’ve been taking lots of lessons right now. Everything is brand new to me, so I’m very nervous!
– The name “Monja” that you came up with got chosen for a baby penguin’s name at the Sumida Aquarium! Congrats! What is so amazing about a penguin? Can you describe it in one word?
This is such a hard question! My most favorite animal is actually hippo. It wasn’t like I love penguins or aquariums before. Sumida Aquarium happens to open late, so I had a chance to stop by. Then I was really impressed by their fancy project mapping and a huge tank filled with so many penguins! When I saw them swimming as they want, I thought it was really beautiful. Just because there are so many of them, I could see different personalities in them. For example, some of them are very bad at swimming while others become couples on the rock. That made me feel like maybe penguins are close to us, humans.
– Why did you name it “Monja”?
The theme of the name contest was “Energetic Tokyo”! This aquarium is located in Shitamachi, and Shitamachi is famous for monja. Moreover, baby penguins are super moja moja (= hairy in Japanese) when they are first born. So this is how I came up with the name!
— May'n (@mayn_tw) June 22, 2018
– Last time when Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi interviewed with you, you said “Kawaii = Harajuku, Kakkoii = May’n and Sugoi = fans.” This time what is Japan’s kawaii, kakkoii and sugoi culture that you would like to spread to your American fans?
Nana chan doll! The best meet-up spot at Nagoya station! (May’n is from Nagoya city.) Nana chan always dresses cute and cool and I think she is simply amazing! She has been collaborating with many anime series lately such as Dragon Ball, too!
Not many American people may not know about Nana Chan, but I love her, and I really want more people to know about her!
Anisong World Matsuri Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnisongWorldMatsuri/
Anisong World Matsuri Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnisongWorld
Anisong World Matsuri Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anisongworldmatsuri/